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The Best Of Tahitian Dancing This Weekend

Polynesian Cultural Center's 13th annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti festival and dance competition July 13 and 14 will offer crowd-pleasing performances by 'tamarii' (youths) and 'taurearea' (adults) dancers from around the island who will compete in both solo and group divisions. Photo from PCC.

Polynesian Cultural Center will pay tribute to Tahiti in its 13th annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti, a festival and competition Friday and Saturday at the park that’s timed to coincide with the yearly Heiva (celebration) in Papeete.

“It’s always a thrill to see the talent each year,” said PCC’s chief operating officer Alfred Grace, “especially when showcased through the different skill levels ranging from the eager-to-learn tamarii (youth) to experienced taurearea (adults).”

Back by popular demand this year is the invitation-only division, set for 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday in PCC’s Tahitian village, which draws the most skilled and graceful dancers. Group competitions offer both otea (fast, rhythmic dance) and aparima (slower, hands telling a story) in the Pacific Theater from 9:30 am. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for keiki ages 5 to 11. For more information, call 293-3333.

The festival recently was condensed into a one-day event and will feature only the solo and invitational divisions. The entire program will run from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, July 13 in PCC’s Tahitian Village.