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TE AO MANA started as a group of friends who have a deep passion for the cultural arts of the Polynesian Islands and building community through gathering often.   Sharing their lives and connecting with each other, NYC, and the world through dancing, singing, and having fun, is a primary focus.  Directors Anthony Aiu and Kaina Quenga are lifelong practitioners of Hula and Ori Tahiti.  It is their way of life and they are a wealth of knowledge, skill, and mastery.  Their desire is to share this life with the world and request people to take on the chalenge of rediscovering their world and lives through immersing themselves in the practice. 

KAINA QUENGA, a native of Hilo, Hawai'i has been dancing hula professionally for over 20 years in Hawai'i, Florida, New York and throughout the east coast. She performs widely as a freelance Polynesian dancer in the tri-state area at themed parties, community events, schools and senior centers. Kaina trained under Hilo's famed kumu hula (hula teacher) Johnny Lum Ho of Halau O Ka Ua Kani Lehua. With her hālau (school), Kaina danced in the world's largest hula competition - the Merrie Monarch - three years in a row, sweeping the awards for overall women's division in 1993. She also performed with Tihati Productions on her native Big Island and has traveled twice to French Polynesia, Tahiti to study in the birthplace of Tahitian dance. In the community, Kaina has worked with the students at Concourse House Day Care in the Bronx since 2003, teaching Native Hawaiian mele (songs) and hula (dance) to the children there. She is a Polynesian dance instructor at Spoke The Hub Dancing in Park Slope, Brooklyn and also has free Hula and Ori Tahiti dance performances throughout NYC Parks during the Spring and Summer. Kaina is among the dance Teaching Artists with Brooklyn Arts Council's Folk Feet Folk Arts and Arts In Education programming. She is skilled in Native Hawaiian language as well as in the art of traditional Hawaiian lei making. Kaina is also the Director of Nā 'Oiwi NYC, a New York-based education and advocacy group that perpetuates Native Hawaiian culture, history and voice in New York City. Kaina performed at the Aloha Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. with Brother Ah and the Aloha World Music Ensemble honoring President Barack Obama. She is devoted to sharing and perpetuating the traditional dances and culture of Polynesia. Kaina Quenga is a true ambassador of Aloha.


ANTHONY AIU, born and raised in O'ahu, received his Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Brigham Young University-Provo, receiving honors for outstanding choreography and exceptional research. He performed with and toured nationally and internationally with the University’s top Modern/ Contemporary and World Dance Companies. Anthony also studied at China’s world-renowned Beijing Dance Academy. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY in May of 2013. While there he co-authored A Choreographic Workbook with his mentor Professor Kazuko Hirabayashi.

Anthony performed on Imaginaire tours and taught master classes and workshops throughout Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, with the National Ballet Company, and Jamaica. He has worked extensively with young children and teenagers through dance camps, lecture demonstration tours, concerts, workshops, and in choreographing musicals. Some of his theater credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Working, and Romeo and Juliet. His Peer Modern Suite was commissioned by Kinnect, a modern dance group with a dance education focus, and performed in dozens of schools throughout New York and Utah.

He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dance `Avei`a, a contemporary dance theater that showcases his culturally rooted movement style, and has choreographed over 25 works for the company, including Vari, Ura, Pape, Mata'i (2010), and Moana Nui (2009). A primary focus and area of choreographic interest and research as well as technique development lies in his dedication to further developing a dance form and approach to technical training that draws on his rich Polynesian ancestry, to augment the world of dance and to give voice to the underrepresented people of the Polynesian islands in mainstream and concert dance settings. His works have been showcased by the LABA Theater NYC, Green Space, Dixon Place, The 92nd Street Y, The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, Dance Parade NYC, Steppin’ Out Studios, Brooklyn Ballet, 60x60 Dance, and at several festivals throughout the tri-state area.

Aiu has performed in several works by notable choreographers including: Maurice Bejart's Bolero, Paul Taylor's Esplanade, Merce Cunningham's Scramble, Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet, Duo by Armando Duarte, Flight by Takehiro Ueyama, Marius Paetipa’s Don Quixote and A Baited Soul by Kazuko Hirabayashi, among others Anthony completed his fifth Spring Season with American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2013, and is a guest artist with Keystone Dance and Ballet Arts. This past summer he conducted a dance residency in Tahiti, working with Choreographer Jean-Marie Biret, creating a contemporary Tahitian dance production depicting The Legend of Maui, for the country’s National Heiva, a large-scale cultural dance event encompassing all regions of French Polynesia.

Anthony is co-founder of the Tahitian Dance Group Te Ao Mana and is working on the Global Harmony Project, an initiative to bring communities together through the creative process. The next stage is to take this project global. Those wishing to take part in this initiative are encouraged to get in contact via email at:

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