Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Event - 1st Annual Heiva 'Ai 'Ai

Mark your calendar for the 1st "Heiva 'Ai 'Ai"! Saturday, May 29, 2010. If you are hungering for more knowledge ('Ai 'Ai), then check out this new event that will take place at St Louis High School Gymnasium on Oahu, Hawaii. The event features a solo vahine and tane competition, group ahuroa and ahupurotu competition, well as the 1st Annual Miss Heiva 'Ai 'Ai pageant (ages 18-25).

Interested? Email us or send a message and we'll pass on the application once it is released.

The event is produced by Roiti Sylva and Blanche (Tera'i) Hanohano. Both are well established competition judges and have been an integral part in growing the Tahitian dance community.

This is an all day event filled with music, dance, food, and fun.

Deadline for dancer/group applications is March 5, 2010. Payment is due the following week March 12, 2010. Don't be late as there are no exceptions. Applications for Miss Heiva 'Ai 'Ai are due April 1, 2010. In addition, vendors are invited to showcase your crafts and talents in an audience always interested in Polynesian cultural handicrafts.

More information, guidelines and application coming soon.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

8th Annual Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas

Dates for the 8th Annual Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas have been announced by event organizers KP & Tetua Ioana. Event activities will take place over Memorial Day weekend - May 29-30, 2010 at the Cox Pavilion (UNLV) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event features both solo and group competition as well as a Mr. and Ms. Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas pageant. Gates open at 10 am and close at 6 pm both days. Tickets are $20 per person per day (children 2-12 $15 each) and may be purchased at the box office, calling (702) 739-FANS (3267) or (866) 388-FANS (3267) or online at

Applications are also available online for downloading. Visit the official event website to download.

Sponsor hotels for Heiva i Honolulu announced, more...

Tahitian dance competitions are already gearing up for 2010. Tahiti Nui International has announced two hotel sponsors for Heiva i Honolulu 2010. The event will take place over spring break (March 18-20) at the Waikiki Shell. Already, there are at least 10 hura ava tau groups and 6 hura tau groups that have signed up for the competition including last years overall group Ia Ora Tahiti Nui and well known groups such as Te Vai Ura Nui, Maohi Nui, Manutahi Tahiti, Tiare Heipua, Otea Kia Mana, Te Mana O Te Ra, Healii's Polynesian Revue, and Heretama Nui among others.

Sponsor hotels include the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio. The hotel is offering rates starting at $109 a night. Book early as the prices go up the closer it gets to the event. (Click here to download reservation form)

Additionally Cabana Vacation Suites is offering an $89 rate. Book by January 31, 2010 and mention the promo code TNIH.

"In assisting with the record number of groups already signed up to perform, we have partnered up with not one, but two hotels to accommodate guests. Whether you are a local looking to have a convenient close location to keep all your costumes, house staff, use as a base or a group coming from the mainland or Japan, this is a great savings opportunity."

Even in the down economy the amount of participation for next years event is much higher. Official website will be updated shortly with details and additional information. If you haven't already done it, you can download rules/regulations and applications for the event on the event website. Stay tuned for more updates as the event date gets closer.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A Letter from Ravahere Allred - Kori Kori Tahiti Fete

Dear friends,

I would like to express to you my gratitude for coming and for supporting us during Korikori and Miss Pearls of Polynesia this year!

I would like to take this time to tell you that I am truly grateful for each and everyone of you that came and support our events.

I understand that the economy is bad and that some of you made sacrifices to be a part of Korikori and Miss Pearls of Polynesia and I would like to tell you Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thank you very much for all your support. I feel really blessed that you came to support our festivities.

This year was our second year, we are still learning but we promise a better Korikori Next year! We hope that you enjoyed your time with us!!

We wish you for this Christmas and New Year to come, great health, happiness, lots of love, laughter and success in all that you do because you all deserve it very much!

Thank you for bringing forward our culture, we are so proud to have people like you to represent us so Well!

Once and a million time again!
Mauru'uru roa!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Best Dancer of Heiva i Tahiti - Matahi Vairaa - Ori Tahiti Workshop

One of Tahiti's premier dancers is coming to Hawaii to conduct in depth workshops from November 23 - December 12, 2009.

Named Best Dancer of the Heiva i Tahiti (2002) and the Beachcomber Mini Heiva (2001), Matahi Vairaa

Ori Tahiti workshop with Matahi Vairaa for men & boys wanting to learn traditional techniques, proper footwork, and otea choreography. Two levels of classes, beginners and advanced. Each class is 2 hours and each session is $70.

For more information and to sign up for a workshop, contact Christopher Ramento (808 853-7125) or email

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hura Tahiti 2010

Looking to the 2010 Tahitian dance calendar, we have the Hura Tahiti 2010 dates hosted by Hope International University in Fullerton, California on June 18-19. This will be the sixth year that Alex Tekurio, ra'atira of the award-winning group Hitia O Te Ra will be producing the event.

This past June, intense competition in the 5th annual event led to Manuia Polynesia taking the overall group award. But Nemenzo, Le Polynesia, Te Mana O Te Ra, and Te Pura O Te Rahura'a were close behind. Overall Vahine - Evlyn Bustamante of Da Island Way and Overall Tane - Glenn Salonga of Manuia Polynesia will also be hard pressed to repeat next year.

Applications are now available on the website and additional information about special hotel rates and schedule will be forthcoming. Check back periodically for updates.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ori Tahiti Solo Competition in Kona

If you want to take a break from all the Christmas shopping, hustle and bustle, and enjoy the last Tahitian dance event of the year, head over to Kona.

Mahealani Lee of Polynesian Paradise announced recently that a new Tahitian dance solo competition will be occurring in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island next month, Saturday, December 19, 2009. The Kona International Marketplace will host the event that will start at 10:00 am and run until sunset.

The event is in part a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dance group. It will be Kona's first Tahitian dance competition. The entire event is free and open to the general public to attend. All day entertainment, food and fun.

Registration forms are now available online at the Polynesian Paradise website. Registration deadline is December 5, 2009.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Miss Pearls of Polynesia/Kori Kori Tahiti Fete

The Kori Kori Tahiti Fete is sold out! according to information provided by producer Ravahere Allred. Events are scheduled to start on Thursday and run through Sunday, November 12-15, 2009 and take place at the Horn Theater on the College of Southern Nevada-Cheyenne Campus (3200 East Cheyenne Ave).

On Thursday, Tumata Robinson will be holding a dance workshop. This will be followed on Friday by the 2nd Miss Pearls of Polynesia Pageant. Tickets for both activities are still available. Tickets for the pageant are $20, children 3-10 are $10.

Last year, Dina Here Auneau became the first Miss Pearls of Polynesia. This year, 10 young women are vying for the crown. They include:

1. Jasmin Jade Anes from Teoraroa Otea of San Francisco
2. Alyssa Acfalle from Siosi of San Diego
3. Ariel Dille from Tevakanui of Las Vegas
4. Angela Sencil from Hui Tama Nui
5. Ashley Inguito from Manuia Polynesia
6. Heali'i Stanley from Heali'i Polynesia Revue of San Diego
7. Sabrina Liufau from Nonosina of Anaheim
8. Lucie Wilson from Ranihere of Laie, Hawaii
9. Constance Anna Palelei from Tevakanui of Las Vegas
10. Michelle Baker from Nemenzo of Daly City

The girls will be competing in a number of categories including interview, talent, swimsuit, and gown. Total prizes total over $10,000 including a round trip ticket to Tahiti. In addition, the girls will have the opportunity to be in the planned upcoming Miss Pearls of Polynesia calendar.

The following day, Saturday, group and solo competition begin. Activities start at 11:00 am and run to 8:00 pm. On Sunday, the competition will conclude. After the awards ceremony, a special show by Nonosina will take place. Separate admission is required and tickets are still available ($20 in advance $25 at the door for Adults, Under 10 $10 and $15).

A special VIP After Party will take place in the evening.

For any questions and additional information, please contact Ravahere Allred (702) 336-8988 or visit the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete official website.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kaneohe to host 1st Annual Mehetia Fete

It's been almost 10 years since a Tahitian dance competition has occurred on the Windward side of Oahu. This Saturday, October 17, King Intermediate will be the site of Kaneohe's 1st Annual Mehetia Fete. The event is produced by Mehetia Productions' Charelle Silva and will feature a soloist and group competition.

Tickets are $12, 3 and up. Doors open at 2:00 pm.

Event Schedule

1:00 pm Soloists Check-In back Entrance
2:00 pm Gym and Booths open to the Public
2:30 pm Greetings & Welcome, Introduce Judges
Tamari‘i Division:
ages 2 - 4 yrs: Tamahine & Tamaroa (Exhibition)
5 - 7 yrs: Tamahine & Tamaroa
8 - 10 yrs: Tamahine & Tamaroa

Taure‘are‘a Division:
ages 11 - 13 yrs: Tamahine & Tamaroa
14 - 17 yrs: Tamahine & Tamaroa

Vahine/Tane Division:
ages 18 – 21 yrs: Vahine & Tane
22 – 26 yrs: Vahine & Tane
27 – 35 yrs: Vahine & Tane

Ta‘ata Pa‘ari Division:
ages 36yrs+: Vahine & Tane

3:55 pm TAMA TOA – Tamari‘i – ‘Ote‘a Division
Tino Moe (Ra’atira pupu) – Kaneohe, HI

4:10 pm MANUTAHI – Tamari‘i – ‘Ote‘a Division
Debra Pola Teriipaia (Ra’atira pupu) – Wahiawa, HI

4:25 pm MARANIA HAORAGI PUPU ORI – Tamari‘i – ‘Ote‘a Division
Tahia Parker (Ra’atira pupu) – Honolulu, HI


Program ends at approximately 6:00 pm

For the most up to date information, check the official site for details.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Counting down to Heiva i Honolulu 2010

In just a couple of weeks, the Heiva i Honolulu new 2010 website will be going live. Applications for vendors, dance groups and soloists will be available for the March 18-20, 2010 event at the Waikiki Shell.

Several major dance groups both in Hawaii and the mainland have indicated that they are preparing to come to next years event to compete.

Tahiti Nui International, the organizer behind the event is also looking to have a few additional exhibition performances for Polynesian groups not wanting to compete but wanting to participate in the event.

This years featured dancer is Te Mana O Te Ra's Charity Offril, who was the 2009 Overall Vahine Soloist. Details about the event will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gearing up for Kori Kori Tahiti Fete

Ravahere Allred, producer of the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete has recently released detailed information about this years event. Taking place over the November 13-15, 2009 weekend, activities include Tahitian dance workshops by Tumata Robinson, soloist and group competitions, and the Miss Pearls of Polynesia beauty pageant. Also announced is a featured show by the Anaheim, California group - Nonosina.

Activities actually begin on Thursday. Tumata Robinson, a former leader of the acclaimed group Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti and current director of her own group Tahiti Ora will be conducting the Tahitian dance workshops on Thursday and Friday. The workshops will be followed by the Miss Pearls of Polynesia beauty pageant. Last year Dina Auneau walked away with the crown at the first annual event.

Saturday will feature the soloist and group competition. The competition will conclude on Sunday. The awards ceremony will follow. In the afternoon, Nonosina will present their show and a dinner/dance will conclude the activities.

A special room rate for the event has been arranged at the Circus Circus hotel (1-800 634-3450). Just mention the group promo code B11MPP and mention Miss Pearls of Polynesia/Kori Kori Tahiti Fete for the special rate. Visit the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete website for more information, applications and contacting the producer.

The Kori Kori Tahiti Fete is the last major Tahitian dance competition of the year. It takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be the second annual event after last years premier. Additional information will be forthcoming.


Kori Kori Tahiti Fete Entrance Fee: $10.00

Nonosina Show: $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. $10.00 in advance for kids under 10 and $15.00 at the door.

Miss Pearls of Polynesia: $20.00 for Adults, $10.00 kids under 10

Tahitian Dance classes by TUMATA ROBINSON: $50.00 for 2 Hours session

Sunday Evening 15th November, 2009 8.00 pm to 11.30 pm
Dance floor and DJ. ONLY 100 TICKETS FOR SALE. Buy your tickets today!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Heiva i Kauai 2010 announced

Heiva i Kauai has announced tentative dates for their event next year. Again being held at Kapa'a Beach Park, activities will take place over the July 31-August 1, 2010 weekend. It will again feature solo and group competition, drumming, craft and food vendors. For more information, visit their official website. Heiva i Kauai is produced by Tepairu and Sally Jo Manea.

Heiva i Hilo canceled

It had a promising start but event organizer Kahealani Kapana recently announced that the first Heiva i Hilo event planned for March next year will not occur. Citing several factors, she reluctantly decided that it wasn't going to work out. The logistics, group schedules, permits and timing all contributed to the decision.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Heiva i Maui set to take the Stage

With summer winding down it doesn't mean that Tahitian dance is as well. Quite the opposite. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16, 2009, Heiva i Maui will take place at the War Memorial Gymnasium in Wailuku.

Event director Lolita Eugenio has organized the 12th annual event to feature local Tahitian dance and drumming groups, Polynesian crafters and local food vendors. Advance tickets are available for $10 (children 6 and under are free). Call (808) 250-0737 for more information. At the door, tickets are $15.

Results for Heiva i Kauai 2009

Tahitian dance groups from Oahu and Kauai vied for top honors in this years Heiva i Kauai. Event activities took place at the Kapa'a Beach Park over the August 1-2, 2009 weekend. The 8th annual event is organized and produced by Tapairu & Jo Manea and Stella Miyoshi.

Overall soloist awards went to Manuel Trujillo (Overall Junior Tane), Poerava Lee (Overall Junior Vahine), Julian Maeva (Overall Senior Tane), and Lani Figaroa (Overall Senior Vahine). Awards for each age group were also awarded and are listed below.

Te 'E'a O Te Turama (Maile Lee) of Oahu, took several group awards including the Overall Group award. While Manutahi Tahiti (Pola Teriipaia) took top honors for their Ote'a presentation.

Complete results are below. For a look at past results for events, visit Tahitian Dance.

Overall Junior Tane Soloist
Manuel Trujillo of Ta'ere Tia'i

Overall Junior Vahine Soloist
Poerava Lee of Te 'E'a O Te Turama

Overall Senior Tane Soloist
Julian Maeva of Manutahi Tahiti

Overall Senior Vahine Soloist
Lani Figaroa of Ori Uviira

Age 4-6 Tamaroa
1. Qandon Josue of Te 'E'a O Te Turama

Age 4-6 Tamahine
1. Nicole Graham of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Taylor Acosta of Manutahi Tahiti
3. Jayda Candelaria - Independent

Age 7-9 Tamaroa
1. Oviri Avaeoru-Villatora of Ta'ere Tia'i

Age 7-9 Tamahine
1. Jade Anton of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Tia Takasaki of Halau Hula o Leilani
3. Sophia Rivera of Ilima Rivera's Hula Studio

Age 10-12 Tamaroa
1. Manuel Trujillo of Ta'ere Tia'i
2. Tamatoa Uta of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
3. Kainoah Ferris of Ilima Rivera's Hula Studio

Age 10-12 Tamahine
1. Poerava Lee of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Caramia Kricken of Te Ora Roa Otea
3. Tahra-Leo Kaui of Ilima Rivera's Hula Studio

Age 13-15 Tane
1. Emmsley Drake of Rohotu
2. Zacchaus Uta of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
3. Kamuela Ferris of Ilima Rivera's Hula Studio

Age 13-15 Vahine
1. Tara Teriipaia of Manutahi Tahiti
2. Kristie Pii Matias of Tamatea Nui
3. Victoria Rivera of Ilima Rivera's Hula Studio

Age 16-18 Tane
1. Kainalu Tolentino of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Ranson Lee of Manutahi Tahiti

Age 16-18 Vahine
1. Chelsea Clement of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Kalei Onzuka of Maohi Nui
3. Jessy Lasala of Nonosina

Age 19-25 Tane
1. Julian Maeva of Manutahi Tahiti
2. Mikaele Oloa of Manutahi Tahiti

Age 19-25 Vahine
1. Lani Figaroa of Ori Uviira
2. Candace Laamea of Rohotu
3. Keana Camense of Manutahi Tahiti

Age 26-39 Tane
1. Nicolas Kaneakua of Ori Uviira
2. William Maycong of Kaiko Boy Entertainment
3. Mahiai Kekumu of Te 'E'a O Te Turama

Age 26-39 Vahine
1. Shannon Daliva of Ori Uviira
2. Marie Kricken of Te Ora roa Otea

Age 40+ Tane
1. Lawakua Gabriel of Manutahi Tahiti

Age 40+ Vahine
1. Anuenue Mose of Lumana'i O Polenisia

Group Awards

Te 'E'a O Te Turama of Kaneohe, Oahu

1. Te 'E'a O Te Turama of Kaneohe, HI
2. Ori Uviira of Kapa'a, HI

1. Manutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
2.Tamatea Nui O Kauai of Lihue, HI

1. Te 'E'a O Te Turama of Kaneohe, HI

1. Manutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
2. Te 'E'a O Te Turama of Kaneohe HI
3. Tamatea Nui O Kauai of Lihue, HI

Friday, August 07, 2009

Las Vegas welcomes Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti

It's not everyday that one of Tahiti's most influentially progressive and visually entertaining Tahitian dance groups comes to the mainland, but this weekend Las Vegas will host Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti in two shows at the Clark County Library Theater (1401 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119). The two shows will be tomorrow, Saturday August 8, 2009 at 4:30 and 7:30 pm. General admission tickets are $40. A limited amount of deluxe ($60) and premium seating ($100) is also available for both shows. Call (702) 686-5448 for more information. Tickets may also be purchased online at the sponsoring dance group website - Te Ata Ura.

Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti is featuring their new show "Maimiti". The group is known for their vivid costumes, complex choreography, stunning visuals, technical expertise and dramatic music.

In addition to the performances, workshops are reported to be held on Sunday, August 9, 2009. For more information, purchasing tickets and details, contact Steven Silulu at (702) 686-5448 or email him at SNK@TEATAURA.COM

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bringing a taste of Tahiti to Kauai

The members of Tamatea Nui O Kaua'i hear the beat of Tahitian drums in their sleep and find themselves tapping the rhythms wherever they go.

The Tahitian drumming and hula group has been studying under drum-making master Tepairu Manea, and after just four months, they're ready to perform at the 8th Annual Heiva I Kauai Iorana Tahiti, an international Tahitian dance competition.

More of the story at the Honolulu Advertiser

More to come on the events of the 8th Annual Heiva i Kauai coming soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Horizons sets for last time

This will be somewhat of a departure from the way I've reported in the past. A little more personal being that I danced at the Polynesian Cultural Center for 5 years, two evening shows - Mana! and Horizons, the Ali'i Luau and Ancient Legends of Polynesia canoe show.

It's kind of sad to think that the Polynesian Cultural Center's evening show Horizons is no more. The last show was Thursday, July 23, 2009. Countless students have taken part in the production over the past 14 years. It was the longest running evening show in the Center's history. As one of those who took part in the opening and production run of the new show, it is bitter sweet to say the least. Looking at the final shows and comparing them to the first few years, there are many, many differences.

Actually the last few years are completely different from the past. It's as if they were actually two different shows. Many numbers were cut or replaced and dance costumes changed. I think the Hawaii, Fiji and Maori probably saw the most changes. Remember the malo's for the men in Hawaii or the bow ties (did I just say bow ties)? How about the Kava ceremony in Fiji? And the Maori section just had a different feel all together. Not that either is better, just different.

Starting the Horizons show right after the last show of Mana! The Spirit of our People was a test and challenge for the Center. I can remember Newell Dayley (the original producer) working behind the scenes with the section dance instructors. He got the whole production rolling and mapped out what needed to be done to make the transition. Differences in opinion and a cool audience response led to a quick learning curve once the show finally opened, behind schedule (as Ha-The Breathe of Life has also proven and just about every other Center production) and including countless late night rehearsals. He was caught between management and culture. The original Horizons had a dramatic take similar to Polynesian Odyssey (the only IMAX production the Center has ever produced). Dramatic lighting, smoke and water effects enhanced the action on stage sometimes leading to overshadowing the culture. The unrealistic pressure to make a spectacularly better show than Mana! probably contributed to the problems that the show had in the beginning.

The $2 million dollar start up costs for the costumes, stage modifications, new lighting and rehearsal and development were looking to be a financial money pit. With a new producer came a whole new set of costumes, music and production numbers. A new opening sequence and the dropping of the approach to the theme also took place. It was an entirely new show. Enter Horizons - Where the Sea Meets the Sky 2.0

In any event, the heart and soul of any of the shows I was involved with was the section instructors, assistants and theater managers (Delsa Moe, Raymond Mariteragi, Eti Eves, Billy Tenney and David Tiave). I can't begin to let them know how much they made the show what it was and for teaching not only the dances, but the culture. Nikki Wallace (Maori), Keith Awai (Hawaii), Vai Fa'amaligi (Samoa), Regina Pasi (Tahiti), Fasi Tovo (Tonga), and Joe Tulele (Fiji). I have missed seeing these uncles and aunties and their influence, knowledge of the culture, encouragement and discipline. Auntie Nikki and Auntie Vai have sadly since passed away. Sometimes I have a chance to catch up with Regina and Keith but there are times I miss being backstage and being in that environment. It's an experience that if you have the opportunity, you should not miss.

Flash forward 6 months later. A new producer a new approach. Tommy Taurima, a New Zealand Maori dance group producer took the reigns. Known probably most for his song - Terina, Uncle Tommy was a larger than life character, both physically and figuratively. I do not know where he is, but I suspect he is back in New Zealand. He remade the show and let the instructors do what they do best - teach and choreograph. The Horizons 2.0 production even had his signature song - Terina in the Maori section.

Sadly, Horizons marked the change from relying on the instructors behind the scenes. After the changes, the instructors were moved back to the island villages. Even though we had the theater managers and section assistants, there was something definitely missing. I'll just leave it at that.

Flash forward to 2009 - Horizons 3.0+. Is it me or does it seem that there are less dancers? Budget cutbacks (probably because of the $3 million price tag for the new show), I assume. A new generation of dancers has taken the stage. Thinking that some of these dancers are my friends kids is kind of depressing. Am I that old? After countless performances, dancers, ushers, tech crews, seamstresses, and support staff, Horizons has finally set for the last time at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I can only hope that those involved in the new show will be able to enjoy their time there as much as I did.


I couldn't close without thinking and writing about some of the memorable moments I had.
  • Opening night (Horizons 1.0) I hit my eyebrow while swinging my patu. At least I think it was my patu and not the guy next to me. Came backstage after the number and couldn't see because the blood was coming down over my eye.
  • Eating fresh hot French bread and Samoan coco back stage on cold and rainy nights.
  • Cast meetings
  • Sitting on the top of the mountain waiting to light the torches and watching the stars and talking with the guys.
  • Haka farewells
  • Dancing in the rain
  • Termite nights (try not to sing or open your mouth)
  • Listening to Lamar (MC)
  • Taking a break in the (air conditioned) instructors office
  • Forgetting that the line up switched and I was supposed to be in the Hau'ula tunnel instead of the Kahuku tunnel.
  • Getting haircuts backstage
  • Getting fingers smashed with the kala'au sticks
  • Getting hit by errant titi torea sticks (from 2 girls over!)
  • The opening water curtain and the audience oooohing and aaaahing
  • Double shows (I hear they haven't had them for quite awhile, but we had them often when I was there)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Heiva i Tahiti 2009 results

This years Heiva i Tahiti event was extremely competitive with both new groups and award winning veterans returning to compete. In the end, it was one of the more younger groups that prevailed. Hei Tahiti, an innovative and award winning dance group led by Tiare Trompette was crowned Heiva Nui Grand Prize. Established in 2005, the group has not competed in the event since 2006 when it was awarded the Junior Grand Prize. In addition, Hei Tahiti also was awarded Best Costume, Best Music (Heritage) and Best Solo Tane (Daniel Faatauira).

Tamariki Oparo, led by Pierrot Faraire came in second and O Tahiti E, led by Marguerite Lai rounded out the top three. Both groups have been consistent award winners and are world renown for their dramatic and creative Tahitian dance performances.

The prestigious title of Best Solo Vahine went to Manihiki Poroi of Kei Tawhiti.

In the Junior or amateur division, Hitireva claimed 1st place.

Preliminary results of the 2009 Heiva i Tahiti:

Heiva Nui - Madeleine Moua - Division
1. Hei Tahiti
(Tiare Trompette)
2. Tamariki Oparo (
Pierrot Faraire)
3. O Tahiti E (
Marguerite Lai)

Heiva - Claire Leverd - Division
1. Hitireva (Kelaulani Chanquy)

Best Solo Tane
Daniel Faatauira of Hei Tahiti

Best Solo Vahine
Manihiki Poroi of Kei Tawhiti

Best Vegetal Costume
Tamariki Poerani (Makau Foster)

Best Costume
Hei Tahiti (Tiare Trompette)

Tarava Raromatai
Association Vaihoataua

Best Music - Heritage
Hei Tahiti (Tiare Trompette)

Best Music - Creation
Heikura Nui (Iriti Hoto)

Best Himene Ruau
Association Vaihoataua

Best Song Author
Tamarii Matai

Best Vahine Aparima
Tamariki Poerani (Makau Foster)

Best Tane Aparima
O Tahiti E (Marguerite Lai)

Best Vahine Otea
Tamariki Poerani (Makau Foster)

Best Tane Otea
Hitireva (Kelaulani Chanquy)

Best Paoa
Te Maeva (Coco Hotahota)

Best Hivinau
Kei Tawhiti (Maire Tuia)

Best Ute Arearea
Tamariki Poerani (Makau Foster)

More information and coverage at La Depeche de Tahiti

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More photos of Heiva i Tahiti 2009

Here are a few galleries from La Depeche de Tahiti of Heiva i Tahiti 2009

Group Gallery
Soloist Gallery

New Matahi Gallery

Results of the event will be available shortly.

Farereiraa 2009

Farereiraa 2009 took place this past weekend. Soloists performed with their respective dance groups and competed for top solo honors. The event was organized by Coco Hotahota and was held after the 127th annual Heiva i Tahiti events concluded. The US and Japanese dance groups performed and participated in cultural workshops and exchanges during their stay in Tahiti.

Partial results of the soloist competition:

Junior Tane
Dane Dejes of Otea Api

Junior Vahine

Senior Tane
Justin (Froggie) Atangan of Nemenzo

Senior Vahine
Katrina Dejesis of Otea Api

More information and gallery at La Depeche de Tahiti

Photos of the International Faarereiraa in Papeete

Here is a small gallery of photos from the recent Faarereiraa in Papeete by Tahiti Presse. This event featured close to 600 dancers from The US and Japan. Soloists and groups competed in the event. The dance groups also are participating in other exhibitions throughout the islands. Groups involved included Here Tama Nui (Honolulu) and Manutahi (Wahiawa), Nemenzo (Daly City), Otea Api (Fremont), Hitia O Te Ra (Garden Grove) and Mahana O Te Ra (Japan).

The event took place over this past weekend, July 18-20, 2009. And was held in following the Heiva i Tahiti competition where French Polynesia groups competed. Results of the Heiva i Tahiti will be announced this evening.

More information at Tahiti Presse

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Photo Gallery of 2009 Heiva i Tahiti

Here is a large photo gallery of the 2009 Heiva i Tahiti by Life is Love. Photos are divided into dates and groups. All photos are copyrighted by the photographer.

Also, here is a tentative schedule for the remaining dance group performances at Place To'ata. Chanting performances are placed in between major dance performances.

Thursday, July 16
7 pm - Pereaito
9 pm - Hei Tahiti (Tiare Trompette)

Friday, July 17
7 pm - Hura Apetahi
8:30 pm - Tamarii Teahupoo
9:30 pm - Temaeva (Fabien Dinard / Coco Hotahota)

Saturday, July 18
7 pm - Kei Tawhiti (Maire Tuia)
9:30 pm - Tamariki Oparo (Makau Foster)

Thursday, July 23
Awards Ceremonies

Friday, July 24
Closing Ceremonies

International Cultural Farereiraa

Five US Tahitian dance groups and 1 from Japan will compete in the International Cultural Farereiraa (gathering) in Papeete, Tahiti. The groups competing include Nemenzo (San Francisco), Ote'a Api (Freemont), Hitia O Te Ra (Los Angeles), Here Tama Nui and Manutahi (Hawaii). Mahana O Te Ra is coming from Japan. Events will take place July 18-20 at Place To'ata.

Te Fare Tauhiti Nui and Coco Hotahota organizated the event to share the passion of Tahitian dance with foreign groups. Both soloists and groups will compete. Approximately 600 dancers are reported to be participating.

More reporting at La Depeche de Tahiti

Ahutoru Nui and O Tahiti E perform at Heiva i Tahiti

Ahutoru Nui and O Tahiti E performed on the third day (July 13) of competition in the 127th Annual Heiva i Tahiti. Performances took place at Place To'ata at the Papeete waterfront. Both groups have been grande champions of the event in past years and both showed why they earned their titles.

Anthony Tirao, ra'atira of Ahutoru Nui and Marguerite Lai & Moanaura Teheiura of O Tahiti E created their performances based on themes and stories. The large groups sported extravagant costumes and exhibited some of the most creative and vivid dance numbers sure to make judging very difficult.

More information and photos at La Depeche de Tahiti

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Heiva i Tahiti 2009 begins

Tahiti's most colorful event of the year, Heiva I Tahiti, has started. This Festival, which includes among other things traditional dance contest, javelin throwing, outrigger canoe races and stone-lifting, is now in full swing.

This year some of the most prestigious Tahitian dance groups will return for the dancing and singing contest.

More at Tahiti Presse

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ninth Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti Festival

The Polynesian Cultural Center hosted their annual tamari'i dance competition, Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti this past weekend in Laie, Hawaii. Approximately 100 soloist dancers 18 years and younger competed in the solo event. Tamari'i (children) groups from Laie and Honolulu competed in aparima/ahuroa and otea events.

Overall soloist awards went to Amaya Joy Panajon of Pupu O Te Iti Ra and Nonosina Hawaii's Jordan Mariteragi took the top honors for the overall male dancer.

Additional reporting at the Honolulu Advertiser

Preliminary results are posted below:

Group Competition

Tamari'i Aparima/Ahupurotu
Age 3-11
1. Te Hamata

Age 12-18
1. Nonosina Hawaii
2. Te Hamata

Tamari'i Otea
Age 12-18
1. Nonosina Hawaii
2. Te Hamata
3. Marania Haoragi

Solo Competition

Overall Soloists
Amaya Joy Panajon of Pupu O Te Iti Ra

Jordan Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii

Age 3-4 Tane
1. Shaun Niu of Te Hamata

Age 5-6 Vahine
1. Jazzylyn Samuseva of Marania Haoragi
2. Hiriei Toilolo of Te Hamata
3. Azeriah Coleman of Marania Haoragi

Age 5-6 Tane
1. Jason Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii
2. Ifalemi Lauaki of Nonosina Hawaii

Age 7-8 Vahine
1. Amaya Joy Panajon of Pupu O Te Iti Ra
2. Brielle Leiataua of Nonosina Hawaii
3. Teeya Lei of Nonosina Hawaii

Age 7-8 Tane
1. Teahu Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii
2. Mykle Keni of Nonosina Hawaii
3. Micah Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii

Age 9-11 Vahine
1. Chloe Pojas of Manutahi Tahiti
2. Kelene Tapusoa of Te Hamata
3. Shelby Tominaga of Marania Haoragi

Age 9-11 Tane
1. Jordan Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii
2. Teancum Kaitoku of Nonosina Hawaii
3. Ethan Magalei of Nonosina Hawaii

Age 12-13 Taure'are'a Vahine
1. Macy Panajon of Pupu O Te Iti Ra
2. Tylo Thompson of Nonosina Hawai'i
3. Sara Liva of Pupu Ote Iti Ra

Age 14-15 Taure'are'a Vahine
1. Jazmine Emerson of Nonosina Hawai'i
2. Shanelle Ramelb of Pupu O Te Iti Ra
3. Ciera Dutro of Pupu O Te Iti Ra

Age 16-18 Taure'are'a Vahine
1. Chelsea Clement of Te E'a O Te Turama
2. Kawahineha'aheo Oliver of Urahutia Productions
3. Kalei Onzuka of Maohi Nui

Heiva i Kauai craft vendor space available

With less than a month left until Heiva i Kauai takes place, craft vendor space is limited but there are still a few booth spaces available. The event is taking place over the weekend of August 1-2, 2009 at the Kapa'a Beach Park in Kapa'a, Kauai. Admission is $5 a day at the door. Children age 6 and under are free.

Craft vendor booths are $150 for both festival days. The price includes 2 passes, a tent, table, and bench. For more information, call 808 652-8574. This is a great opportunity for Polynesian craftsman to show their wares at an affordable price to customers who share their interests.

Heiva i Kauai is produced by Tepairu and Sally Jo Manea.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

California-based Tahitian dance group will perform for Tahiti Festival

Californian dance group, "Tekurio Nui", led by ra'atira Mapuhi "Tuku" Tekurio and specializing in Tahitian dance is in French Polynesia for a few days.

The dance group plans to perform several times during its stay and has a special relation with the "Ahutoru Nui" dance group from Tahiti's east coast commune of Arue.

Both dance groups will perform together for the annual Tahiti Festival.

More at Tahiti Presse

Sunday, July 05, 2009

2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete results

The 2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete happened this past March but we just were able to update. Mauru'uru to Becky Mandanic and Eric Morales for the information and keeping us updated. Scheduled for next March will be the 31st Annual event happening from March 26-28, 2010. Watch for more information and updates as the date gets closer.

Soloist Awards

Miss Maeva
Sarah Niualiku of Tiare O Te Ao

Mr Maeva
Carlos Acosta of Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua

Maeva Iti
Myshka Nichole Javier of Kawailehua Hula Ohana

Overall Junior Vahine
Lorie Anne Pamatmat of Da Island Way

Overall Senior Vahine
Colie Amen of Tamari'i Matairea

Overall Junior Tane
Trevor Tutera'I Manaois of Ote'a Api

Overall Senior Tane
Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo

Couples Tamure
Charlie Currameng and Crystal Nguyen of Ote'a Api

Age 10-12 Beginning Vahine
1. Toni Moreland of E Honu Iti E
2. Celine Moreland of Tamari'i Matairea
3. Kalina Ramos-Santiago of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
4. Isabel Flores of Tiare O Te Ao

Age 10-12 Beginning Tane
1. Harold Lopa of E Honu Iti E
2. Nikko Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
Alfonzo Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia

Age 10-12 Advanced Vahine
1. Lorie Ann Pamartmat of Da Island Way
2. Jessica Briones of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Caramia Kricken - Independent

Age 10-12 Advanced Tane
1. Arnel Boquiren of Here Hau
2. Jeremiah Quilantang of Tamari'i Matairea
3. Jason Wong of Ote'a Api

Age 13-15 Beginning Vahine
1. Kylie Rufino of Te Ora Roa
2. Sherlyn Gallo of E Honu Iti E
3. Erica Punahele Petrowsky of LeiIsa
4. Rhiannon Smith of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a

Age 13-15 Beginning Tane
1. Lorenzo Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
2. Cory Jose of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
3. JP Corpuz of Kawailehua Hula Ohana

Age 13-15 Advanced Vahine
1. Katelyn Salvador of Te Ora Roa
2. Avangelina Balangit of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Melanee Tano of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
4. Aolani Etu of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

Age 13-15 Advanced Tane
1. Trevor Tutera'I Manaois of Ote'a Api
2. Jojo Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
3. Xavier Guerrero of Tamari'i Matairea

Age 16-18 Beginning Vahine
1. Chelsea Hill of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
2. Christina Wood of Nemenzo
3. Jacqueline Cortez of Te Ora Roa
4. Marianne Aumenlado of Te Poe O Patitifa

Age 16-18 Beginning Tane
1. Andrew Gallo of E Honu Iti E
2. Nick Figueira of E Honu Iti E
3. Julius Corpuz of Te Ora Roa

Age 16-18 Advanced Vahine
1. Heiti Schofield of Te Ora Roa
2. Juliette Manois of Ote'a Api
3. Kaleialohaonalani Tanaka of Te Ora Roa
4. Allyssa Hernandez of Ote'a Api

Age 16-18 Advanced Tane
1. Talton Pedregosa of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
2. Duane De Jesus of Ote'a Api
3. Jerrod Menenses of Manuia Polynesia

Age 19-24 Beginning Vahine
1. Danielle Poquis of Ehulani's Ote'a
2. Maryanne Mayo of Nemenzo
3. Mary Grace Slador of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
4. Geraldine Masters of LeiIsa

Age 19-24 Beginning Tane
1. Brandon Evangelista of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
2. Olin Petere Kaleo 'Okalani Caban of Te Ohipa Pa'ari O Haruru
3. Michale Devonia of Te Ora Roa

Age 19-24 Advanced Vahine
1. Michelle Tarleton of Kawailehua Hula Ohana
2. Natalie Flores of Te Ora Roa
3. Michelle Baker of Nemenzo
4. Abigail Ventura of Kawailehua Hula Ohana

Age 19-24 Advanced Tane
1. Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo
2. Glenn Salonga of Manuia Polynesia
3. Zack Reyas Del Sol of Makamae Melia O Polynesia

Age 25-34 Beginning Vahine
1. Courtney Krupa of Da Island Way
2. Joyce Dagurnbey of Kawailehua Hula Ohana
3. Saua Case of LeiIsa
4. Athena Herrera of Makamae Melia O Polynesia

Age 25-34 Advanced Vahine
1. Colie Amen of Tamari'i Matairea
2. Karen Alumno of Da Island Way
3. Shanna Pineda of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a

Age 25-34 Advanced Tane
1. Charlie Cumrameneng of Ote'a Api
2. Dean Sivenstre of LeiIsa

Beginners Masters Vahine
1. Rose Pamatmat - Independent
2. Marilu Pho of Da Island Way
3. Corinne Brown of Da Island Way

Beginners Masters Tane
1. Don C Iose of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
2. Jesse Coronado of Nani Ola Dance Co.

Advanced Masters Vahine
1. Katrina Hali'imaile DeJesus of Ote'a Api
2. Mia-Mae Salgado-Cummings of Te Tahi Here
3. Selby Vota-Hermales of Da Island Way

Advanced Masters Tane
1. Anthony Manaois of Ote'a Api

Group Awards

1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA
2. Here Hau of Crockett CA
3. Te Tahi Here
4. Tiare O Te Ao of Hercules CA

Tamari'i Aparima
1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA
2. Ehulani's Ote'a of Hayward CA
3. Tiare O Te Ao of Hercules CA

Tamari'i Ote'a
1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA
2. Ehulani's Ote'a of Hayward CA
3. Te Tahi Here

Amateur Group - Ote'a
1. Ehulani's Ote'a of Hayward CA

Professional Group - Ote'a
1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA

Novice Group - Ote'a
1. Nani Ola Dance Co.

Novice Group - Aparima
1. Nani Ola Dance Co.

Professional Group - Aparima
1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA

Beginning Drumming
1. Tamari'i Matairea of Stockton CA
2. Tiare O Te Ao of Hercules CA

Advanced Drumming
1. Ote'a Api of Fremont CA
2. Te Ohipa Pa'ari O Haruru

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ori Tahiti Dance workshops with Hirohiti Tematahotoa - direct from Tahiti

Announcement letter from Fenty Kaliman,
director of marketing, Mahea Productions
and Ka Ua Tuahine

Ia orana,

Direct from Tahiti! THREE Tahitian dance workshops with Hirohiti Tematahotoa. Learn the vibrant and exciting dance of Tahiti with Master Choreographer and Dancer Hirohiti Tematahotoa.

Former director of choreography for the acclaimed Tahitian dance company Orihere Maohi, Hiro was named King of Heiva in 2002 and was featured in the award-winning documentary Black Pearl, by Hoku Uchiyama. He has also choreographed and composed material for KaUaTuahine Polynesian Dance Company. KaUaTuahine has performed Hiro's work in California, Tahiti, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). Hiro has also served as a judge for the 2005 San Jose Tahiti Fete.

Beginning Level - Thursday, July 2, 2009, 7:00 - 10:00PM.
Learn the basics of Tahitian dance and an 'aparima and 'ote'a.

Intermediate and Advanced Level - Thursday, July 9, 2009, 7:00 - 10:00PM.
Instruction in ahuroa and 'ote'a.

Workshop Fee $75. To register for these events, please go to

There is limited space available. Register early to reserve your place.

All workshops are held at 729 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710


Please bring a pareu or sarong. All levels of experience welcomed. Drinks and refreshments will be made available for sale.

PLEASE NO RECORDING DEVICES OF ANY KIND. CD of the music will be made availabel for sale.

:) Fenty Kaliman
for The Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance
Phone: 1.510.845.2605

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hura Tahiti results

The 2009 Hura Tahiti Tahitian dance competition just took place this past weekend. Dance groups and soloists came from the greater California area and competed at the Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. The Southern California event is produced by Alex Tekurio.

Evelyn Bustamante of Da Island Way and Glenn Salonga of Manuia Polynesia were awarded overall vahine and tane soloists, respectively. And the dance group Manuia Polynesia, led by Tommy Tualaulelei, of San Francisco was named the overall group.

Competing groups included Da Island Way, Heali'is Polynesian Revue, Hui Tama Nui, Kaleo O'Nalani, Kawailehua Hula Ohana, Le Polynesia, Lei Isa, Manea Dancers, Manuia Polynesia, Mata'i Rea, Nemenzo, Nonosina, Puahi's Polynesian Dancers, Te Mana O Te Ra, Te Pura O Te Rahura'a, Varua Hae, and several independent dancers.

In addition to being the event producer and leading ra'atira of his own dance group, Hitia O Te Ra, Alex Tekurio is also taking a group to this years Heiva i Tahiti next month. The event is the original Tahitian dance competition that takes place annually in Papeete, Tahiti at Place To'ata.

Here are the results for the 2009 Hura Tahiti:

Soloist Awards

Age 5-7 Tamahine
1. Hope Fiaseu of Nonosina
2. Melia Timo of Nonosina
3. Kealani Rivera of Nonosina

Age 5-7 Tamaroa
1. Kobe Keoni Johnson-Dulay of Nemenzo
2. David Cordy - Independent
3. Dean Serrano of Lei Isa

Age 8-10 Tamahine
1. Lorie Pamatmat of Da Island Way
2. Fiona O'Neil of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Leilani Sabit of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a

Age 8-10 Tamaroa
1. Arik Gaoay of Nonosina
2. Yuaki Goto of Heali'is Polynesian Revue
3. Joshua Bennett of Nonosina

Age 11-13 Vahine
1. Juliet Basnett - Independent
2. Melanie-Marie Amen of Mata'i Rea
3. Sammy McClymonds - Independent

Age 14-17 Vahine
1. Tabitha Tabbert of Lei Isa
2. Stephanie Efnor of Nonosina
3. Tessalonia Ambrose of Hui Tama Nui

Age 14-17 Tane
1. JB Almogela of Kawailehua Hula Ohana
2. Anthony Petersen of Nemenzo
3. Jerrod Meneses of Manuia Polynesia

Age 18-21 Vahine
1. Jena Doiron of Heali'is Polynesian Revue
2. Fa'anofo Laupepa of Nonosina
3. Christina Wood of Nemenzo

Age 18-21 Tane
1. Jordan Lilii of Nonosina
2. Ryan Samn of Nemenzo
3. Scott Arpen of Varua Hae

Age 22-25 Vahine
1. Heali'i O Nalani Stanley of Heali'is Polynesian Revue
2. Shanna Pineda of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Lizzy Gutierrez of Manea Dancers

Age 22-25 Tane
1. Glenn Salonga of Manuia Polynesia
2. Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo
3. John Depala of Varua Hae

Age 26-30 Vahine
1. Evlyn Bustamante of Da Island Way
2. Colie Amen of Mata'i Rea
3. Desiree Woodward-Lee of Nemenzo

Age 31-35 Vahine
1. Saua Case of Lei Isa
2. Maok Sako of Le Polynesia
3. Tania Riss of Manuia Polynesia

Age 31-35 Tane
1. Dean Silvestre of Lei Isa

Age 36+ Vahine
1. Sheila Keikilani of Le Polynesia
2. Leandra Thompson of Nemenzo
3. Michelle Swanson of Puahi's Polynesian Dancers

Overall Vahine
Evlyn Bustamante of Da Island Way

Overall Tane
Glenn Salonga of Manuia Polynesia

Group Awards

1. Nemenzo
2. Manuia Polynesia
3. Le Polynesia

1. Manuia Polynesia
2. Nemenzo
3. Le Polynesia

Le Polynesia

Best Ra'atira
Le Polynesia

Best Costume
Manuia Polynesia

Overall Group
Manuia Polynesia

1. Te Mana O Te Ra
2. Manuia Polynesia
3. Te Pura O Te Rahura'a

1. Nemenzo
2. Le Polynesia
3. Manuia Polynesia

1. Te Mana O Te Ra
2. Manuia Polynesia
3. Te Pura O Te Rahura'a

Tamari'i Ote'a
1. Le Polynesia
2. Manuia Polynesia

Tamari'i Aparima
1. Le Polynesia

Tamari'i Ahupurotu
1. Le Polynesia
2. Kaleo O'Nalani

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tahitian dance boot camp

It’s time to kick the cookies to the curb and sign up for Mehetia Production’s 14-day Tahitian Dance Boot Camp, which uses fast-paced, high-energy Tahitian dance moves to shake you into serious shape...

But be forewarned: this boot camp isn’t the wimpy, air-conditioned version you see at the gym. Held at Kualoa Beach Park, and led by professional Polynesian hula dancer and choreographer Charelle Silva, these sessions include four hours a day of intense, heart-pounding, hip-gyrating, sweat-inducing workouts.

More of the story at Lei Chic

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Kona Heiva postponed to 2010

According to the Kona Heiva website, due to funding issues, the Kona Heiva will be postponed to August 2010. Originally scheduled for August 2009, the event was to be the first annual event for the Kona area. Interested parties should contact Carol Casil for information.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Heiva i Tahiti 2009

Heiva i Tahiti 2009 is quickly coming up on the Tahitian dance calendar. Event preparations are well under way and a tentative schedule has also been released. The Heiva Nui organization is producing this years events and is led by Julien Mai. On Friday, July 10, the opening ceremony will take place at Place To'ata. Competition will continue on Saturday the 11th, Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, July 18th.

This year will see a return of familiar groups including Temaeva (Fabien Dinard and Coco Hotahota), Tamariki Oparo (Pierrot Faraire), O Tahiti E (Marguerite Lai) and Tamariki Poerani (Makau Foster), and Hei Tahiti (Tiare Trompette).

Activities were recently announced by newly appointed Minister of Culture, Jean-Marius Raapoto.

This year will also feature a competition where international dance groups from the US and Japan will also compete - Te Fareireiraa. The competition will take place from Monday July 20-Wednesday July 22 at Place To'ata.

Awards ceremonies will take place on Thursday July 23. Encore winning performances will take place on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Major dance groups return for 127th Heiva i Tahiti

The 127th Heiva i Tahiti or Tahiti Festival will be held from July 10 to July 18. This year some of the most prestigious Tahitian dance groups will return for the festival.

Minister of Culture Jean-Marius Raapoto said the Heiva i Tahiti celebrations are important both for Tahitians and visitors.

More at Tahiti Presse

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tarena Tahiti 2010 results

Tarena Tahiti 2010 was highlighted with entries from 13 dance groups. Activities took place at the San Francisco State University Gym on Saturday, April 18, 2009. The event features a costume and solo dance competition. Costumes are required to be made of natural materials where creativity and authenticity are judged by 3 of the Tahitian dance community's most respected members - Roiti Sylva, dance master and Tahitian cultural advisor, Remy Tekurio director of Tekurio Nui and Tiana Liufau, director of Nonosina of Anaheim, California.

Unique to this event is the tie-in to a calendar production. Each of the placing soloists will be featured on a 2010 calendar. Three calendars will be produced, one for the Tamari'i division, Junior and Adult divisions as well, and will be available later this year to purchase. The covers will feature the top dancer in each division.

The Tane and Vahine Overall Winners, Anthony Santa-Iglesia of Manuia Polynesia and Colie Amen of Tamari’i Mata’irea won roundtrip tickets to Honolulu, Hawaii. Event producer Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen announced that the two dancers will be representing Tarena Tahiti, San Francisco at the first Tarena Tahiti 2011, Honolulu next year, earmarked in August 2010.

Here are the Tarena Tahiti 2010 results:

Overall Tane
Anthony Santa-Iglesia of Manuia Polynesia

Overall Vahine
Colie Amen of Tamari'i Mata'irea

Best Tane Costume
Anthony Santa-Iglesia of Manuia Polynesia

Best Vahine Costume
Angelica Ambrose of Hui Tama Nui

Tamarii Division - Vahine
1. Melanie-Marie Amen (Cover) of Tamari'i Mata'irea
2. Julia Chan of Nemenzo
3. Kiana Mabry of Hui O' Hawaii of Sacramento
4. Azaiah Edpao of Tiare O Te Ao
5. Ariel Zipagan of Nemenzo
6. Alyssa Petersen of Nemenzo
7. Abby Manalac of Nemenzo
8. Jorden Chaban of Manuia Polynesia
9. Cara Mia Kricken - Independent
10. Tia Samn of Nemenzo
11. Chelsea Sahami of Nemenzo
12. Shi-Lin Montes of Manuia Polynesia

Tamarii Division - Tane
1. Jonacy Montero of Nemenzo
2. Matthew Berrios of Hui Tama Nui
3. Kobe Johnson-Dulay of Nemenzo
4. Nikko Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia

Junior Division - Vahine
1. Heiti Schofield (Cover) of Teoraroa Otea
2. Chelsea Tanaka of Teoraroa Otea
3. Tessa Satele-Ambrose of Hui Tama Nui
4. Melanee Tano of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
5. Serena Dailey-Tumakay of Nemenzo
6. Katelyn Salvador of Teoraroa Otea
7. Cayla Steen of Varua Hae
8. Kayla Fontanilla of Nemenzo
9. Amanda Kamai of Tamali'i
10. Stephanie Sperry of Varua Hae
11. Monique Somera of Tiare O Te Ao
12. Bernadette Tuazon of Nemenzo

Junior Division - Tane
1. Jerrod Meneses of Manuia Polynesia
2. Lorenzo Nunez of Makamae Melia O Polynesia
3. Shawn Ballard of Merahi O Tehani

Adult Division - Vahine
1. Colie Amen (Cover) of Tamari'i Mata'irea
2. Angelica Ambrose of Hui Tama Nui
3. Desiree Woodward-Lee of Nemenzo
4. Jansine Joy Green of Manuia Polynesia
5. Chanel Calipes of Nemenzo
6. Sarah Niualiku of Tiare O Te Ao
7. Leialoha Hutchinson of Varua Hae
8. Tanisha Reshke of Hui O' Hawaii of Sacramento
9. Marika D'bayan of Varua Hae
10. Louise Gomez of Varua Hae
11. Selina Vakalahi of Tamali'i
12. Crystal Zapata of Nemenzo

Adult Division - Tane
1. Anthony Santa-Iglesia of Manuia Polynesia
2. Ryan Samn of Nemenzo
3. Joshua Mercado of Varua Hae
4. John De Pala of Varua Hae
5. Charles Cuadro of Varua Hae
6. Dean Sormillion of Varua Hae

Tarena Tahiti summary

A letter from Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen,
producer of Tarena Tahiti

This year’s Tarena Tahiti 2010 Costume and Solo Competition held at San Francisco State University Gym had a buzz of excitement with entries from 13 groups. The pageantry of the Parade of Costumes varied from simple dramatic designs to elaborate intricate masterpieces, all made of natural materials. Entries were as young as 6 yrs to adult. The Ori Tahiti (Solo) portion energized the entire event.

The collaboration of Nemenzo and Tamari’i Mata’irea as Tarena house drummers provided the soloists a variety of beats to dance to. Judging was not an easy feat. This responsibility fell on our 3 judges; Roiti Sylva, dance master and Tahitian cultural advisor, Remy Tekurio director of Tekurio Nui and Tiana Liufau, director of Nonosina of Anaheim, California.

Complimenting the festivities were local artisans and vendors from Las Vegas and Hawaii. The Tane and Vahine Overall Winners, Anthony Santa-Iglesia of Manuia Polyneisa and Colie Amen of Tamari’i Mata’irea won roundtrip tickets to Honolulu, Hawaii to enter representing Tarena Tahiti, San Francisco at the first Tarena Tahiti 2011, Honolulu next year, earmarked in August 2010. It would not of been complete without the talents and participation from the following groups:

Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, California
Makamae Melia ‘O Polynesia of Sacramento, California
Hui O Hawaii of Sacramento, California
Merahi O Tehani of Union City, California
Varua Hae of Bellflower, California
Nemenzo of San Francisco/Daly City, California
Manuia Polynesia of Daly City, California
Anapa Nui of Lodi, California
Tamarii Mata’irea of Stockton, California
Te Oraroa Otea of Hayward, California
Tiare O Te Ao of Hercules, California
Tamalii of Hayward, California
Kawailehua Hula Ohana of Milpitas, California

Friday, April 24, 2009

Te Aranui O Tahiti highlights exhibitions

A letter from Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen,
producer of Te Aranui O Tahiti

Ote’a ‘Api of Fremont, California opened the event with a beautiful traditional program. Their theme was “Honor and Respect” for one another and the cultural traditions passed on from one generation to the other. Under the direction of their ra’atira pupu, Anthony Manaois, the audience got a treat from with his whimsical version of the “old style” use of the pahu tupai using his head, elbows, feet in varied positions from laying on his back to rolling his entire body on the drum.

Manuia Polynesia under the direction of Tommy Tualalulelei from San Francisco, followed with “Mokorea” from the Tuamotu Islands of Tahiti. Their elaborate costumes and high energy performance received accolades from the young tamari’i’s to the power driven “Haka” from the men of Manuia. This presentation earned Manuia one of the many awards they’ve received at the San Jose Tahiti Fete.

Te Orama of Daly City claimed the opening of the second show. Its director, Malu Rivera-Peoples and Anthony Manaois supervised the dancers of all ages as they paid homage to the sea turtle “Honu” with a 30 minute presentation comprised of an ote’a and an aparima. Dressed in traditional ceremonial ote’a costumes and vibrant floral prints, dancers displayed their love for the dance and music of Tahiti.

Elizabeth Bertumen, Nemenzo’s director announced the last group of the day. The finale was Nemenzo of San Francisco’s mixed presentation of traditional and contemporary dance and music. Young dancers, some as young as 4 yrs, captured the audience’s attention. Drums pulsating new modern beats complimented the group’s ote’a amui. The aparima softened the mood emulating from the soothing sounds of Nemenzo’s musicians.

The exhibitions were breathtaking as the audience cheered on group after group. Overall, it was a festive weekend and everyone reunited with old friends and acquired new ones. For updates and information visit

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heiva i Waimea crowns two

Te E'a O Te Turama, led by ra'atira Maile Lee, walked away with 10 awards at the 3rd Annual Heiva i Waimea including the overall group title. The event took place this past Sunday, April 19, at Waimea Valley. Soloists from several local groups participated and competed in age groups ranging from 5-25 years.

The setting amid the lush greenery was perfect for crowning a new Ms. Heiva i Waimea and the competition was close. So close that it resulted in not one, but two vahine being crowned. Tanya Cadiente (pictured left), of 'Otea Kia Manu and Teare Zick-Mariteragi, of Te Vai Ura Nui tied for the title. Contestants were judged on a Tahitian culture talent, costume and formal dress. Congratulations to both for doing a great job of showing poise, grace, talent and being an example to younger aspiring girls.

Producer Pola Teriipaia of Manutahi Tahiti, was thrilled with the turnout and reminded all the dancers that they were all winners by portraying the Tahitian culture and taking part in the event.

We have to admit we missed most of the event not realizing that most of the competition would be occuring early on. Lesson learned. Anyway, here are the results:

Age 5-6 Tamahine
1. Azariah Coleman of Marania Haorangi
2. Nicole Graham of Te E'a O Te Turama
3. Sa'ili Williams of 'Otea Kia Mana

Age 7-8 Tamahine
1. Poliahu Sunny Aina of Te E'a O Te Turama
2. Amaya Joy Panajon of Pupu Ote Iti Ra
3. Chloe' Dominge of Tiare Ura O Tahiti

Age 7-8 Tamaroa
1. Alex Kekua of Otea Kia Mana

Age 9-11 Tamahine
1. Poerava Lee of Te E'a O Te Turama
2. Shandy Hopeau of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
3. Clarke (Ah-Yoka) Cailing of Pupu Ote Iti Ra

Age 9-11 Tamaroa
1. Tamatoa Uta of Te E'a O Te Turama
2. Kaiko Gouveia of Heretama Nui

Age 12-14 Vahine
1. Ashlen Kiniiau - Independent
2. Ciera Dutro of Pupu Ote Iti Ra
3. Shanelle Ramelb of Pupu Ote Iti Ra

Age 12-14 Tane
Zacchaeas Uta of Te E'a O Te Turama

Age 15-17 Vahine
1. Alexa-Ashley Cezar of Tiare Ura O Tahiti
2. Raquel Fernando of Napua O Lokelani Polynesian Revue
3. Kalei Onzuka of Maohi Nui

Age 15-17 Tane
1. Kainalu Lee of Te E'a O Te Turama

Age 18-21 Vahine
1.Janice Vidad of Pupu Ote Iti Ra
2. Tanya Cadiente of 'Otea Kia Mana

Age 22-25 Vahine
1. Shannon Paraan-Kahalepauo of Marania Haorangi
2. Olive Tuitasi Morano of Maohi Nui
3. Nalani Nahinu of Marania Haorangi

Junior Couple
Dizsae Josue/Zachias Uta of Te E'a O Te Turama

Senior Couple
Poerava Lee/Kai Lee of Te E'a O Te Turama

Overall Junior Soloist
Poerava Lee of Te E'a O Te Turama

Overall Senior Soloist
Janice Vidad of Pupu Ote Iti Ra

Ms. Heiva
Tanya Cadiente of 'Otea Kia Mana
Teare Zick-Mariteragi of Te Vai Ura Nui

Overall Group
Te E'a O Te Turama
Maile Lee - Honolulu HI

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tamarii Tahiti Fete of Orlando 2009 results

The 2009 Tamarii Tahiti Fete, produced by Isitolo Oloa, took place March 28, last month in Orlando, Florida. The event showcased soloists from mostly the East coast of the US. Dancers as far as Texas, Virginia, Illinois and North Carolina joined in with local dancers in the Orlando area. The overall Junior soloist title went to Cheyenne Sky Romanillos and the overall Senior soloist title went to Marshae Bray Mamea of Siva A Manu. Overall group honors went to Manutahi Orlando led by Mahea Apo and a sister group to Pola Teriipaia's Manutahi groups in Hawaii.

For more information and gallery for the event, visit the official website. Additionally, videos may be seen in several locations including YouTube.

2009 Tamarii Tahiti Fete results

Age 3-5 Vahine
1. Marnessa Mageo, Independent
2. Hinanui Swider of Manutahi Orlando
3. Alyssa Murphy of Halau 'O Manulani

Age 6-8 Vahine
1. Emalia Natea Beltran of Hula Halau O Kuulani
2. Giana Leapai-Jimenez, Independent
3. Leilani Swider of Manutahi Orlando

Age 6-8 Tane
1. Reecie Brown of Manutahi Orlando
2. Rendon Reddoch of Manutahi Texas

Age 9-12 Vahine
1. Cheyenne Sky Romanillos, Independent
2. Tiane Maluhia Kong of Manutahi Orlando
3rd Place: Natalie Oloa, Independent

Age 9-12 Tane
1. Kadence Reddoch of Manutahi Texas

Age 13-16 Vahine
1. Marshae Bray Mamea of Siva A Manu
2. Giovawnni Brown of Manutahi Orlando
3. Alapa'i Kiaha of Hula Halau O Kuulani

Age 17-22 Vahine
1. Grace Cabusi of Manutahi Orlando
2. Sarah Elorpe of Halau Kahealani
3. Jerly Asunto of Na Opiopio I Orlando

Age 23+ Vahine
1. Oe Sualua of Tupua Productions
2. Seborah Lamkin of Halau 'O Manulani
3. Tua "Fabulicious" Mamea of Siva A Manu

Age 23+ Tane
1. Patrick Makoa Foronda of Halau Kahealani

Overall Junior Soloist
Cheyenne Romanillos, Independent

Overall Senior Soloist
Marshae Bray Mamea of Siva A Manu

Best Costume
Seborah Lampkin of Halau 'O Manulani

Overall Group
Manutahi Orlando
Mahea Apo - Orlando, FL

Friday, April 10, 2009

Candid shots of Te Mana O Te Ra

Getting a group ready for a performance in a Heiva, Tahiti Fete or any number of Tahitian dance events is a job in its own right. Take for example bringing Te Mana O Te Ra, a large dance group from Walnut Creek, California and bringing them to Hawaii to compete in the Heiva i Honolulu 2009. The event took place last month from March 12-14. Group leaders Lisa and Rey Aguilar had the daunting task of coordinating hotel, airlines, ground transportation, food, and practices, not to mention coming up with a presentation, choreography, music, drumming and costumes.

This candid photo gallery brings some of those "backstage" elements to light. It also tells the story of an established group that puts in long hours and hard work. In the end you can see how rewarding it is to be a part of an organization such as Te Mana O Te Ra. Whether behind the scenes or out there on center stage, each member of the group strengthens the performance.

In the end, Te Mana O Te Ra not only walked away with an unforgettable experience, they also brought back with them several awards including the overall vahine soloist (Charity Offril) and the senior group Ahupurotu 1st place award. We're looking forward to more great performances.

Lastly, we have to add that we were pleasantly surprised to see our own Tehani pareo fabric, which is designed and printed by Black Pearl Designs, used in their group performance. The long black dresses featured just enough of our poehere blue to make the costume stand out. You can see the fitted costume in many of the gallery photos. Take a look and see for yourself.

1st Annual Mehetia Fete hits Kaneohe

The windward side of Oahu has been without a Tahitian dance event for quite awhile. However, that has now been remedied. Today, Charelle Silva, of Mehetia Productions announced the 1st Annual Mehetia Fete to be held on Saturday, October 17, 2009. Activities will take place at the King Intermediate Gym and run from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm.

Soloist will compete in the morning and groups will compete in the afternoon. House drummers will provide the backdrop during the soloist competition. Groups will be competing in several categories including Otea, Aparima, Ori Rau and Ahuroa. An awards ceremony will conclude the event in the evening. General admission tickets are $12 and may be purchased at the door or online.

Groups and soloists interested may download applications and rules online on the event website. The deadline to submit group entry forms is August 8, 2009. Soloist application deadline is September 19, 2009. Sponsors and vendors may also download information on the website.

Second sponsor hotel for Hura Tahiti announced

Just when you thought there was going to be a great deal for a Hura Tahiti 2009 hotel stay, it just got better. Hura Tahiti producer Alex Tekurio announced that a second sponsor hotel is now available to book for groups and individual parties. A special Hura Tahiti $89 rate is now available at the Fullerton Marriott at California State University. The rate is good when you call in to make the reservation at 714 738-7800. Be sure to mention "Hura Tahiti" when calling. Even better is that the hotel is within walking distance of the event, just a 3 minute walk.

Hura Tahiti 2009, a Tahitian dance soloist and group competition, will take place June 19-20, 2009 at the Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. For more information, visit their website.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Special hotel rate for Hura Tahiti

As the sponsoring hotel, the Residence Inn Anaheim Placentia/Fullerton is offering a special Hura Tahiti rate of $109 per day. Mention HURA TAHITI when you make your reservation.

"Disneyland is only six miles away, and Knotts Berry Farm just beyond. Also within easy access to this Anaheim, CA hotel are the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California State University in Fullerton and the antiquing capitol of Southern California, the City of Orange."

The fifth annual Hura Tahiti is a Tahitian dance competition being held June 19-20, 2009 at the Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. Both group and soloists will compete for awards. Tickets for the event are $15 (11 yrs and up) and $10 for children (5-10 yrs). For more information, contact event producer Alex Tekurio at (714) 537-7478 or email him at

Friday, April 03, 2009

ArtMania to feature Tahitian Dance at Manoa

The University of Hawaii is hosting ArtMania, a one day art fair for the community showcasing student artists and the Department of Art & Art History.

Activities take place this Sunday, April 5, 2009 from 11am - 5pm.

The ArtMania event will feature a performance by Manutahi Tahiti at 11:30 am and drum-making demonstrations by Tyrone Temanaha, Jr. & Mafatu Krainer (2-5 pm). In addition, a crafting exhibit of Tahitian costumes will run from 12:30-1:30 pm.

And to add to the experience, don't miss the Tau Rima: Crafting Performance showcasing the craft artists and material artifacts of 'ori Tahiti in Hawaii. Examples of locally made costumes and instruments show how artists in Hawaii preserve Tahitian traditions through craftsmanship, innovation, creative use of resources, and the transmission of knowledge.

The Tau Rima exhibit is located in the Hamilton Library Gallery and will be on display from now to April 28, 2009. Admission is free to the public. The exhibit was brought to life due to the work of graduate student Scott Bartlett.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Manutahi Tahitian Solo Dance Competition

Press release from Manutahi Tahiti

MANUTAHI is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Tahitian Solo Dance Competition on SUNDAY, April 19, 2009 at Waimea Valley, Pikake Lounge, from 9:00am - 6pm. This long-anticipated event will feature a day full of Tahitian Dance and Live Tahitian Drumming, Tahitian arts, crafts, and jewelry, and exhibition performances by our own MANUTAHI keiki or tamarii. Our event is sponsored by Polanesia and Waimea Valley, and co-sponsored by Polynesian Treasures of Haleiwa Marketplace. This event is sparking great deals and offers from businesses throughout the North Shore. There is nominal charge of $7 per person (children 5-12 are $5 and under 5 are free) to get into the event. This cost for admission will only provide admission to the competition and through the first gate of the park. Additional charges to pass through the second gate to take part in Waimea Valley activities and featured amenities will apply.

Doors will open at 8:30 am for registration and seating. Our event will kick-off with a traditional Tahitian prayer and our Tamarii (or Keiki) Exhibition dancers, ages 2 to 4 years old. This is always a crowd pleaser, as these tiny tots know how to get the audience going. We will continue with our Tamarii Solo Division, a Ms./Mr. Heiva Pageant, break for lunch, and will continue with our Ta'ata Pa'ari or (Teenage) Solo Division and our Couples Competition. Ending the evening will be the announcement of awards.

Proceeds from this event will go towards the costs of outer island and mainland competitions. We were recently invited to compete in a Tahitian Fete set to take place in July of this year. This Fete only takes place every three years and we are honored to accept the invitation and represent our beloved Hawai'i in Tahiti. Most importantly, funds generated from calendar and art gallery sales will go directly towards our Community Partnership and Scholarship Fund, which provides monetary assistance to our students who desire to further their academic success.

We are still accepting applications to participate as a soloist, as an entry in the Pageant, or as a couple. This competition is open to all halaus and independent dancers!

In celebration of Tahitian culture, this event coincides with the introduction of UH Manoa Library's two exhibits, "Tau Rima Tahiti: Crafting Performance" and "'Ite 'Upa'upa", by curator and ethnomusicology candidate Scott Bartlett, in the Hamilton Library Bridge and Phase II Galleries from through April 28, 2009. The "Tau Rima Tahiti: Crafting Performance" exhibit showcases elaborate, costumes and locally made instruments. Craft artists from notable groups from Hawaii such as Here Tama Nui, Oriata, Marania Haoragi, Te Vai Ura Nui, Ot'ea Kia Mana, and MANUTAHI contributed to the display of costumes, as well as Heikura Nui, a group from Tahiti. Instruments, and jewelry were provided by KBS Instruments, Mafatu Krainer, Etua Tahauri, Tyrone Temanaha, Jr., and Gerard Tepehu.

The materials of Tau Rima Tahiti celebrate these craftspeople and their central role in preserving Tahitian culture. "'Ite 'Upa'upa" features the resources on Tahiti and performance practices that are held in the Pacific Collection of Hamilton Library. Developed collaboratively with Librarian Stuart Dawrs, the exhibit highlights photos and books on Tahitian dance and culture. Please feel free to visit the online exhibit at or attend the exhibit at University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Hamilton Library, Mondays-Saturdays from 8am - 4:30pm or Sundays from noon-7pm. Entry into the Hamilton Library is open to the public and parking is available for $3.

For more information about this event or the UH exhibit, to participate as a soloist, or to find out how you can be a part of our ohana or support our mission, please visit our website at, or call us at 542-4480. North Shore businesses are encouraged to contact us also, so that we can promote any specials or offers to our audience throughout the day.