|KaUaTuahine Polynesian Dance Company|
The KaUaTuahine Polynesian Dance Company is an award-winning ensemble made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds dedicated to the perpetuation of Polynesian performing arts. The company is named after a light rain that falls in Mānoa Valley on the island of O'ahu. KaUaTuahine is under the direction of Mahealani Uchiyama, a student of dance since her early childhood, having been raised within the discipline of the classical hula tradition. She holds a B.A. in Dance Ethnology and an M.A. in Pacific Islands Studies. In addition to her academic degrees, she has also studied extensively with one of Hawai'i's premier hula masters, Joseph Kamoha'i Kaha'ulelio.
Mahealani has presented lecture-demonstrations and workshops at Sonoma State University, the International Dance Theatre School, Citi-Center Dance Theatre, and the Pacific School of Religion. She has also taught courses in Polynesian dance and Hawaiian language at Chabot College of Hayward, California, and was instructor of Hawaiian language at Stanford University, (academic year 2001-2002). She recently was a featured soloist in People Like Me 2003 - An Educational Performance of World Dance. She is the Director of the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance and KaUaTuahine Polynesian Dance Company.KaUaTuahine has been the highlight of many performances, festivals, and events in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in 2002 they traveled to Tahiti to study and perform with one of Tahiti's preeminent dance ensembles, Orihere Maohi. Their journey has been chronicled in an award-winning documentary film, Black Pearl, which on May 17, 2003, was featured on KHET Hawai'i Public Television. They have won numerous awards at the San Jose Tahiti Fete, including top honors in the drumming and music categories. They appeared in the 2004 San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and received a trophy in the 2004 King Kamehameha Hula and Chant Competition in Honolulu, Hawai'i. They also performed along with Orihere Maohi in Tahiti in the summer of 2004 during the annual Heiva Celebration.