Maui Activities

Resort expands cultural programming for a behind the scenes look into the world of hula

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Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua, under the direction of Kumu Hula Kamaka Kūkona. PC: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea invites guests “Behind the Scenes of Hula” for a sneak peek into the practices of Maui’s Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua.  Led by Kumu Hula Kamaka Kūkona, the hālau practice offers a unique opportunity to experience this special facet of Hawaiian culture.

While generally not accessible to the public, now guests, visitors, and residents alike can experience hula, or what Kūkona calls “the lifeline to the culture,” at various venues in Four Seasons every Thursday starting from 6 to 7p.m., through the end of the year.

“Aunty Wendy” Tuivaioge

A recent addition to the Resort’s cultural experiences, Behind the Scenes of Hula was developed by Four Seasons Resort Maui Director of Hawaiian Programs and haumāna of Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua, “Aunty Wendy” Tuivaioge, who is always on the lookout for innovative ways to share culture with guests.

“As the Director of Hawaiian Programs, I follow a protocol that allows me to be as authentic as possible,” said Aunty Wendy. “Being a haumāna (student of hula), I must get permission from my Kumu Hula (hula teacher) to bring this part of the culture forward to guests—whether through Behind the Scenes of Hula or teaching lessons. To me, hula is as much about telling a story as it is about providing a beautiful glimpse into Hawaiian culture.”

Kamaka Kukona. File courtesy photo.

Most recently, Kumu Kamaka and 18 of his elite dancers have been practicing at the Resort for the Merrie Monarch Festival, the world’s largest hula gathering and most prestigious competition. Held on Hawai’i Island annually in April and referred to as the “Olympics of Hula,” Hālau o Ka Hanu Lehua is one of just 18 selected to compete out of hundreds nationwide. This year the event takes place with a limited live audience and television coverage from April 20 to April 23, 2022.

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The Resort’s Instagram and Facebook accounts also provide further insights into their journey to the Merrie Monarch via a short video series posted weekly from March 24 to April 21, 2022.

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Behind the Scenes of Hula is one of the many cultural and education-driven activities the Resort is offering on property this year, including Four Seasons Maui Academy’s “Ocean Aloha” and “Hawaiian Star Stories” educational programs that aim to instill a deeper appreciation of the destination for young visitors.

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