Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Manutahi Solo Competition

Ia Orana and Aloha!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We trust this reaches you in the best of health and spirits!

We are VERY VERY pleased to announce the confirmation of our 3rd annual MANUTAHI Solo Competition, which will again be hosted by Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. This is a two-day event, held on April 18 and 19, 2009. We will have our solo competition for ages 5-25 and an exhibition for our babies. We are also having a Mr. and Miss Heiva and Couples' competition. Due to high demand and our belief in maintaining relationships with our participating groups, this is the first year that we are expanding to an older group for 22-25 year old adults!

Last year, competitors were garnished with lavish prizes, which consisted of handmade, traditional Tahitian trophies and mounted Tahitian pearl pendants, rings, and earrings. All who came to the event had a wonderful time! We encourage participation. We are also extremely excited to be able to once again share the Tahitian culture with locals and tourists alike, at the beautiful Waimea Valley grounds. A Pupu Ori information packet is available online. It includes guidelines, registration forms, and our hold and harmless agreement.

Please keep in mind that we have our 2nd annual calendar and fundraiser: 2009 MANUTAHI Dances of Tahiti, available year round. This vibrant 12 month calendar proudly features the dedicated students, parents, and family members of Manutahi Tahiti Dance School based in Wahiawa, Hawaii. We strongly believe this collection will attract not only the kama’aina and visitors of Hawai’i, but people from all walks of life throughout the world. (You can purchase the Manutahi Calendar online at Black Pearl Designs ON SALE NOW for $7.50. Hurry before they are gone.)

MANUTAHI, a 501c3 non-profit organization serving the youth of Hawaii, is committed to our primary focus of 2009 and the next few years to come, which is to fund our scholarship program for our driven students seeking to continue their pursuit of academic excellence through the sale of these calendars. The parameters of this scholarship program include maintaining an extraordinary grade point average, contributing a minimum number of volunteer hours to the community, and submitting an essay regarding their volunteer experience and the value of education.

Should you have further interest in our mission or our community goals, please visit our web site at The cost of each calendar is $12.00, which covers the cost of shipping. Although you may not be familiar with our group, the scenery, models, and costuming will speak for itself.

On an even more exciting note, we will be hosting our first ever Taualuga (Samoan Dance) Competition in August of 2009. The winner(s) of this competition will be given handmade, traditional Samoan trophies and other scholarship opportunities. Details for this anticipated event will also be communicated as the date is confirmed.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in any of the above mentioned announcements or if you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries.

I appreciate your time in reading this, and look forward to hearing from you. Let's keep the spirit of the islands alive by promoting our love of Polynesian culture worldwide.

Mahalo and Mauruuru!
Alma M. Damo

Tahitian drum & guitar festival competition

A Tahitian drum and guitar festival competition will be held from March 27-28 at the Papeete Cultural Center under the direction of Coco Hotahota, the award-winning leader and founder of the traditional Tahitian dance group "Te Maeva".

More at Tahiti Presse

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Date announced for 2009 Kori Kori Tahiti Fete

Straight off the successful launch of Tahitian dances' newest competition, Ravahere Allred, producer of the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete, recently announced the dates for 2009 - November 14-15, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The first annual event took place over Veteran's Day weekend (November 8-11, 2008) at the Del Sol High School Gymnasium. Not only was the event a showcase for soloists and groups, it also highlighted a new beauty pageant - Miss Pearls of Polynesia. Nine contestants vied for the coveted title, cash and prizes including a trip to Tahiti courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui. In the end, 18 year old Dina Here Auneau from Miami, Florida walked away with the crown. Dina, born in France, is of French and Tahitian descent.

Heu Taumoefolau, a high school sophomore living in Las Vegas claimed first runner up. She is a lead in the Tahitian dance group Tevakanui. At the accompanying soloist competition, she placed first in the 14-16 year old solo category.

Second runner up Brianna Tai, also a local Las Vegas girl, was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a high school senior and plans to attend UNLV this fall.

Jazmin Siguenza of Chico, California was awarded Miss Aloha Spirit and Alexa Kubena, a local girl, came away with the Best Creation award.

An extensive resource of information about all events at the Kori Kori Tahiti Fete and the Miss Pearls of Polynesia pageant may be found at the event website.

At the group dance competition, Kei 'Alaha of Diamond Bar, California walked away with the overall group award. Additional results from the competition are also available. Photos used with permission courtesy of Kori Kori Tahiti Fete by Gregory Young.

Additional reporting at the French Polynesia periodical report from Le Depeche (translated)
Dina Here Auneau, 18 ans, élue Miss Pearl of Polynesia 2008

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hura Tahiti 2009 date change

The 2009 Tahitian dance calendar is full of events. Hura Tahiti, a major event this summer, is making an expected date adjustment. Instead of the July 4th weekend, the event is bumping up to June 19-20, 2009. Activities will take place at Hope International University in Fullerton, California.

Producer Alex Tekurio recently made the change after consulting with his staff and reviewing other scheduling activities of the organization. With a long awaited trip to Tahiti planned later for his own acclaimed dance group, Hitia O Te Ra, the summer is shaping up to be very busy.

More details about the event are due to be posted on the official Hura Tahiti website shortly. Applications are available for download and are due by March 17th. Contact them directly at (714) 537-7478 or email them at for any questions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Te Aranui O Tahiti (Tahitian Festival) & Tarena Tahiti at SFSU

Ia Orana and Greetings,

This year's Tahitian Festival, "Te Aranui O Tahiti" will be held on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at the San Francisco State University Gym.

The weekend will also host the Tarena Tahiti 2010 (Tahitian Calendar) event on Saturday, April 18, 2009. It will be fun-filled weekend full of festivities, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Activities will take place indoors as well as outdoors, on the courtyard and lawn with Polynesian artisans showcasing their unique and beautiful crafts.

TE ARANUI O TAHITI (Route to Tahiti)-
This is the 3rd year for Te Aranui and for those not familiar with the event it is a day full of group exhibitions (not a competition). Each blocked presention features a minimum of 2 groups each with a 30-minute program. It is also an incentive fundraiser for groups (directors of each group will receive the details). This unique event allows the audience to view and select the group of their choice rather than buying a ticket for the entire day. Specific entry/tickets will be alloted for the blocked presentations for a $10 general admission fee. Consider it as if you were watching a movie and you decide which one you want to view. After each presentation, the gym will be cleared and preparation will be in order for the next program. The only criteria is for the entire program to be Tahitian dance and music.

TARENA TAHITI (Tahitian Calendar)
Tarena Tahiti is the Tahitian Calendar. It is a costume and solo dance competition. This year it will take place on Saturday, April 18th at the San Francisco State University Gym. Details can be viewed at and any inquiries can be directed to Updated forms will be posted soon for 2010 calendar along with rules and instructions.

Event schedule and program will be posted/sent for those interested in participating in group exhibition and solo dance/costume competition. We invite you/group to be a participant if not watch and enjoy the many talents who share the beauty and intrigue of the Tahitian culture.

Mauruuru roa,
Elizabeth Bertumen, Producer

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hula & Tahitian Dance & Drumming Workshop

A Hula & Tahitian Dance & Drumming Workshop will be taking place Sat. & Sun., February 21 & 21, 2009. It will be featuring world class Kumu Hula, Dance and Drumming Masters.
Kumu Hula Keali'i Ceballos of Hula Halau Keali'i O Nalani and Tiana & Riki Liufau of Nonosina Polynesia, Inc. will be guest Instructors teaching their award winning choreography. Derek Keil of Teriki's Polynesia will be sharing his talents in Tahitian Drumming.
The workshop takes place at St. Charles Community College, located in Cottleville, Missouri, just 25 minutes from St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
For more information contact Dori Neumeier of Hui Hula 'O Punahele at (636) 244-1352 or e-mail her at

2008 Heiva i Reno results

Results were released recently for the 2008 Heiva i Reno via their website. Activities took place once again in Reno, Nevada.

Soloist Results - Junior Division

4-6 Tamahine
1. Hailey Hernandez of Nemenzo
2. Malia Heeren of Merahi O Tehani
3. Amari-Lynn N. Brown of Te Mau Tamari'i a Tiare
4. Jazzy Bugarin of Merahi O Tehani
5. Kaili Low of Te Mau Tamari'i a Tiare

7-9 Tamahine
1. Lorie Anne Pamatmat of Da Island Way
2. Katie Cheung of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Leilani Sabit of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
4. Daylena Principe of Da Island Way
5. Keoni Gavieres of Da Island Way
6. Jennifer Matstumoto of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

7-9 Tamaroa
1. Jason Wong of 'Ote'a 'Api
2. Noah DeJesus of 'Ote'a 'Api
3. Jaedyn Kalani Foronda of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

10-12 Tamahine
1. Katie Edralin of Te Orama
2. Sabrina Martinez of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Avangeline Balingit of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
4. Jessica Briones of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
5. Aaliyah Rodriguez of Da Island Way
6. Destyn Hernandez-Bravo of Te Mau Tamari'i a Tiare

10-12 Tamaroa
1. Kyle DeJesus of 'Ote'a 'Api
2. Kolton Ready of 'Ote'a 'Api
3. Brandon Moore of Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua
4. Dean Trias of Te Mau Tamari'i a Tiare

Soloist Results - Senior Division

13-15 Vahine
1. Kalei Tanaka of Teoraroa 'Ote'a
2. Heiti Schofield of Teoraroa 'Ote'a
3. Kapua Tanaka of Teoraroa 'Ote'a
4. Alexandra Mariano of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
5. Janae Protheroe of Da Island Way
6. Ashton Beltrami of Te Orama

13-15 Tane
1. Anthony Petersen of Nemenzo
2. Trevor Manaois of 'Ote'a 'Api
3. Joshua Garcia of Nemenzo
4. Anthony Moore of Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua

16-18 Vahine
1. Angelique Bannag of Nemenzo
2. Kristine Sanchez of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Anita Jimenez of Da Island Way
4. Christina Salazar of Da Island Way
5. Malia Goossens of Te Mau Tamari'i a Tiare
6. Juliette Manaois of 'Ote'a 'Api

16-18 Tane
1. Francisco Cano of Hui Tama Nui
2. Tallon Pedregosa of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
3. Logan Lazaro of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani
4. Djaron Viray of Nemenzo
5. Ryan Samm of Nemenzo

19-24 Vahine
1. Michelle Baker of Nemenzo
2. Shanna Pineda of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Jacqueline Garcia of Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua
4. Justine Yee of Da Island Way
5. Karin Carido of Te Poe Rava
6. Grace Siador of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

19-24 Tane
1. Justin Atangan of Nemenzo
2. Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo
3. Rio Lazaro of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

25 and Up Vahine
1. Evlyn Bustamante of Da Island Way
2. Jessica Acosta of Te Pura O Te Rahura'a
3. Desiree Woodward-Lee of Nemenzo
4. Rhea Nunez of Makamae Melia 'O Polynesia
5. berenice Costales of Kawaikini
6. Anuenue Mose of Lumana'i O Polynesia

25 and Up Tane
1. Charlie Curammeng of 'Ote'a 'Api
2. Joseph Saligao of Te Pura O te Rahura'a
3. Don Jose of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani

Overall Awards

Junior Division - Tamahine
Lori Anne Pamatmat of Da Island Way

Junior Division - Tamaroa
Kyle DeJesus of 'Ote'a 'Api

Senior Division - Vahine
Evlyn Bustamante of Da Island Way

Senior Division - Tane
Charlie Curammeng of 'Ote'a 'Api

Group Awards

Mehara Music Award
Te Orama - Directed by Malu Rivera-Peoples

Mehara Costume Award
Nemenzo - Directed by Elizabeth Bertumen

Mehara Ra'atira Award
Nemenzo - Directed by Elizabeth Bertumen

Mehara Couples Award
1. Nemenzo - Directed by Elizabeth Bertumen
2. Te Orama - Directed by Malu Rivera-Peoples
3. Kawaikini - Directed by Yvonne Trujillo

Mehara Pauline Dexter Award
Nemenzo - Directed by Elizabeth Bertumen