Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ori Tahiti Master Course

The 1st Tahitian Dance Academy "Ori Tahiti Master Course" will be held throughout the month of March 2009 by the "Conservatoire artistique de la Polynésie-Française", presented by the Ministry of Culture of French Polynesia.

The Tahitian dancing "Master Course" allows dancers to go through different stages from beginner to advanced. Dancers will not only be immersed in the "Ori Tahiti" experience, but will also learn the meaning of the Polynesian songs and the different rhythms created with Polynesian instruments.

From March 30-April 3, 2009 dancers will participate in dance practices and lessons, and ukulele, drumming and singing practices. The intensive course will introduce and hone the finer points of the art of Tahitian dance.

Class size is limited to 60 so the sooner you sign up the better. Dancers need to be 16 years old or above. Applications are available online and need to be submitted by the end of February. Course fee is 40,000 cfp (approx. $450 USD) per person. Application fee is 3,000 cfp (approx. $33 USD). Payments are required through bank transfers and account information may be found on the website.

Travel packages including airfare, hotel accommodations and transportation to and from the airport are available. Departure cities include Los Angeles and Honolulu in the US, Paris (France) and Auckland (New Zealand). Air transportation is being provided by Air Tahiti Nui. Accommodations are being provided by the Sheraton Hotel Tahiti. For all other departure cities, refer to your preferred Tahiti destination specialist.

Air Tahiti Nui and the Sheraton Hotel Tahiti are official sponsors along with Tahiti Tourisme and the government of French Polynesia.

And if you are not able to attend the first event, preparations are well under way for the 2nd "Ori Tahiti Master Course" set to take place October 26-30, 2009. Visit the official website for updates and more information.

Tahiti Taurua Nui i Las Vegas 2009

Tahitian dance, or Ori Tahiti, will again be highlighted on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. KP and Tetua Ioane, producers of the Tahiti Taurua Nui i Las Vegas, have just confirmed the dates and location for their annual event now in its 7th year. Once again UNLV's Cox Pavilion will host activities on Sunday and Monday, May 24-25, 2009.

The event includes both solo and group competitions. More details and information will be forthcoming on their official website.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tahitian dance heads to the Big Apple for parade

Our non-profit Tahitian Dance Group, MANUTAHI, is elated to announce that over 30 members of our ohana consisting of our tamarii, their mothers or aunties, our teenagers and our vahine, is headed to the BIg Apple to represent Hawaii in the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Throughout the year, our dancers have been working diligently and spent countless hours making their own costumes and learning the choreography to the Tahitian Dance portion of the routine. Training for the dance has been extra excruciating, as the dancers practiced with their heavy more' skirts to ensure that they would be able to handle the 3 mile walk in full costume, and in freezing temperatures.

Jon Riggle, Director of the Polynesian Dance Ensemble of Hawaii, brought together both Hula and Tahitian dancers from all over the state of Hawaii, to spread the Aloha and Polynesian culture to the rest of the nation through the televised syndication of the timeless and traditiona l Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

More at the Honolulu Advertiser

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tahitian Dance - Heiva Calendar Shake Up

The 2009 Tahitian dance calendar is active and full of changes. Changes starts from the switch of the Heiva i Honolulu from 2010 to 2009. The move pushes the International Heiva i Tahiti back to 2010 and was recently confirmed by Raymond Mariteragi of Tahiti Nui International (TNI), producer of both events. Next years' event dates are March 12-14, 2009. In addition, the third TNI event, Heiva i Japan, is also moving dates. The Japan event is pushing the dates back a month to September 13, 2009.

More changes have been announced by Elizabeth Bertumen, producer of Tarena Tahiti. Not only is the event moving locations, it is also changing dates. In fact the event is moving to become a complimentary event to Te Aranui O Tahiti, the other event produced by Elizabeth Bertumen. Both events will take place at San Francisco State University, April 25-26, 2009. Tarena Tahiti is a competitive soloist competition and the Te Aranui O Tahiti event is a non competitive group event.

The July 4th weekend is also seeing a shake up as well. Hura Tahiti (Cerritos, CA), traditionally towards the end of July, is moving up to July 3-4, 2009. Event organizer, Alex Tekurio, moved the event up to accommodate other events that place him and his organization in Tahiti for the largest heiva - Heiva i Tahiti. The Tahiti Fete of San Jose is also making a change from recent years. Pua Tokumoto, producer of the event, recently announced the change from a bi-annual schedule back to making it an annual event. So the Tahitian dance competition will again be in San Jose, July 3-5, 2009.

And as we close out the year with the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete (Las Vegas, NV), the last major event of 2008, we find that many of the events for the first half of 2009 have confirmed their dates and locations. Recent confirmations include the Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete (Merced, CA), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary as the longest running Tahitian dance event outside of Tahiti. Activities will take place March 27-29, 2009. That same weekend, Tamarii Tahiti Fete is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida. Applications and other information for the March 28, 2009 event will be available shortly from their website.

For the latest developments, updates and news, check back often or sign up for the Heiva-Tahiti Fete RSS newsfeed (see top of page for subscribe link). And for a list of all events, check out our Tahiti Dance Event Calendar on our website, Black Pearl Designs.

Black Pearl Designs, established in 2004, features exclusive Tahitian pareo designs and fabric, black pearl jewelry, handicrafts, monoi oil, temporary tattoos and unique accessories not only from French Polynesia, but also hidden and hard-to-find hand crafted items from Maori-Aotearoa, Fiji, Samoa and Hawaii.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete

Eric Morales, one of the organizers of the Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete, recently advised us of news concerning the upcoming 30th anniversary event. Event preparations are in full swing. A special rate for nearby hotels is also in the works and details will be announced shortly.

"In addition, since this is the 30th anniversary event, we encourage people to e-mail us photos they may have taken of friends and family during any of the past Kiki Raina Fetes. These photos will be included in our program."

"Also, this year our fete would like to promote Polynesian Culture in a new fashion as we continue expanding our event program to publish artwork, poetry, essays, and/or short fiction that highlights Polynesia in any way, shape, or form. People may write about their experiences in creating their halau, about joining a specific halau, about what Polynesian culture means to them, about events in their lives that showcase the Aloha Spirit, or they can simply tell a story that relates to Polynesia in some way. Another interesting venue to take would be to write about a specific folktale or legend about the Polynesian Islands that they would like to share with the 2,000 people attending the event. Because folktales and legends are impossible to attribute to a single author and are by nature inconstant, it is possible to rewrite and/or illustrate them without infringing on any copyrights."

"All accepted work will be published with Limited Rights. This means that any work that makes it into our program will remain the intellectual property of the writer/artist."

"All written work will be edited by a PhD student in Folklore from Indiana Bloomington University - the premiere folklore institute in the nation. Valuable insights into story structure and sentence diagramming will be provided."

"Those who have their work published will receive a free program featuring their entry as well as a certificate from the Kiki Raina Event."

"This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring writers/artists to begin to have their work reviewed and published, which looks great on university applications, in portfolios, and on query letters to future publishers. Most importantly though, this is a way to keep the Polynesian Culture alive and thriving."

The 2009 event will take place March 27-29, 2009 and will again take place at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Advance purchase tickets are available - 3 Day Pass (advanced sale only - Adult $35, Child $25; Children (5-12) $10; Adult (13 and up) $15. Tickets available at the door - Children (5-12) $12, Adult (13 and up) $17. Advance tickets will be available up until March 23, 2009. Tickets are limited.

For more information, contact the event organizer, Becky Manandic, call Pacifica at (209) 726-1925 or visit their website at www.kikiraina.com.