2 Maui Halau Compete in 3 Nights of Hula: Merrie Monarch
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aiMS46M4Dc /] Two Maui Hālau will participate in three nights of hula from April 28-30, at the 2011 Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawai’i.
Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka under the direction of Nā Kumu Hula Nāpua Makua and Kahulu Maluo-Huber returns from Pukalani, and Hālau Keʻalaokamaile under the direction of Kumu Hula Kealiʻi Reichel will represent Wailuku, Maui.
The Group portion of the competition includes Kahiko or ancient hula on Friday, April 29th, and ‘Auana or modern hula on Saturday, April 30th.
The ladies of Hālau Ke‘alaokamaile, will perform near the end of the program on both nights. They will be the 27th out of 28 groups to perform, and were placed near the end based on their strong performance last year.
The Hālau earned the 2010 Overall Wahine award, taking the titles for both the 2010 Wahine Kahiko and 2010 Wahine ‘Auana divisions. The Hālau also earned honors in 2009 when Cherissa Henoheanāpuaikawaokele Kāne took the title of Miss Aloha Hula.
Their Kahiko selection this year is Kō Ma‘i ‘Aukā. Their ‘Auana selection, Ua Noho Au A Kupa, is a love song that speaks of the rare lehua blossom.
The ladies of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka will perform after intermission on Friday, April 29. They will be the 17th group to take the stage and will be performing Aia Ka La‘i I Pi‘iholo. Their selection for the ‘Auana portion is ‘Ōlehaleha Ku‘u Maka I Ke Ahi Pele.
Both hālau have contestants competing in the Miss Aloha Hula event on Thursday, April 28th. Tori Hulali Canha of Hālau Ke‘alaokamaile and Manalani Mili Hokoana English of Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka are among a list of 12 contestants.
Canha will be performing Aia I Maui Ku‘u Lei Loke as her Kahiko selection, and Pua Lei Aloha for the ‘Auana portion of the event. English has chosen He Mele Inoa No Haumea for Kahaiko, and Mī Nei for ‘Auana.
The Merrie Monarch Festival is a non-profit organization that honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, language and the arts.
The week-long festival includes a total of 24 halau: 2 from Maui, 1 from Kaua’i, 3 from the Big Island, 16 from O’ahu, and 2 from the Mainland.