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Polynesian Cultural Center Presents 12th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti

Winner of 12th Annual Tahitian Dance Festival – Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti – Gather at PCC

Tahitian Festival’s New “Invitational Division” to Showcase Top Dancers From Around the World

Laie, HI – June 27, 2011 – Visitors can experience the beauty of the Tahitian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) 12th Annual Te Mahana Hiroa O Tahiti festival and dance competition from Friday, July 1 to Saturday, July 2.

Due to popular demand this year’s festival has been extended from one to two days and will welcome back the popular solo and group competition. New this year is the “invitational division,” which will consist of the world’s most talented dancers, many whom have won the title of “Best Tahitian Solo Dancer” in a major heiva. The invitational division will commence at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 1 in PCC’s Tahitian village and the solo and group performances will conclude the festival in the Pacific Theater on Saturday, July 2 at 7:30 a.m.

The group competitions include 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 and incorporates 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 are judged in each category based on their skill, grace, and for their otea, speed.

“We started this event 11 years ago as a means to help preserve and perpetuate the Tahitian culture and art through native song and dance,” said Raymond Mariteragi, Cultural Islands Manager at PCC. “We timed it to coincide with the annual heiva, or celebration of the Tahitian culture held in Papeete, Tahiti, to pay tribute to our culture here in Hawaii. We’ve had many extremely talented dancers participate in our competition in the past, including the 2010 Ms. Tahiti, Lucy Wilson, and it is always a pleasure to watch such amazing talent grace our stage.”

Admission to the event is $10 for adults, ages 12 and up and $6 for keiki, ages three to eleven. Kamaaina Annual Pass holders, full-day ticket holders and keiki under the age of five receive free admission.

For more information or to make reservations, visit www.polynesia.com, or call the PCC ticket office at (808) 1-844-572-2347 . On Oahu, call (808) 293-3333.

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.