Tahiti Travel Guide
The Complete Guide to French Polynesia
The Complete Guide to French Polynesia
The artistic dance rooted in ancient traditions
The dances you will experience in French Polynesia are by no means a tourist spectacle: they are living culture. These authentic performances by the locals play a major role in preserving and spreading the original Tahitian culture.
In a country where traditions are passed down through oral tradition, dancing is a significant component in preserving the stories of the past.
These artistic performances are characterized by symbolic gestures, beautiful costumes and flower wreaths, and powerful, charming expressions.
Ori Tahiti refers to the dances of the South Sea island of Tahiti – sometimes soft and slow, sometimes breathtakingly fast. Soft and sensual movements, breathtakingly fast hip circles, colorful costumes, exotic music, a smile on the lips and the beauty of the Polynesian women – the wonderful magic of Ori Tahiti captures you immediately.
The most famous dances are:
This was originally a martial dance for men only and is now danced with rapidly rotating hips of the women and scissor movements of the men’s legs. The dance follows a specific theme and is accompanied by drums and rhythmic motifs.
The fast Otea, on the other hand, is danced to rapid drum rhythms. The hip movements are hard and accentuated, but above all incredibly fast. Trademarks are breathtakingly fast hip circles.
Is a graceful, flowing dance that tells a story through hand movements. It is performed either silently or through mime, and is accompanied by drumming and/or singing.
The slow Aparima, in which the chant and song lyrics are interpreted through dance with gestures and facial expressions. The Aparima is soft and sensual, almost lyrical, and characterized by beautiful hand and arm movements.
A singer intones a verse, which is taken up by the chorus. At the same time, the dancers form a circle and dance to the tempo of the songs. The whole is accompanied by various drums.
Here a theme is intoned by a male soloist, to which the choir responds. The male and female dancers squat in a semicircle. A couple gets up for a short dance in a semicircle to the sounds of the chant.
By far the best dance performances take place at one of the most famous festivals in French Polynesia, the annual Heiva Festival in July. In addition, many resorts offer Polynesian shows with authentic dance performances, singing, and fire dancers as appropriate.
On Moorea Island, the Tiki Village is open to visitors: Here you will find an original Polynesian village, where the various crafts are demonstrated and several times a week there is also a Polynesian evening show on the program. Tickets for this show are best reserved when planning your trip.
Ori Tahiti is not to be confused with Hula, which developed in Hawaii and due to the great distance to other Polynesian islands went through an independent development. Ori Tahiti is also known as Tahitian Dance, South Sea Dance, Polynesian Dance, Aparima, Otea, Tamure.
What does the word Ori mean in Tahiti?
Where did Ori Tahiti come from?
“Ori Tahiti” is the modern name for Tahitian dance. It originated in the Tahitian islands but is frequently confused with Hula, which originated in the Hawaiian islands. Both dances are performed by both men and women and represent activities and emotions that occur in everyday life.
Is there a difference between Hula and Tahitian dance?
Both dance styles are Polynesian, but each is distinct. Hula dance typically employs arm movements for symbolism, whereas Tahitian dance employs more hip movements for story-telling. Kahiko Hula, on the other hand, incorporates the entire body and the hands tying to tell a story.
Is it common for hula dancers to wear coconut bras?
Coconut bras are not known where they came from, but they are worn by some female hula and Tahitian hula dancers. Women in the Pacific islands did not traditionally wear tops, so they most likely evolved after first contact with Westerners.
Why do Tahitian people dance?When to go to the Marquesas Islands?
Tahitian dancing was used to enthrall a lover, challenge an opponent, worship a god, and even pray. Each dance was distinct, but they were all important to the people and their way of life. For thousands of years, dancing evolved and became a part of ceremonies throughout the French Polynesian islands.
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