Keʻalaʻiliahi 2014: A Reflection on 10 Years of Hula
By Wendy Osher
For the second time in as many weeks, a hālau on Maui celebrates a decade of hula in a special concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
This past weekend, it was Kamaka Kukona and Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua. This coming weekend, on Saturday, Oct. 11, nā kumu hula ʻIliahi and Haunani Paredes present their Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi for a humble and artful reflection on 10 years as a hālau.
“Keʻalaʻiliahi 2014 – Never Forgot(ten),” is a “celebration of all the wonderful experiences we’ve had on this journey, it’s a celebration of all those who have influenced us and continue to do so, and it’s also a huge fundraiser for our Merrie Monarch bound haumana,” said Haunani Paredes.
Musicians accompanying the hālau will include Kopaʻa Tita, Uncle Sam Ako, Kamalei Kawaʻa, Kama Hopkins, Kanaiʻa Nakamura of Holunape, and Ryan Gonzales from Aleʻa.
Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning musician, Hoku Zuttermeister will open the concert with a performance in the Yokouchi Pavilion.
The event also features a silent auction, craft vendors, and a hālau logo booth. The outside festivities begin at 4 p.m., with the concert set to start at 6 p.m.
Since its start 10 years ago, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi has garnered many accolades, including the recent crowning of Keaolani Hosino as Miss Keiki Hula at the 2014 Queen Liliʻuokalani Keiki Hula Competition in Honolulu.
The men of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, also garnered accolades for their fourth place finish in the ʻAuana Kāne or men’s modern hula division of the 2014 Merrie Monarch Hula Competition for their hula entitled, “Kuahiwi Nani/Haleakalā Hula Medley,” a mele that described of the beauty of Haleakalā.
A year earlier at the 50th Edition of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in 2013, the hālau earned a second-place finish in the Kahiko Kāne division, fourth-place in the ʻAuana Kāne division, and soloist, Sloane Makana West took the title of first runner-up in the Miss Aloha Hula Competition.
The halau made their Merrie Monarch debut in 2012, and are raising funds for a return to the competition next year.