Heiva I Kaua`i Ia Orana Tahiti

International Tahitian Dance Competition
August 4–5, 2018
Kapa`a Beach Park, Kaua`i, Hawai`i

Application Guidelines and Process

Dance Area Specifications | `Ori Tahiti Eligibility Categories |Time Limits | Photographs | `Ote`a | Aparima | Drumming | Ahupurotu | Music | `Ori Tahiti Solo Competition | Overall Winning Group | Costumes | Fact Sheet | Scoring | Judging

Last day to enter solo or group competition is
July 23, 2018.
No applications accepted after this date.

Mail to Tepairu Manea, 6415 Olohena Road, Kapa`a, HI, 96746

Heiva 2018 will be held on August 4–5, 2018 at Kapa`a Beach Park, Kapa`a, Kaua`i, Hawai`i. Hours will be from 9 am to 5:00 pm. General admission cost will be $6 per day.

Dance Area Specifications
The dance area is grass, approximately 60' X 60'. Musician’s area is the County of Kaua`i mobile stage, 36' long by 14' wide.

`Ori Tahiti Eligibility Categories
Group competition is open to any dance group with a minimum of 5 dancers and no maximum. Any dancer may enter the solo competition.

Solo Categories Age Groups 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prize
`Ote`a vahine or tane Junior Division 4-6
Senior Division 13-15
Master Division 26-39

The 1st place winners in senior and master division age groups will compete for the place of overall winner for vahine and for tane.

The 1st place winners in junior division age groups will compete for overall junior division winner vahine and tane.

Dancers entering the solo competition will be admitted free on both competition days.

Group Categories
Group `Ote`a
Group Aparima
Group `Ahupurotu
Tahitian Drumming

Amateur - Youth Group Category

Group `Ote`a Aparima (combined)
Tahitian Drumming

Criteria for amateur youth category:

  1. Contestants must be age 18 years or younger, or
  2. If contestant is over 18, must have less than 3 years of dance experience.
  3. Judging criteria will be the same as for adult groups

The special entry form for amateur-youth group must be completed and submitted by the deadline.

Performers (dancers, musicians, and drummers) in group categories will be admitted free on the days they perform. Admission will be allowed according to the names of performers listed on the halau’s application.

Time LimitsMinimumMaximum
`Ori Solo2 minutes2 minutes
Group `Ote`a5 minutes15 minutes
Group Aparima 5 minutes 10 minutes
Group `Ahupurotu 5 minutes10 minutes
Drumming 5 minutes 10 minutes

The penalty for going over the time limit is 25 points. Time starts when first dance movement begins. Performing under the time limit will also result in a penalty of 25.

Heiva I Kaua`i reserves the right to photograph group and solo dancers during the event. Photos are used only for promotion of the event the following year. Dancers not wanting photos to be used should indicate so on the entry applications.

Guidelines for All Participants:
Names of steps listed in these guidelines are derived from the Tahitian Heiva rules.

  1. Drummers and musicians must be appropriately costumed. Music must be live.
  2. Groups must have entrance and exit routine. For each category, only one entry per halau.
  3. Traditional or contemporary Tahitian themes may be used.
  4. Points will be totaled, and prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each group category.


  1. `Ote`a `amui: Group dance performed by men and women, illustrating a precise theme. Choreographically, the movements and steps performed by the men may differ from those performed by women. (Groups may perform with only women)
  2. `Ote`a costumes must use traditional materials with natural fibers, feathers and/or shells. Judges will inspect costumes with this in mind.
  3. Dance steps for men include: pa`oti, tu`e, fa`ahe`e, nu`u ueue, tu tei, tu taperepere, peretete, ou`a ofati` patia, ui haere, totoro, fariuriu, hurihuri, vehe, horo, amaha, fa`aori, otamu, ori opu, ne`e, ta`iri, taparuru, hupapi.
  4. Dance steps for women include: ta`iri (toma, tamau, aoao), fa`arori-fa`a`ohu, tumami, fa`aruru, fa`ahe`e, fa`arapu, nu`u, varu, tahapehape, paipai, horo, vehe, ui, otamu, ori opu, totoro, fariuriu, hurihuri, maha, tefene, tei, ne`e and tu`e.
  5. Judging will be for precision and proper execution of a variety of these steps in accordance with the theme and music chosen by the group.
  6. Hivinau or `Ori Fa`a`ohu or Upa Fa`aohu is a dance in a double circle performed by men and women who turn in a circle. The dialogue between the leader and the troupe develops along a theme. The movements and the steps of the men may differ from those of the women. The performance of the Hivinau may however be particular to one island. Up to 25 Extra points will be awarded if Hivinau is incorporated properly into the `Ote`a performance.
  7. Pa`o`a is a performance in a circle or half circle, beat provided by pata`uta`u. The orchestra is surrounded by male and female dancers squatting, slapping their thighs with frenzy. The dialogue between the leader and the troupe develops along a theme. This dance may be augmented by the presentation of one or many male and female dancers miming the theme of the dance. Up to 25 Extra points will be awarded for Pa`o`a as a part of the `Ote`a presentation.


  1. Aparima Vava: gesture performance miming in a symbolic manner the different activities of daily life.
  2. Aparima Himene: of modern conception, gestural interpretation with sung and/or musical accompaniment, illustrating the different activities of daily life.
  3. Aparima costumes may be of natural fibers and fabric.


  1. Scoring: drumming will be scored for the clarity and variety of beats and rigor of the performance. The maximum number of drummers allowed is 20, and they may use a variety of traditional and contemporary Tahitian instruments. The following traditional beats are mandatory: hitoto, ta`akoto, paea, pahae, puarata and pora. Using a mixture of traditional and contemporary styles is recommended.
  2. The drumming competition will be judged as a separate category.
  3. Musicians and drummers must compete only with their own group.


  1. There should be a minimum of 5 dancers, and the costume should be a one-piece, ankle- length dress or pareo style garmet. No bare midriffs. The dress should fit the theme of the presentation. Live music is required. A fact sheet should be submitted, which includes the words to the song.


  1. Music will be judged as part of the Aparima competition.
  2. The use of electronic instruments is permitted. The following is a list of authorized instruments: To`ere, fa`atete, tari parau, pahu tupa`i, ihara, all percussions of Polynesian origin or inspiration, vivo, pu`ofe, guitar, ukulele, pu.

`Ori Tahiti Solo Competition

  1. Contestants will be given their solo numbers on Friday, the day before the solo competition, from 4 to 6PM at the Kapa`a beach park. Numbers should be pinned in front of the pareo.
  2. House drummers will provide all drumming for eliminations and finals. All dancing will be impromptu.
  3. All vahine `Ori Tahiti participants must wear a pareo that is only 1 piece of fabric that reaches no higher than 4 inches above the knee. Pareo must be tied on the side. No "rollups." No ruffles or bands may be sewn onto the pareo. No hip bands. No props or hand-held objects allowed. Headwear and traditional necklaces are welcome.
  4. Dancers who receive the highest score in each age group qualify for the junior and senior championships.
  5. There is no limit to the number of soloists from any halau. Independent dancers are welcome.

Sharing or borrowing dancers between groups during the 2 days of the Heiva I Kaua`i is not permitted.

A list of the first and last names of all group performers (musicians, dancers and "extras") must be received at 6415 Olohena Road, kapaa, HI 96746, no later than 7 days prior to the first day of the Heiva. This list will determine the number of free admission passes for performers. Admission gate volunteers will be instructed that only performers with passes will be admitted free. If it is necessary to add or change listed performers, the halau must notify the Heiva Committee prior to the Friday before the competition.

It is permitted for groups to have assistance from drummers or dancers from outside the U.S. (for example, from Tahiti) but the individual’s name must be listed on the group’s roster.

Overall Winning Group
Total scores of the `Ote`a, Aparima and drumming winners will be added to select the overall winning group.

Costumes will be examined by the judges after the group’s presentation. Costuming will be graded during the group’s presentation and should be appropriate for the dance. Natural products such as shells, fresh flowers, seeds, leaves, ferns, and tapa are acceptable for hip and hei upo`o, using an authentic Tahitian styling. No artificial or silk flowers are allowed. I`i, fans, coconuts, ti leaves, or other hand-held implements may be used. `Ote`a skirts must be mo`re and may be double or single.

With the exception of fastenings, it is forbidden to wear non-Polynesian jewelry such as watches, bracelets, necklaces or earrings.

Fact Sheets
All groups must submit fact sheets one week before the competition. The following should be included: group name, artistic director, name of `Ote`a, and/or Aparima piece, words to the songs, the story or research behind the selection and a brief outline of the choreography, costume and colors used. There should be no more than two typed pages for each group entry performance. Fact sheets must include an original and five copies, for a total of six (6) for judges. If no fact sheet is submitted for a group entry, there will be a 50-point deduction for that entry. If fact sheet is late, there will be a 25-point deduction from the score.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 in each division.

Vahine will be judged on ability to perform the 6 traditional steps, tamau, ta`iri tamau, fa`arapu, varu, maha, tefene, haere raro i ne`e (to go down - and fa`arapu) and tei.

Tane will be judged on ability to perform the 6 traditional steps, pa`oti, tu`e, nu`u, ou`a ofati, otamu, ne`e (to go down and pa`oti).

Dancers are free to use other steps in addition to the mandatory steps within the 2-minute time limit. Judging of artistic presentation will include dancer’s grace and elegance, gestures used and creativity and expression.

Groups will be judged on the appropriateness of their entrance and exit, the level of showmanship of the performance, and the dynamic quality of the group’s presentation.

Costume will be judged by quality and integration with the theme of the dance. Natural traditional materials are favored. No artificial flowers.

Interpretation: Judges will listen for the quality of the music and the appropriate drum beats for each dance as well as its interpretation with the theme of the dance. Proper pronunciation and understanding of Tahitian lyrics used is very important in interpreting the theme.

Choreography is a very important aspect of the performance. Proper interpretation of the dance theme as stated on the fact sheets should be reflected in the choreography. Choreography should express the theme, and display creativity, while using traditional Tahitian dance movements of correct form and style.

Execution and Precision: The dancers’ overall presentation, use of the stage area and interaction with the audience will be judged. This area also includes the entrance, dance transitions and exit. Dancers’ ability to perform traditional Tahitian steps with vitality and precision will be observed as well as coordination of music and dance movements.

Expression: Facial expressions should match the theme of the music and dance. Group should convey the feeling of esprit de corps (ensemble).

Creativity: Be creative while using mostly Tahitian traditional steps. Newer steps may be used. Props and other enhancements that convey the theme are encouraged for group performances.

Last Note : All matters of question applying to the competition will be resolved by the judges. Judges will have the authority to eliminate time and performance penalties.

Mail application and materials to Tepairu Manea, 6415 Olohena Road, Kapa`a, HI, 96746

For more information: call 808.822.9447

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