Polynesian Festival on the upbeat this weekend at Kukui Grove Center

Dancers from the Tamarii A Hiva halau took advantage of the morning lull to get a feel for the stage and wind conditions as they arrived at the Kaua‘i Polynesian Festival 2003 on Friday morning at the Kukui Grove Park and Pavilion.

As they went through their routines with their musicians and kumu, Kapu Kinimaka-Alquiza, kumu hula for Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani and the Kamanawa Foundation walked through the perimeter of the Kukui Grove park checking for last-minute details while craft vendors busily unpacked crates of wares and food vendors fired up their grills in preparation for the three-day event that will run through Sunday afternoon.

Gates opened at noon on Friday with a formal Hawai‘i/Aotearoa (New Zealand) protocol ceremony heralding the start of dance competition featuring the Maori Poi Ball as well as the Ori (solo) Tahitian dance for the 4-12 age group. Saturday’s gates open at 9 a.m. with a full slate of activities including an intensive cultural seminar at the Radisson Kaua‘i Beach Resort focussing on tradition, ceremony, and the diversity of performance arts from New Zealand, Samoa, and Tahiti, while at the Kukui Grove Park, the Tahiti protocol ceremony will open up the evening with a group exhibition by “Tava Nui” of O‘ahu.

The Tahitian group competition in otea, ahupurotu, and aparima will open up the evening’s competition followed by the fire knife competition in the junior and senior divisions.

Sunday’s slate will have the gates opening at 9 a.m. to a series of workshops on Tahitian dance and drumming with a Tahitian Otea exhibition by Tava Nui heralding the start of competition in the Tahitian Ori for age group 13-15 and the Couples, and Drumming competition.

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