For Ori Tahiti diehards, fireworks and fetes exploded from the hip – Nonosina’s hips to be exact – this past 4th of July weekend at the 19th Annual Tahiti Fete in San Jose, CA and The WhatItDo Crew had exclusive access to arguably the largest Tahitian festival outside of French Polynesia.
A huge Mauruuru to Aunty Pua Tokumoto, Founder and Producer of Tahiti Fete San Jose, for a spectacular event. The warmth of the people, fragrance of the tiare in oil perfumed skin, elegant black pearls, elaborate feathered head bands, and wildly erotic sounds of French Polynesia drumming in the air, transformed San Jose State University Event Center, where this year’s fete took place, into a tropical adventure.
Nonosina of Anaheim, California dominated this year’s fete like a pahu tupai, or Tahitian drum – the heartbeat of Tahiti Fete. With Tiana Liufau directing the beats of a hypnotic and powerful chant of ancient stories, the audience experienced an unmistakable performance inspired by blending the legends and cultures of Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii and Tahiti. Mevina Liufau’s mesmerizing voice sang “Ahupurotu” to an award winning aparima or Tahitian hula, but Mevina doesn’t just sing he swoons and the dancers respond with a captivating performance in striking red ahuroas. The stellar delivery of the ote’a was beautifully animated and precisely choreographed as every trademark of Tahitian dance should be. Backup vocals by Alisi and Voka Matele of Kontiki added to the passionate delivery by the Nonosina cast.
Congratulations to Nonosina for winning the Senior Overall group award, taking first place in group performances for ote’a, aparima and ahuroa categories and an impressive most awarded group for soloists.
July is competition month for dancers, drummers and singers all over the world competing to be named ‘the best’ in ori Tahiti (Tahitian dancing) inspired festive gatherings. And when Nonosina is in the competition’s line-up, you have to be on top of your ote’a game and expand yourself even more. You’ve got one shot of doing something fabulous, because Nonosina sure will! That’s WhatItDo!
Article Written By: Marina Latu
*photos courtesy of Melania Cavu