Top Tahitian dancers crowned
BY NINA WU / email@example.com
Top Tahitian dancers were crowned at the 14th annual Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti fete at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Saturday, July 13.
The fete, or festival, is a celebration of Tahitian dance and culture featuring individual performances by tamarii (children) and taurearea (adults) who vie for a chance to be named the best in their divisions.
Top honors in the Invitational Division went to Anthony Ing of Tahiti Mana in the men’s group and Heather M. Ruth of Te Vai Ura Nui in the women’s group.
Nine of Hawaii’s most skilled and graceful solo dancers faced off in three rounds of competition.
Kapua Patron and Melissa Guevarra of the California-based Aloha Hula Dance Studio swept first place titles for the ages 12 and older and ages 11 and under divisions, earning the highest combined score in their respective divisions.
The competition featured participants as young as four years old performing the otea, the best-known Tahitian style of dance which features fast, rhythmic movements and swishing hau skirts.
Judges scored dancers on several criteria, including skill, grace and speed during the otea as well as costumes, coordination, timing of the dance with the drumming and overall presentation.
Male dancers are judged on their paoti, the masculine style of Tahitian dance with sharp, scissor-like leg movements, while women were judged on their faarapu, or quick hip movements.
14th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti Fete
Vahine (Female) Division
» Invitational Competition: Heather M. Ruth, Te Vai Ura Nui
» Tamarii Competition (Ages 4-11): Melissa C. Guevarra, Aloha Hula Dance Studio
» Taurearea Competition (Ages 12-17): Kapua Patron, Aloha Hula Dance Studio
Tane (Male) Division
» Invitational Competition: Anthony Ing, Tahiti Mana
» Tamarii Competition (Ages 4-11): Lohiau Guillory-Kinimaka
» Taurearea Competition (Ages 12-17): Tamatoa Litia, Te Vai Ura Nui