With more than 100 dancers, Ballet Folklorico Bali Hai from Mexico bested its competition to win in every major category of Tahitian dance and music, taking home the first-place overall prize at the 2014 Tahiti Fête of Hilo.
The group bought 200 people to Hilo from its hometown of Cuautitlan Izcalli, and its dancers filled the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in synchronized choreography. Three other groups from Mexico also performed at the event.
Second-place winner — and Hilo favorite — Merahi Productions of Keaukaha also won big. The troupe’s depiction of Pele and Kamapua‘a in stunning red and black costumes was eye-catching and vibrant.
“The audience was spell-bound, as the performance also included a volcano prop to add to the dramatic theme,” said producer Pua Tokumoto.
In addition to the Big Island and Mexico, Tahiti Fête also featured dance companies from Oahu, Chicago and San Francisco. Despite the rain and high temperatures, more than 1,200 people attended the two-day event.
Tokumoto said the next Tahiti Fête of Hilo competition will be in 2016.
Visit www.tahitifete.com for more information.