How long does Heiva last? What is the Heiva Festival?

Ori Tahiti, a traditional dance originating from Tahiti, holds deep roots within its cultural heritage. Initially serving as a vital medium for passing down oral traditions and stories through generations, it encountered suppression following Tahiti’s colonization by France in 1842, labeled as immoral. Despite this adversity, Ori Tahiti endured, transmitted across generations.


Today, there’s a reconnection with this rich cultural tradition through significant Heiva (“the celebration of life”) events held both in Tahiti and globally. Witness the mesmerizing Ori Tahiti dancers in this compilation video, showcasing their talents at the 2016 Heiva i Paris!


Heiva i Tahiti

For 140 years, the Heiva i Tahiti festival has stood as a cornerstone of the island’s culture. Initially focusing on sports and song due to the dance ban, it gradually reintroduced dance, albeit with stringent regulations. In the 1950s, a revival of Ori Tahiti spearheaded by teacher Madeline Moua marked a significant resurgence in its cultural significance. Today, the festival draws large crowds, both local and international, showcasing the resilience and vibrancy of Tahitian culture.

Heiva i Paris

The strong historical ties between France and Tahiti paved the way for the Heiva i Paris festival, inaugurated in 2014. Serving as a celebration of Tahitian culture and a platform for Ori Tahiti dancers to shine, it differs from Heiva i Tahiti by focusing solely on dance competitions. Dancers from around the world participate in various categories, showcasing their skills and passion for the dance form.

In Conclusion, The journey of Ori Tahiti is one of resilience and triumph. Despite facing suppression, it has emerged stronger, grounded in its cultural significance. The Heiva festivals serve as poignant celebrations of both the dance’s artistry and its cultural heritage. From the brink of obscurity to global recognition, Ori Tahiti stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of dance.

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