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Mahea Uchiyama & KaUaTuahine Dance Company

Performances in
World Arts West Programs
Water Wheel
Maori Poi
Maori Poi
Nubian Dance
Instruments Used
Oud (Arabic lute)
Tar (Frame drum)

Mahea UchiyamaMahea Uchiyama has been a student of dance since her early childhood, raised within the discipline of the classical hula tradition. She holds a B.A. in Dance Ethnology and an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai'i. She has studied extensively with one of Hawai'i's premier hula masters, Joseph Kamoha'i Kaha'ulelio, and has performed with numerous Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Caribbean dance ensembles. In 1994 she was a featured soloist of North African Dance in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.

In 1982 she founded the Hui Pa Hula o Leianuenue, a critically acclaimed Polynesian dance ensemble, which won numerous awards in the most prestigious Polynesian dance competitions in California and Hawai'i. Leianuenue repeatedly won top honors in the Ia 'Oe E Ka La Hula Competition (1984-1988), and the San Francisco Tahiti Fete (1989-1990), and Mahea received first place honors in solo Tahitian dance in the 1985 San Francisco Tahiti Fete. In addition to competing, her company highlighted the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, the Festival at Lake Merritt, the Asia-Pacific Dance Festival.

Mahea co-produced the critically acclaimed concert presentation, Diamonds, Shells and Amber together with Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance and Suhaila Salimpour. In addition to producing her own series of instructional and performance videos, CDs and cassettes of Hawaiian and Tahitian music and dance, she has also appeared in numerous television programs and commercials including "Hula, Dance of Legends", a National Geographic documentary, and as the female narrator on "Hawaiian Paradise", a video travelogue produced by Readers Digest. She 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.

KaUaTuahineFounding Artistic Director of the KaUaTuahine Polynesian Dance Company, she is currently the producer of the annual Hulalaule'a Polynesian Dance Seminar of San Francisco, and the director of the Center for International Dance in Berkeley. KaUaTuahine has highlighted many performances, festivals, and events in the 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. They perform Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Maori dance, including the "poi" dance included in People Like Me 2003.

First appeared in People Like Me 2003


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