Elizabeth Bertumen, organizer of Tarena Tahiti, has announced that the Tarena Tahiti annual event is merging with the other Tahitian dance event that she produces each year - Te Aranui O Tahiti. Tarena Tahiti is a soloist competition that has taken place in Daly City, CA for the past several years.
In moving the event, it allows for a both a soloist and group format. Te Aranui O Tahiti is a group event taking place in San Francisco, CA at the San Francisco State University Gymnasium. Next year's combined event will take place April 25-26, 2009. The event also features workshops conducted by leading Tahitian dance, music and drumming instructors Roiti Sylva and Coco Hotahota.
"Te Aranui O Tahiti is a non-competitive Tahitian Festival for groups to exhibit their dance and music dedicated exclusively to the Tahitian culture. The structure of the festival is rather unique. Usually, in competitions groups performed continuously (except for lunch) the whole day (8 hours or more). Friends and family all come to enjoy the festivities but mainly to support and watch their favorite group(s). To do this, they have to sometimes sit all day just to watch their group. Te Aranui O Tahiti was designed similiar to watching your favorite movie. A designated hour is dedicated to 2 groups each performing a 30 minute program."
She goes on to explain that "...people can just buy tickets for the specific group they want to watch. It really is less stressful for everyone and of course people can choose to watch as many groups they want but at least does not have to sit through the whole day waiting. You have a more appreciative audience when they come to specifically to enjoy their group of choice."
It's this attention to detail that has allowed this event to grow and led to the decision to combine the events, now being able to complement both group and solo entries.
"Tarena Tahiti is a competition. It works 2-fold (Costume & Solo Competition). It is a costume competition (Parade of Costumes) where dancers display their choice of costume (no dancing), formal or informal a la Tahitienne. There is no limitation on creativity which makes for some fantastic results."
"The second part is solo dance (Ori) where not only is their costume evaluated but their dance skills as well. In essence, it is a complete package in that not only can you dance but also have a creative/personal style in dress. Tarena Tahiti (Tahitian Calendar) has 12 winners for representing the months of the year with the highest one scored in Costume and Solo Dance is the Cover and 1st place winner. Tarena is divided into 3 editions: Tamarii (Children 5-12 yrs), Junior (13-17 yrs), Adult (18 yrs +) each with 12 winners. This gives allowance to more dancers getting their rightful recognition rather than limiting it to just 1st, 2nd & 3rd."
"Te Aranui O Tahiti is an excellent venue for groups to exhibit performers of all levels from beginners to advance without being judged. It is one of the few venues where groups can congregate freely in a non-competitive environment."
Check back later for more updates as this event announces more information.