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.