Monday, March 4, 2013


Catch some serious aloha spirit at the Hula and Tahitian Dance Celebration this Sunday at Aptos High School Performing Arts Center. What's the occasion? It's the 15th anniversary of Santa Cruz's own, locally-grown Te Hau Nui School of Hawaiian and Tahitian Dance. (Te Hau Nui means "forever peaceful" in Tahitian.)

To celebrate, director and dance instructor Lorraine Kalei Kinnamon is staging an extravaganza of Polynesian culture and music. More than 50 dancers will perform traditional Hula, Tahitian and Maori dance. Live music will be provided by the Ho'omana Hawaiian Band, and beloved steel guitar virtuoso Patti Maxine, with traditional drumming by Kaili Francisco and friends jetting in from Kauai.

Kinnamon is promising "the biggest Polynesian event ever held in Santa Cruz" (except for the Outrigger canoe races, whose dance troupe, she points out, is not local). Her Te Hau Nui dancers, community members whose age range is roughly "5 to 55" have performed locally with the likes of Taj Mahal, and Kinnamon herself has toured the world performing Polynesian dance. Te Hau Nui classes are offered at the Santa Cruz Dance Company, Capitola Jade Street Community Center, UCSC, and the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center.

There will be two complete performances on Sunday, March 10, 1-3 pm and again at 5-7 pm. Advance tickets are available at Pono Hawaiian Grill, Element Home Furnishings, and Island Home and Garden. Check out the Te Hau Nui website for more info, or visit their Facebook page.

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