12th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti Winners Crowned At Polynesian Cultural Center
Two-Day Tahitian Dance Festival Concluded This Evening
Laie, HI – July 2, 2011 – Audience members tapped their feet to the upbeat rhythm of the toere (Tahitian drums) at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) 12th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti Festival, which concluded today. Both tamarii (youth) and taurearea (adults) graced the stage – dazzling guests with their skilled movements and exquisite costuming of feathers, flowers and fronds.
The two-day Tahitian dance festival kicked off last night in the Tahitian village with the debut of the invitational division, which consisted of eight of the world’s most talented solo dancers, many of whom have won titles in major heiva. After three rounds of energy packed competition it was Kauluwehiokekai Oliver of Urahutia Productions and Keawe McArthur of Maohi Nui who captured the vahine (women’s) and tane (men’s) crowns respectively. Oliver beat out the two previous year’s champions, Chelsea Clement, 2009, of Manutahi and Heather Malia Jose, 2010, of Te Vai Ura Nui. The competition continued today with the group and solo divisions.
“The invitational division displayed the pinnacle of ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance), it was clear to everyone in attendance that we were seeing something special. Each dancer displayed the speed, grace and control that makes them among the best in the world,” said Raymond Mariteragi, Cultural Islands Manager at the PCC. “You also have the tamarii, who are so eager to learn and exude pure joy while they’re on stage, over the past 12 years we were able to watch a lot of the little ones grow up and evolve into beautiful dancers, there is no doubt we will see a few of them in the invitational division one day.”
The group competitions returned after a year of absence and included both tea and aparima styles of dance, while the solo competition focuses strictly on the otea style. The otea is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing hau skirts. The aparima, literally translated as “kiss of the hands,” is a slower dance that uses the hands to tell a story similar to the Hawaiian hula.
Tane dancers were judged on their paoti – the masculine style of ori Tahiti that features sharp movements of the legs. Vahine dancers were judged on their faarapu. This feminine dance is the more familiar style of ori Tahiti, characterized by quick hip movements. Dancers are judged in each category based on their skill, grace, and, for the otea, speed. All dancers were also judged on their costume, the coordination and timing of their dance with the drumming and the overall presentation of their performance.
This annual festival is sponsored in part by Tahitian Noni International, the City and County of Honolulu and Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Listed below are the complete results from the 12th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti Festival.
12TH ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO’A O TAHITI WINNERS
Kauluwehiokekai Oliver, Urahutia Productions
Keawe McArthur, Maohi Nui
Tamarii Division (4-12)
Tane Lohiau Kinimaka-Guillory, Maohi Nui
Vahine Breeze-Makana Agapaoa, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
Taurearea Division (13-18)
Tane Brayden-Tyler Agpaoa, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
Vahine Cailin-Tiana Sabado, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
Age 4 -5
1. Harley Love, Here Tama Nui
2. Enjoli Tagoai
1. Dionisia Robinson, Manutahi Tahiti
2. Neliya Omalza, Here Tama Nui
1. Breeze-Makana Agapaoa, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
2. Tyara Nguyen, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
3. Chevell Lele, Kalenas Polynesian Ohana
1. Tehani Perkins, Te Vai Ura Nui
2. Denise Robinson, Manutahi Tahiti
3. Jasmin Aquino, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
1. Cailin-Tiana Sabado, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
2. Juveil Aquino, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
3. Chynna Oasay, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
1. Pola Teriipaia, Manutahi Tahiti
2. Tara Teriipaia, Manutahi Tahiti
3. Gretchen Toledo, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
Age 4 -5
1. Matagi Lilo, Maohi Nui
1. Lohiau Kinimaka-Guillory, Maohi Nui
2. Jiovanni Tafisi, Maohi Nui
3. Saig Marienthal, Here Tama Nui
1. Laamea Kinimaka-Guillory, Maohi Nui
1. Vaihira Kamakele, Here Tama Nui
1. Brayden-Tyler Agpaoa, Pupu Ote Iti Ra
1. Here Tama Nui, Honolulu
2. Oriata, Kahuku
For more information or to make reservations, please call the Polynesian Cultural Center ticket office at (800) 367-7060 or visit www.polynesia.com. In Hawaii, call (808) 293-3333. Results and images from the competition will be posted on the PCC blog at www.polynesia.com/blog.
Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 34 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts, and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to 17,000 young people from over 70 countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.