Saturday, March 28, 2009

City of Merced takes notice of Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete

The Merced County Times will be doing an article on the 2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete in a couple days. Here's a link to their teaser with a picture of a couple of dancers taking a quick pict to remember their time there.

News of the upcoming Tarena Tahiti competition

Letter from Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen, Producer of the Tarena Tahiti and Te Aranui O Tahiti events:

IaOrana Tatou,

We invite you to come and enjoy this year’s Tarena Tahiti for the 2010 Tahitian Calendar. The event is a Costume & Solo Ori Tahiti Competition awarding 12 winners representing the months of the year leading to the coveted 1st Place & Cover. Selection for the Overall Tane & Vahine is from the pool of 1st place winners with the highest combined scores from the Parade of Costume and Ori Tahiti. This unique competition is not limited to just top 3 dancers but 12 winners representing the months of the year for the 3 separate categories (calendar editions) Tamari’i (ages 5‐12 yrs), Junior (13‐17 yrs) and Adult (18yrs + up). Entry fee is $35.

Many talented dancers that may otherwise not be acknowledged have the opportunity to be recognized. By the end of the event, there will be a maximum of 12 Tane & 12 Vahine winners for each of the categories: Tamari’i, Junior and Adult. In addition, a special award will be given for Best Tane & Vahine Costume and a final award for the Overall Tane & Vahine Dancer.

The two‐part series of the event determines the ideal Tahitian Soloist. Opening with the Parade of Costumes, dancers set the tone with innovative Tahitian creations from unique , simple designs to bold originals. It is then followed by the Ori Tahiti (dance) portion completing the qualities of a Tahitian soloist.

Tarena Tahiti will be held, Saturday, April 18, 2009 at the San Francisco State University Gym located at 1600 Holloway Street, San Francisco, Ca. General admission is $15. For your convenience, the campus has a multi level structure with ample parking. SFSU is conveniently located within minutes of all the San Francisco attractions and a short distance from the San Francisco Airport. The festivities continue the following day on Sunday, April 19, 2009 with Te Aranui O Tahiti (Tahitian Festival) featuring hourly group exhibitions at the same SFSU location. Interested groups and information on participating groups and their showtimes visit or contact Support and watch the group of your choice with a general admission price of $10.

Tarena Tahiti personifies the ideal Tahitian Dancer, their passion, skill and artistry for the culture. It is a festive event with Polynesian artisans showcasing their crafts on the beautiful grounds of the campus. Dancers from all over will enjoy not only the challenges of the competition but also the other attributes of the event, the artisans, vendors and the people who come to share in the excitement and allure of the Tahitian culture.

Mauruuru roa,
Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen, Producer

Heiva i Reno 2009 moves up their date

Moving from their traditionally annual August date, organizers of the Heiva i Reno 2009 have announced their dates for this year to be July 24-25, 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tahitian dance group taking "Hiva" show international

Tumata Robinson is taking her Tahiti Ora traditional dance group international with performances of its "Hiva" show in France, Canada and New Caledonia, with a preview of its performance held in Tahiti next week.

An expanded show with eight new choreographic numbers and 300 redesigned costumes will be presented at 8 pm on April 3 and April 4 in the Grand Theater of the Papeete Cultural Center.

More at Tahiti Presse

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete schedule

Now celebrating it's 30th Anniversary, the 2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete is set to begin tomorrow. The three day event runs from March 27-29, 2009. Activities are located at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Tickets are:

Adult: $15 Advance / $17 at door - Adult = age 13 and up
: $10 Advance / $12 At Door - Child = age 5-12

The event not only features Tahitian dance and pageantry, but is also featuring memories of the past years' events. A 30th anniversary commemorative program will be available for purchase. The Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete is the longest existing, annually held, Tahitian Dance and Cultural Festival outside of French Polynesia. The event is produced by Becky Manandic. Island Style food and Polynesian craft booths will be open throughout the event as well.

Here is the schedule for the 2009 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete. (Schedule is subject to change):

Friday, March 27th
8:00am Registration
9:00am Opening Ceremonies
Solo Eliminations with House Drummers (4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15)
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Competition continues (16-18, 19-24, 25-34, Masters)
6:00pm Miss and Mr. Maeva Merced Pageant, Masters Solo Finals and
Ahuroa Group Presentations
8:00pm Awards

Saturday, March 28th
8:00am Registration - Solo Finalists, Group Drummers
9:00am Solo Finals Begin (4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15)
12:00pm Lunch - Tamari'i exhibition
1:00pm Tamari'i Groups
1:30pm Drumming Group Competition followed by Solo Finals
(16-18, 19-24, 25-34)
6:00pm Awards

Sunday, March 29th
8:00am Registration - 1st Place Advanced Soloists, Couples in Costume, Tamari'i Groups, Amateur and Professional Groups
10:00am Opening Prayer, Jr. and Sr. Overall Vahine and Tane Soloist Competition
11:00am Couples in Costume Tamure
12:00pm Lunch - Line Dance and Salsa Demo
1:00pm Novice Groups
2:00pm Amateur Groups
3:30pm Professional Groups
5:00pm Awards

Updates and results will be available as soon as we receive them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kona Heiva

Carol Akau Casil coordinated and brought to life the original Tahiti Fete to Hawaii (Kauai-Tahiti Fete). Casil's Temana Rose Productions has recently announced their first event - 1st Annual Heiva (Tahitian Celebration) - happening in Kailua-Kona August 21-23, 2009.

This event will include Solo & Couples Dance Competition 5 yrs & up, Drumming competition, Art Contest for Middle School 6th - 8th grade & High School 9th - 12th., A canoe race for ages 12 - 19, & the Parade of costumes contest.

More information will be coming as this event develops.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tau Rima - Crafting Performance at the University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii's Hamilton Library was host to a reception Thursday evening featuring Tahitian dance crafting - Tau Rima: Crafting Performance. Curator and graduate student Scott G. Bartlett has been researching and working with several Tahitian culture artisans in the community. The colorful exhibit is part of the culmination of his work. The Tahitian dance costumes are striking. Each are thought out and themed to specific dances using natural materials such as lauhala or raufara (pandanus), mother of pearl shell, niau (coconut fibers), and more (wild hibiscus fibers).

Tahitian musical instruments including toere, pahu, fa'ate'ete, ihara, and vivo, adornments, implements and jewelry are included in the exhibit. Carvings such as a beautiful Marquesan U'u club and an ornately carved Tahitian ukulele are also displayed.

In the opening ceremony, Etua Tahauri, a pillar of the Hawaii Tahitian community, accomplished master carver and frequent judge at Tahitian dance competition events, noted that many of the old ways of making the crafts of Tahiti are kept with the older generation. He was grateful to be able to share with the newer generations some of the knowledge in the hopes that they will continue and share the traditions and craft.

Featured artisans in the exhibit include Etua Tahauri (drums, carvings, mother of pearl jewelry), Mafatu Krainer (drums, carvings, mother of pearl jewelry), Charles and Cathy Temanaha (costumes) and Tyron Temanaha (drumming display) of Te Vai Ura Nui, Pola Teriipaia (costumes) of Manutahi Tahiti and Tahia Parker (costumes) of Marania Haoragi. Many others contributed to the exhibit including Rose Perreira, Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui, Roiti Sylva, Here Tama Nui and countless others that Scott was able to interview and gather information.

The Tau Rima exhibit will be open until April 28, 2009 at the 1st floor Bridge Gallery in the Hamilton Library. Admission is free however a $3 parking fee is required unless you have a UH parking pass.

More about this exhibit will be found shortly on our Black Pearl Designs designer blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kauai Polynesian Festival 2009 canceled

Letter from the Kauai Polynesian Festival:

Aloha friends and ohana,

It is with deep sadness that we announce that the Kauai Polynesian Festival 2009 has been cancelled due to loss of funding. For nearly one decade the Festival graced Kauai and entertained locals and visitors alike, all the while preserving our Hawaiian culture. While we will miss working with the performers from all over the world, we are grateful for the many years we were able to do such honorable work on behalf of the Kamanawa Foundation.

As we will strive to resume the festival in 2010, please mark your calendars and join us in the 9th Annual Kauai Polynesian Festival set for Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30, 2010.

A hui hou (until we meet again),
Kapu Alquiza-Kinimaka
Event Organizer

2009 Heiva i Honolulu awards

This past weekend saw an abundance of memorable Tahitian dance performances by 10 dance groups and over 150 soloists competing in the 2009 Heiva i Honolulu, March 12-14, 2009.

For 3 days the Waikiki Shell hosted the event. The first day was full of soloist performances. The first round started with an exhibition of 2-3 year olds giving us a glimps into the future of Tahitian dance. From there, dancers were brought out in age groups all the way up to 36 and above.

The second round saw at least 3 ties which forced dance offs between several dancers. It didn't get any easier for the judges from there. In the overall womens (vahine) competition, the 3 top dancers were separated by only 1 point. Two were tied (Kawahineha'aheo Oliver of Urahutia Productions and Chelsea Clement of Te 'E'a O Te Turama) and the overall vahine, Charity Offril (pictured, top) of Nemenzo, won by the single point.

On the mens (tane) side, Keawe McArthur of Maohi Nui danced his way to the top spot with Kalaniku Clark of Haruru Toa and Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo closely behind.

Groups from Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, California and Japan competed in group events on Friday and Saturday.

One of the closest contests was the drumming division. Two groups, Te Vai Ura Nui of Honolulu, HI and Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui of Waipi'o, HI had scores that were almost too close. The 3 drumming judges, all accomplished drummers in their own right, were Etua Tahauri, Hatota Tehiva, and Tahiti Nui International President Raymond Mariteragi. In the end Te Vai Ura Nui came away with the coveted title.

Each year, the groups from Japan seem to be getting better and better. This year was no exception. Tiare Heipua, from Ishikawa, Japan and under the direction of Heikapu Sabarsah claimed the Hura Ava Tau (Junior) overall division title. This is the second year that they have taken the top spot.

In the Hura Tau (Senior) overall division, 1st place went to crowd favorite Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui, under the direction of a trio of ra'atira - Kevin, Aulii, and Manarii. The Waipi'o group claimed their first title of the Perpetual trophy.

Even in unusually cold weather nights and intermitten rain showers, it was a weekend full of fun, music, food, drumming and of course, dancing. Master of ceremonies duties were handled by a great group of individuals - Cathy Teriipaia, Vaihi, and Johan Hironui Bouit - who not only guided the activities, but also made sure to educate the onlookers and let them know exactly what to look for and what was happening.

Tahiti Nui International Support staff made the event flow smoothly. Kudos to Raymond Mariteragi, Rose Perreira, Tamara Ulima, Niu Ulima, Mana Mo'o, Auntie Ho'o and the rest of the volunteers. Looking forward to March 18-20, 2010 - 8th Annual Heiva i Honolulu.

Photos of the event can be purchased at
DVD's of the event can be purchased at
Video highlights can be viewed at

Here's the complete list of results for the event:



1. Ku'umanu Kupau of Maohi Nui
2. Nicole Graham of Te'e'a O Te Turama
3. Kanoe Navares of Maohi Nui


1. Skyler Ramento of Heretama Nui


1. Denise Robinson of Manutahi Tahiti
2. Leslie Brooke of Manutahi Tahiti
3. Jazmine Melchor of Maohi Nui


1. Troy Spacek of Manutahi Tahiti


1. Poerava Lee of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Chloe Pojas of Manutahi Tahiti
3. Shandy Hopeau of Tiare Ura O Tahiti


1. Zachary Isaac of Te Mana O Te Ra
2. Kyle Imipono Miyasato of Merahi Productions
3. David Alcos of Here Tama Nui


1. Chelsea Clement of Te 'E'a O Te Turama
2. Eleni Tolutau of Nonosina Hawaii
3. Jazmine Emerson of Nonosina Hawaii


1. Kawahineha'aheo Oliver of Urahutia Productions
2. Jocelyn Belden of Haruru Toa
3. Ana Joyce Advincula of Manutahi Tahiti

AGE 18-21 TANE

1. Peter Flores of Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui


1. Michelle Baker of Nemenzo
2. Evlyn Rose Bustamante of Da Island Way
3. Ai Yoneda of Tiare Heipua

AGE 22-26 TANE

1. Keawe McArthur of Ma'ohi Nui
2. Kalaniku Clark of Haruru Toa
3. Sonny Shwe of Nemenzo


1. Charity Offril of Te Mana O Te Ra
2. Mi Nei K Oliver of Urahutia Productions
3. Eleina Gomez of Paul Tavai-Latta Dancers

AGE 27-35 TANE

1. Andre Mata'afa-Alferos of Ma'ohi Nui
2. Jonathan Ulibas of Maohi Nui
3. Joseph Duff of Te Mana O Te Ra


1. Leandra Thompson of Nemenzo
2. Kayoko Soma of Tiare Heipua
3. Sonia Valentines of Da Island Way


1. Lawakua Gabriel of Manutahi Tahiti


Charity Offril of Te Mana O Te Ra


Keawe McArthur of Ma'ohi Nui



1. Tiare Heipua

Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan
2. Te Mau Merahi

Kepa Aricayos - Kihei, HI
3. Mehetia Productions

Charelle Kahanuala Silva - Kaneohe, HI


1. Te Tiare Patitifa

Keoni Manuel - Wailuku, HI


1. Tiare Heipua

Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan
2. Tokariga Kalokemele

Yuko Imai - Chikasaki, Japan
3. Te Mau Merahi

Kepa Aricayos - Kihei, HI


1. Te Mana O Te Ra

Lisa & Ray Aguilar - Walnut Creek, CA
2. Marania Haoragi

Tahia Parker - Honolulu, HI
3. Te Tiare Patitifa

Keoni Manuel - Wailuku, HI


Tiare Heipua

Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan


1. Te Vai Ura Nui

Tyrone Temanaha Jr. - Honolulu, HI
2. Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Kevin & Auli'i - Honolulu, HI


1. Tiare Heipua

Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan
2. Merahi Productions featuring Tiare Apetahi

Tiffany DelaCruz & Seisha Tobosa - Hilo, HI


1. Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Kevin & Auli'i - Honolulu, HI
2. Te Tiare Patitifa

Keoni Manuel - Wailuku, HI


Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Kevin & Auli'i - Honolulu, HI


Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Kevin & Auli'i - Honolulu, HI


Tiare Heipua

Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan


Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui

Kevin, Auli'i and Manarii - Honolulu, HI

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Manutahi Tahiti Competition

Things are moving ahead on this year's Manutahi Tahiti competition. With little over a month until the event, entry forms are now available online on the official website. The 3rd annual event will be taking place on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu.

Activities include the Tamarii/Tamaroa solo competition, the Mister and Miss Heiva Pageant, the Vahine/Tane solo competition, Couples’ competition, a dance off for the overall title and concluding with the awards presentation. The competition begins at 8:30 am and runs throughout the day. Group admission rates are available for advance purchase and day of event. General admission to the event is $7, children 5-11 - $5. Price does not include admission to Waimea Valley park.

For more information, refer to the offical website, email or contact Pola Teriipaia (222-4346) or Alma Damo (promotions/marketing) (542-4480)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Countdown to Heiva i Honolulu

Waikiki is known as a tourist hub, but come this weekend it will be much more. The 2009 Heiva i Honolulu will be happening at the Waikiki Shell - March 12-14, 2009. 10 dance groups and over 150 soloist are readying their costumes, routines and music for the 7th annual event.

This past weekend we just happened to be in the center of Kaneohe and heard the distinct sounds of Tahitian drumming complete with a symphony of toere, fa'atete, pahu and Tahitian ukulele and songs. No doubt hips were swaying. WHAT AM I SAYING? Shaking! Talking with some of the stores around, it seems they have been practicing for this event for at least 4-6 months. That's a great sign of dedication. Looking forward to seeing the performances.

Tahiti Nui International is the producer of the event. Now in its 7th year, Raymond Mariteragi and Rose Perreira have brought several dance groups, soloists, sponsors and vendors together for the event. Both have long been integral parts of the Tahitian community acting not only as producers, but also artisans, judges and leaders.

Complete detailed program is now available online on the official site and blog. Take a look. The event is even partnered up with the Honolulu Festival.

Groups participating include:

Ia Ora O Tahiti Nui
Kevin & Auli'i - Honolulu, HI

Marania Haoragi
Tahia Parker - Honolulu, HI

Mehetia Productions
Charelle Kahanuala Silva - Kaneohe, HI

Merahi Productions featuring Tiare Apetahi
Tiffany DelaCruz & Seisha Toboza - Hilo, HI

Te Mana O Te Ra
Lisa & Ray Aguilar - Walnut Creek, CA

Te Mau Merahi
Kepa Aricayos - Kihei, HI

Te Tiare Patitifa
Keoni Manuel - Wailuku, HI

Te Vai Ura Nui
Tyrone Temanaha Jr. - Honolulu, HI

Tiare Heipua
Heikapua Sabarsah - Ishikawa, Japan

Tokariga Kalokemelemele
Yuko Imai - Chikasaki, Japan