Tahitian Dance Competition - Press Releases
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2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

 

2012 Press Release:

13th ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO’A O TAHITI WINNERS CROWNED AT POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

La‘ie, HI – July 13, 2012 – The spirit of Tahiti shined bright at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) 13th Annual Te Mahana Hiro’a O Tahiti Festival, which concluded this evening. The event featured a solo competition and a special invitational division where dancers, including tamari’i (children) as young as one and taure’are’a (adults), showcased their skilled movements and spectacular costuming.

Set in the picturesque Tahitian Village, the festival opened with an exhibition of tamari’i between the ages of one and three, followed by the solo competition, which included 31 competitors from across the island, all vying for the chance to be named the best in their divisions (see the list of winners).

Due to popular demand, this year’s festival also welcomed back the “invitational division,” which featured six of the world’s most skilled and graceful solo dancers, many of whom have won titles in a major heiva (celebration of Tahitian culture). After three rounds of heated competition, it was Manarii Gauthier of Tahiti Mana and Kauluwehiokekai Oliver of Urahutia Productions who captured the vahine (women’s) and tane (men’s) crowns respectively.

“As a festival already rich with sight and sound, the setting of the Tahitian Village really gave it an authentic feel,” said Alfred Grace, PCC’s Chief Operating Officer. “From the visually stunning landscaping and authentic Tahitian structures to the smell of tiare flowers and freshly baked coconut bread, it’s proof that one doesn’t have to go across the ocean to experience Tahitian culture and spirit.”

The solo competition focuses strictly on the otea style of dance. The otea is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing hau skirts. 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.

For the first time in the competition’s history family members, friends and fans from around the globe were able to view every breathtaking performance through PCC’s live stream at Polynesia.com.

This annual festival is sponsored in part by Tahitian Noni International.

 

2011 Press Release:

12th ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO‘A O TAHITI WINNERS CROWNED AT POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Two-Day Tahitian Dance Festival Concluded This Evening

La‘ie, HI – July 2, 2011 – Audience members tapped their feet to the upbeat rhythm of the to’ere (Tahitian drums) at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) 12th Annual Te Mahana Hiro’a O Tahiti Festival, which concluded today. Both tamarii (youth) and taure’are’a (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 José, 2010, of Te Vai Ura Nui. The competition continued today with the group and solodivisions.

“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 tamari’i, 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 otea 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 Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

 

2010 Press Release:

TE VAI URA NUI AND NONOSINA HAWAII TAKE TOP TITLES AT
10TH ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO‘A TUMU O TAHITI AT
POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Solo Tamari‘i (Youth) and Taure‘are‘a (Adult) Competitions
Highlight Tahitian Dance Festival

Laie, Hawaii – July 17, 2010 – Audience members tapped their feet and swayed to the upbeat rhythm of the to‘ere (Tahitian drums) at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) 10th Annual Te Mahana Hiro‘a Tumu O Tahiti Festival, which concluded today. More than 80 tamarii (youth) and taure‘are‘a (adults) graced the stage – dazzling guests with their skilled movements and exquisite costuming of feathers, flowers and fronds.

The event kicked off with loud cheers of support when the youngest tamari‘i of the event, ages 3 and under, performed their best ?te‘a and paoti. Participants came from all over O‘ahu to compete in the solo dance competition ranging from entrants in the tamari‘i division (ages four through 12) to the taure‘are‘a division (ages 13 and up). Tamari‘i, ages 3 and under, performed in exhibition only.

Heather Malia Jose of Te Vai Ura Nui, won the overall vahine (female) award in the senior group as well as the 19 to 24-year old dance category. LJ Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawai‘i, won the overall tane (male) award in the senior group as well as the 16-18-year old dance category.

Cassandra Kandho of Te Vai Ura Nui won the overall junior vahine award, as well as the 10 to 12-year old dance category. Nonosina Hawaii’s Mykle Keni took the top honors for the junior tane dance division, and the eight to nine-year old dance category.

The solo competition focuses strictly on the Ote‘a style of dance. The Ote‘a is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing h'u skirts. Dancers are judged based on their skill, grace, and, for the Ote‘a, speed.

Tane, or male, dancers were judged on their paoti – the masculine style of ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) that features sharp scissor-like movements of the legs. Vahine, or female, dancers were judged on their faarapu. This feminine dance is the more familiar style of ori Tahiti, characterized by quick hip movements. 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.

“We are pleased that we included the adult division this year – it’s always amazing to see all the different skill levels ranging from tamari‘i to taure‘are‘a,” said Raymond Mariteragi, Cultural Islands Manager at the PCC. “This weekend also marks the annual Heiva in Tahiti, or celebration of Tahitian culture, held in Papeete, Tahiti, so we are proud to host our own celebration here in Hawai‘i to coincide with their festivities and pay tribute to our culture.”

This annual festival is sponsored in part by Tahitian Noni International, the City and County of Honolulu and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Please visit our awards page for complete results from the 10th Annual Te Mahana Hiro‘a Tumu O Tahiti Festival.

 

2009 Press Release:

POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER ANNOUNCES TAHITIAN NONI INTERNATIONAL AS SPONSOR OF ITS TAHITIAN EXPERIENCE

La‘ie, HI – July 2, 2009 – The Polynesian Cultural Center is pleased to announce that Tahitian Noni International has become a sponsor of its Tahitian Village. In addition, Tahitian Noni has also extended its partnership to include serving as the title sponsor of the Ninth Annual Te Mahana Hiro‘a O Tahiti Festival from July 10 to 11. The festival is one of PCC’s largest events, on average drawing more than 100 tamari‘i (youth) dancers to compete at the PCC’s Hale Aloha and Pacific Theaters.

Tahitian Noni International has also donated images of Tahiti that will adorn the PCC’s Tahitian Village to add context and further beautify the space, as well as give visitors a glimpse at what the islands offer.

“We’re so thankful to Tahitian Noni for its support which ensures that we can continue to expand upon the Tahitian experience for our guests,” said Alfred Grace, Chief Operating Officer for PCC. “We found that our two companies have the same values and our mission to support educational opportunities for students at neighboring Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i is in line with Tahitian Noni’s “Do Something Good” program that focuses on education.”

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-Hawai‘i. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.

About Tahitian Noni International
Tahitian Noni International is a global, research-driven products company that was the first to introduce the benefits of noni to the world outside Tahiti. Founded by two food research scientists in 1995, the company is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of noni-based products including beverages, beauty and spa products, weight management lines, and animal nutrition. Headquartered in Provo, Utah, Tahitian Noni International has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, Tahiti, Japan, and China, and sales offices in more than 30 countries worldwide.

 

NINTH ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO‘A O TAHITI RETURNS TO TWO-DAY FORMAT DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

Solo and Group Competitions Highlight Tahitian Dance Festival  

L ā‘i e, Hawai‘i – June 23, 2009 –Visitors can experience the richness and beauty of Tahitian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Ninth Annual Te Mahana Hiro ‘a O Tahiti festival and dance competition beginning on Fri., July 10, to Sat., July 11. The festival is a dance competition for tamari‘i (children). Don’t let their age fool you, these youngsters will dazzle guests with skilled Tahitian dancing to upbeat drumming and partnered with exquisite costuming of feathers, flowers and fronds.

This year’s festival welcomes a new title sponsor Tahitian Noni International. The festival is also sponsored by the City and County of Honolulu and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

The festival includes both group and solo competitions with the preliminary solo competition commencing on Fri., July 10, held in the Hale Aloha Theater starting at 7:45 p.m. The finals of the solo competition and the group competition will be held in the PCC’s Pacific Theater on Sat., July 11, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The group competitions include both ō te‘a and aparima styles of dance, while the solo competition focuses strictly on the ō te‘a style. The ō te‘a is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing hā u 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. Dancers are judged in each category based on their skill, grace, and, for the ō te‘a, speed.

PCC’s Tahitian Village will feature several additional activities for families to enjoy to highlight the beauty and excitement of the islands for guests during the week of competition.

“We started the event nine years ago as a way to help preserve these aspects of Tahitian culture and heritage through the tamari‘i, or children,” said Raymond Mariteragi, Cultural Islands Manager at the PCC. “We timed it to coincide with the annual heiva, or celebration of Tahitian culture, held in Papeete, Tahiti, to pay tribute to our culture.”

Admission to the event is $10 for adults, ages 16 and up and $6 for keiki, ages five to 15. Kama‘āina Annual Pass holders, full-day ticket holders and kids under five can attend for free.

 

2008 Press Release:

REIGNING CHAMPIONS REPEAT AT THE ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO'A O TAHITI FESTIVAL AT THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Nonosina Hawai'i Tane (Male) Dancers Sweep Top Awards

La'ie, HI (July 5, 2008) – The eighth annual Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti Festival concluded this afternoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center featuring more than 100 tamari'i (youth) dancers as young as three years old. The fragrance of fresh tiare was in the air as sounds of to'ere (Tahitian drums) and beautiful costumes of feathers, flowers and fronds transformed the Pacific Theater stage into a scene straight from the islands of Tahiti.

For the second year in a row Chelsea Clement of Te 'e'a 'o Te Turama, won the overall vahine (female) award in the senior group as well as top honors in the 14 to 15-year old dance category. L.J. Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawai'i also had back-to-back wins and took the overall senior tane, or male, solo dance competition and the 16 to 18-year old dance category.

Shandy Hopeau of Tiare Ura O Tahiti won the overall junior female dance award, as well as the 9 to 11-year old dance category. Nonosina's Jordan Mariteragi, L.J. Mariteragi's brother, also took the top honors for the junior male dance division, and the 9 to 11-year old dance category. The young men of Nonosina Hawai'i also dominated the competition garnering all of the top spots in each age category.

The festival highlighting 'ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) soloists was sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the City and County of Honolulu. Tane, or male, dancers were judged on their pa'oti – the masculine style of 'ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) that features sharp scissor-like movements of the legs. Vahine, or female, dancers were judged on their fa'arapu. This feminine dance is the more familiar style of 'ori Tahiti, characterized by quick hip movements. 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.
"It takes a lot for these tamari'i to get up onstage by themselves to perform in front of hundreds of people, and their passion is an inspiration," said Raymond Mariteragi, Tahitian cultural specialist at PCC and coordinator of Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti. "What inspires me even more is seeing the next generation show their appreciation and understanding of the Tahitian culture."

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more the 33 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 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawai'i. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC's revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.

2007 Press Release:

MORE THAN 200 DANCERS SHAKE UP THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER'S 7TH ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO'A O TAHITI

Annual Children's Competition Celebrates Tahitian Culture and Music

La'ie, HI – Colorful outfits of feathers and flowers, infectious drumming and some of the best moves in the Pacific were on display this weekend at the 7th Annual Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The two-day celebration of Tahitian culture and dance began on Friday, when more than 170 solo competitors from ages 3 to 18 took the stage to vie for a spot in the finals on Saturday.

Saturday's events also included the group ote'a and aparima competitions. The 'ote'a is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing Hau skirts made from the bark of the wild Hibiscus. 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. Dancers were judged in each category based on their skill, grace and, for the 'ote'a, speed.

Hometown La'ie favorite Nonosina Hawai'i, led by ra'atira (teacher) Jon and Tiani Mariteragi, came out on top for both the ote'a and aparima/ahupurotu categories in the taure'are'a (senior) division. Mililani's 'Ote'a Kia Mana swept the tamarii (junior) division winning both the 'ote'a and aparima/ahupurotu categories under the direction of ra'atira Dennis Kia.

Individual honors went to Chelsea Clement of Te 'e'a 'o Te Turama, who won the overall vahine, or female, solo dance award in the senior group as well as top honors in the 14 to 15 solo dance category. L.J. Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawai'i won the overall senior tane, or male, solo dance competition and the 14 to 15 solo dance category.

Talamaniaia Sao of Nonosina Hawai'i won the overall junior female solo dance award, as well as the 9 to 11 solo dance category. Nonosina's Ethan Magalei also took the top honors for the junior male solo dance category, and the 7 to 8-year old solo dance category. The young men of Nonosina Hawai'i also dominated the solo competition garnering all but one of the top spots in each age category.

"This is our biggest year yet with more than 200 dancers participating," said Raymond Mariteragi, director of cultural presentations for the Tahitian village at the PCC. "It is a joy to see the youth perform and be so passionate about the Tahitian culture and to know that our heritage and culture will be carried on by the tamarii, or children. And it's especially exciting to see this festival grow so much to provide that opportunity for them to share."

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 32 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 15,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they have attended Brigham Young University-Hawai'i. As a non-profit organization, all funds generated by the PCC are used for its daily operations and to support its cultural and educational missions.

2006 Press Release:

TE MAHANA HIRO'A O TAHITI CONCLUDES AT THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

Tehamata and Manutahi Dominate Group Competition

La'ie, HI - The hau skirts swished and the drums beat as another year celebrating the Tahitian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center's 6th Annual Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti festival.  Newcomer group from Laie, Tehamata, dominated the tamarii division (ages 3-11) and Manutahi from Wahiawa won three of the five taure'are'a division (ages 12-18) categories.

Tahitian dancers ranging from ages 3 to 18 participated in the two-day competition, which began on Friday, July 14, with more than 100 solo competitors, and ended Saturday, July 15, with only a few crowned the best. Other Tahitian cultural activities, including dance workshops, were held throughout the week in the PCC's Tahitian Village to highlight the beauty and excitement of the islands for guests.

Tehamata's ra'atira, or leader, Penny Toilolo led her tamarii group to first place honors in the ote'a and second place in the aparima categories to earn the highest group score overall. Wahiawa's Manutahi, led by Pola Teriipaia, was returned to show why it has been a three-time champion in the past by taking top honors in the Ote'a, Hivinau and Pa'o'a categories.  Nonosina Hawaii, led by John and Tiani Maritergi of Laie, won the group aparima/ahupurotu for both the tamarii and taure'are'a divisions.

Dayna Higa of Manutahi won the overall vahine, or female, solo dance award in the senior group as well as top honors in the 14 to 15-year-old solo dance category.  LJ Mariteragi of Nonosina Hawaii won the overall senior tane, or male, solo dance competition and the 14 to 15-year-old solo dance category.

Chloe Pojas of Manutahi won the overall junior female solo dance award, as well as the 7 to 8-year-old solo dance category. Nonosina Hawaii's Teancum Kaitoku took the top honors for the junior male solo dance category, and the 7 to 8-year-old solo dance category.

Saturday's events also included the group ote'a and aparima competitions. The ote'a 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.  Dancers were judged in each category based on their skill, grace and, for the ote'a, speed.
 
"We started the event six years ago as a way to help preserve these aspects of Tahitian culture and heritage through the tamarii, or children," said Raymond Mariteragi, director of cultural presentations for the Tahitian village at the PCC.  "We timed it to coincide with the annual heiva held in Papeete, Tahiti, to pay tribute to our culture.  Since we started this competition, we've seen a lot more interest in hosting Tahiti fêtes and starting dance groups in Hawai'i.  We encourage everyone to join in and learn."

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 32 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 15,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they have attended Brigham Young University-Hawaii.  As a non-profit organization, all funds generated by the PCC are used for its daily operations and to support its cultural and educational missions.

2005 Press Release:

SOLOISTS HIGHLIGHT FIFTH ANNUAL TE MAHANA HIRO'A O TAHITI FESTIVAL AT THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER

La'ie, HI – Tahitian culture took over the Polynesian Cultural Center this weekend with the 5th Annual Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti Festival. More than 75 keiki ages 1-18 took part in the festival that highlights the dances and culture of Tahiti.

More than six Tahitian dance groups were represented by the best and brightest keiki dancers in the two-day solo competition. Friday night kicked off with all of the competitors vying for a spot in the finals, which took place today in the PCC's Hale Ku'ai. An exhibition by several one and two-year old dancers was the highlight of both days of competition.

Other Tahitian cultural activities, including dance workshops, were held throughout the week in the PCC's Tahitian Village to highlight the beauty and excitement of the islands for guests.

Nonosina Hawaii, the current reigning group champion from La'ie, was well represented as four of its members swept top overall honors and many others took top three spots in their respective age categories. Lucie Wilson won the overall vahine, or female, solo dance award in the senior group as well as top honors in the 16 to 18-year-old solo dance category. Toa Leiataua won for the second year in a row for the overall senior tane, or male, solo dance competition and the 16 to 18-year-old solo dance category. Lucie's little sister Kiana Wilson won the overall junior female solo dance award, as well as the 9 to 11-year-old solo dance category. Kameron Ho Ching took the top honors for the junior male solo dance category, and the 9 to 11-year-old solo dance category.

"We're so proud of our students," said John and Tiani Mariteragi, ra'atira (leaders) for Nonosina Hawaii. "They have worked so hard and it really shows. All of the dancers were great this year."

The Tamari'i, or junior division, included competitors in categories spanning 3-4 year olds to 9-11 year olds. The Taure'are'a, or senior division, featured competitors ranging in ages from 12 to 18.

The competition was based on the ote'a, which is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing Hau skirts. Dancers were judged in each category based on their costumes, technical execution, precision, timing, transitions, creativity and originality, energy and stamina.

"We're proud to host Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti again this year to help preserve these aspects of Tahitian culture and heritage through the tamari'i, or children," said Raymond Mariteragi, director of cultural presentations for the Tahitian village at the PCC. "Since we started this competition, we've seen a lot more interest in hosting Tahiti fêtes and starting dance groups in Hawai'i. We encourage everyone to join in and learn."

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 31 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 14,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they have attended Brigham Young University-Hawai'i. As a non-profit organization, all funds generated by the PCC are used for its daily operations and to support its cultural and educational missions.

2004 Press Release:

NONOSINA HAWAII WINS TAHITIAN CULTURAL CELEBRATION

Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti Ends at Polynesian Cultural Center

La'ie, HI - The Hau skirts swished and the drums beat to the sound of another year celebrating the Tahitian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center's 4th Annual Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti festival. La'ie's own Nonosina Hawaii took top honors this year in its debut appearance at the annual celebration, which featured dancers from eight Tahitian dance groups on O'ahu.

Tahitian dancers ranging from ages 2 to 18 participated in the two-day competition, which began on Friday, July 16, with more than 100 solo competitors, and ended Saturday, July 17, with only a few crowned the best. Other Tahitian cultural activities, including dance workshops, were held throughout the week in the PCC's Tahitian Village to highlight the beauty and excitement of the islands for guests.

Nonosina Hawaii's ra'atira, or leaders, John and Tiani Mariteragi led their group to first place honors in the ote'a and second place in the aparima categories to earn the highest group score overall. Wahiawa's Manutahi, led by Pola Teriipaia, was unseated as the three-time champion to place second overall.

Vaitiare Napa'a of Tamarii A'Hiva won the overall vahine, or female, solo dance award in the senior group as well as top honors in the 12 to 13-year-old solo dance category. Toa Leiataua of Nonosina Hawaii won the overall senior tane, or male, solo dance competition and the 16 to 18-year-old solo dance category.

Chelsea Clement of Manutahi won the overall junior female solo dance award, as well as the 10 to 11-year-old solo dance category. Nonosina Hawaii's Johnny Tapusoa took the top honors for the junior male solo dance category, and the 8 to 9-year-old solo dance category. The Tamarii, or junior division, included competitors in categories spanning 2-3 year olds to 10-11 year olds. The Taure'are'a, or senior division, featured competitors ranging in ages from 12 to 18.

Saturday's events also included the group ote'a and aparima competitions. The ote'a 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. Dancers were judged in each category based on their skill, grace and, for the ote'a, speed.

"We started the event four years ago as a way to help preserve these aspects of Tahitian culture and heritage through the tamarii, or children," said Raymond Marieteragi, director of cultural presentations for the Tahitian village at the PCC. "We timed it to coincide with the annual heiva held in Papeete, Tahiti, to pay tribute to our culture. Since we started this competition, we've seen a lot more interest in hosting Tahiti fêtes and starting dance groups in Hawai'i. We encourage everyone to join in and learn."

The Hula Supply Center, Treasures of Tahiti and Hawaii Polynesian Cultural Supply returned as sponsors of the annual competition providing monetary support, black pearls and hand-carved toere drums as prizes for the winners.

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 30 million visitors by preserving and portraying the spirit, culture and people of Polynesia to the rest of the world. More important is the mission of the PCC, which supports the educational mission of Brigham Young University-Hawai'i and provides an extension of the classroom in a workplace setting. Since its establishment, the PCC has employed more than 13,000 BYU-Hawai'i students. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of the PCC's revenue is used for daily operations and to support the students who earn their tuition, room and board, and books. The PCC also provides significant financial support to elementary and secondary schools and to college students attending institutions of their choice besides BYU-Hawai'i.


 

 

 

 

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