Monday, February 28, 2011

Get Ready for the 32nd Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete

California's first Heiva of 2011 will hit Merced March 25-27. The event, produced by Rebecca Manandic and staff, is the longest running Heiva outside of Tahiti. Now in it's 32nd year, the event features solo, couple and group competition. The Merced County Fairgrounds once again serve as the centralized venue.

One of the key elements to the success of this event is the division of beginning and advanced dancers. "This enables advanced/professional performers to compete at a higher level and truly challenge their capabilities," states the history documents of the event. "At the same time this also allows the beginner/intermediate dancers to gain experience and be awarded for their progress." It remains the only event that has a beginner category.

Tickets are $15 each, Children (5-12) $11. Adult 3 Day Pass is $39 (Children $29).  For more information, call Pacifica (209) 726-1925 (10am-6pm, M-F) or visit the event website at

In addition to being a venue to showcase the visual art of Tahitian dance, music and costume, the printed program for the event highlights artwork and written compositions of Polynesian design. Be sure to pick up your copy. Feel free to submit your work. We'll be watching.

If you'd like to read more about the event, here is a history written by Eric "Ka'ahele" Morales, of how it all started.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Heiva i O'ahu 2011

It's been about a decade since the award winning Tahitian dance group Te Vai Ura Nui produced a heiva, but that is all going to change now. Charles and Cathy Temanaha have announced that Heiva i O'ahu will return and will be held Saturday, March 26, 2011 in Kaneohe, Hawaii at King Intermediate School. The event will feature soloists, groups and drummers competing for event titles.

The event has the standard forms and rules, all of which are available on their website. Tane and vahine soloists 5 and up may compete. Tamari'i dance groups are made up of children 12 and under. Groups will compete in Otea, Aparima and Ahupurotu. Being in the islands, an emphasis on natural fibers, flowers and leaves is expected. As always, live musicians and drumming are a must in this competitive field.

As this is the first Tahitian dance competition in the islands this year, this is a great opportunity to showcase new music, costumes and choreography. It's also a great opportunity to refine the basics and fine tune old and new groups.

In addition to the dancing and drumming; Tahitian and Polynesian arts and crafts vendors will be set up for you to visit.

Admission is $10. Children 12 and under $5. For more information, applications and details, visit the event website or contact the event producers directly at

Keona Cross crowned as Miss Purotu 2011

Keona Cross, Miss Purotu 2011
The second annual Miss Purotu pageant was recently held at the Aloha Tower Marketplace and crowned Keona Cross of Maili as the new reigning Miss Purotu. She succeeds Miss Purotu 2010 - Lesly Poerava Goo. Tiare Alvarez claimed 1st Runner Up and Candice Panoke was named 2nd Runner Up. In addition, Miss Purotu Iti (Tamarii) Taylor Acosta was also crowned. The event is organized and produced by Purotu Designs' Nalini and Manari'i Gaulthier who also head up the award-winning Tahitian dance group Ia Ora Tahiti Nui.

Nine contestants from Oahu vied for the crown and competed in 5 categories that included:
• Costume Naturel - Contestants must create and model an outfit made from natural materials.
• Pareu – Contestants given fabric from Tahiti to create an outfit that reflects their personality.
• Talent - 1) Contestants must perform a solo Ote'a and 2) Choose between singing a Tahitian song or dancing a slow Aparima (Ahuroa).
• Island Formal - Contestants will model a Tahitian style dress - Purotu, custom fit and designed for them by designer Linda Mataoa from Tahiti.
• Interview - Contestants must answer questions proposed to them by the Master of Ceremony.

Miss Photogenic - Darla Carino
Keona received $1,500 in cash and additional prizes upon receiving the crown. The Miss Photogenic title went to Darla Carino who dances for Manutahi Tahiti, who also won the Best Talent category. Miss Congeniality went to Kathleen Valdez.

The evening event included not only the pageant, but also Tahitian entertainment, a Tahitian dinner and cocktails. Sponsors of the event included Purotu Designs, Fashion Quick, Arii Creations, Hawaii's Wedding Professionals, Rotui Tahiti, SNJ LLC, and American Income Life.

The Miss Purotu Pageant is a Tahitian style pageant that allows young women to develop and share their inner and outer beauty, talent, and love for the Tahitian culture.