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 www.myspace.com/tearanuiotahiti.