KAPAA — Mike Teruya, a photographer with the Heiva I Kauai, said the group is lucky to have the event at the Kapaa Beach Park.
“The people can hear the drums when they pass by,” Teruya said. “And with the weather being good, they all come.”
Hundreds of people attended the Tahitian solo competition Saturday, opening day of Heiva I Kauai, a showcase of Polynesian dance and drumming competitions and offerings of Pacific island crafts and demonstrations.
“Did you see them?” asked Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. “The boys from Kamehameha-Big Island are here enjoying themselves and learning before they go to Vidinha Stadium to play football.”
The football team immersed themselves, enjoying the local food offerings, watching the competitions and indulging in the fire knife demonstrations.
Saturday’s events featured the solo dance competition, including the vahine (female) and tane (male) divisions of youth up to 12 years old, and the seniors from 13 years old to 40 and over.
Te Vai Ura Nui, an award- winning group from Oahu founded by Charles and Cathy Temanaha, spiced up the transition with an exhibition performance that included the various Tahitian dance styles as well as a performance dedicated to Kauai drum maker Tepairu Manea.
The Oahu group was joined by the youth dancers, the youngest being 2 years old, of Ori Uvira, who thrilled the audience.
Gates open at 9 a.m. today as Heiva I Kauai continues with group and drumming competitions.