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DanceTahiti Contemporary Tahitian Ballet Company

led by Artistic Director, Choreographer and lead dancer, Kareva Mateata-Allain


Kareva moved to the United States from the island of Tahiti when she was sixteen years old and she grew up with the traditional Tahitian dances of the ancients. By the late 70s, the dance was virtually wiped-out until a national cultural renaissance revived oral and performing arts, tattooing, traditional sports, traditional arts, and a collective interest in local culture, heritage, and history. In contemporary times, Tahitian dance is constantly evolving, with each professional and amateur troupe striving for innovation through fusing other dance forms while retaining Tahitian integrity.  In other words, as long as the dance is distinctively Tahitian and incorporates basic steps and movements, then the artistic director has carte blanche with fusions, innovations and creative impetus.


Several years ago, Kareva started a professional troupe in Albuquerque, and has since moved to the Big Bend area. With Kareva’s location in the Southwest, some of her choreographies develop a Latin/Spanish flair. All her work is original and combines basic Tahitian movements with elements of samba, salsa, flamenco, and tango with martial arts precision. DanceTahiti performs the fast Tahitian dances as well as fused Aparima.  Aparima means "the kiss of the hands."  In Aparima, each hand gesture has a particular meaning.  Aparima himene is accompanied with singing.  Aparima vava (which means "mute") uses no words. The aparima dance is traditionally sung in Tahitian and accompanied by the ukelele. Kareva’s aparima dances are interpreted to Spanish lyrics and Latin popular rhythms, such as to the music of Del Castillo ( and Manà. 
To contact DanceTahiti about scheduling performances and workshops, or to inquire about classes held in the community, please contact