Hālau o Kekuhi is the hālau hula (classical dance company) and the center of cultural knowledge for EKF. The cultural beliefs and practices in which EKF is anchored radiates from the traditional practices of the hālau that can account for eight generations of kumu hula.
Hālau o Kekuhi is celebrated for its mastery of the ‘aiha‘a style of hula (dance) and oli (chant). The ‘aiha‘a is a low-postured, vigorous, bombastic style of hula that springs from the eruptive volcano persona Pele and Hi‘iaka, characteristic of Hawai‘i Island’s creative forces. Hālau o Kekuhi has earned local, state, national, and international recognition for their art.
The leadership of the dance company is currently transmitted through matrilineal succession and with the passing of Edith Kanaka‘ole, her daughters Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele and Nālani Kanaka‘ole assumed the role of kumu hula. In 2007, Pualani relinquished her position to her daughters, Kekuhi Keali‘ikanaka‘oleohaililani and Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, who, along with Nālani, are now the kumu hula of the hālau. Currently, the hālau is under the direction of Nālani and Huihui.
Also in 2007, the hālau celebrated an ‘aha ‘ailolo, graduating several of its dancers and initiating them into the tenure of kumu hula: Kauamakani Elia, Kīwala‘ō Taylor, Kau‘i Enoka, Kika Nohara, Heanu Weller, Kalanipua Elia, Kau‘ilani Almeida, Mamo Brown, ‘Ō‘ilipua Kaikaina, Taupōuri Tangarō, Sig Zane, Keonaona Trask, Keala Swain, and Kau‘i Kanaka‘ole.
Hālau o Kekuhi is the primary fundraising entity for EKF’s higher education scholarship program.
- 2017 Moku o Keawe International Hula Festival (Hawaiʻi)
- 2016 Harris Center, Folsom Lake College (California)
- 2016 Hiʻiakaikanoʻeau (Hawaiʻi)
- 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress opening ceremonies (Hawaiʻi)
- 2016 Hāmākua Youth Center Hula Festival (Hawaiʻi)
- 2015 Moku o Keawe International Hula Festival (Hawaiʻi)
- 2015 Prayer and Mikagura-The Embodiments of Faith: Kahiko and Japanese Court Dance and Music (Oʻahu)
- 2014 Ka ‘Aha Hula o Hālauaola – Hiʻiakaikanoʻeau (Kaua‘i)
- 2014 Hiʻiakaikanoʻeau (Maui)
- 2013 Hoakua (Hawaiʻi)
- 2011 The Hawaiian Arts of Hula and Kapa debut
- 2010 Lani Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III Birthday Celebration (Hawai‘i)
- 2010 Hi‘iaka Wahinepō‘aimoku debut (Maui & Japan)
- 2009 Pan-Pacific Festival (O‘ahu)
- 2009 Ka ‘Aha Hula o Hālauaola fashion show (O‘ahu)
- 2008 The Office of Hawaiian Affairs honors and congratulates Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele for her efforts and achievements in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and the art of hula.
- 2008 ‘Aiha‘a: Awakening Primal Connections (Japan)
- 2008 Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America premieres on PBS
- 2007 Face of America: Hawaiʻi (Maui)
- 2006 Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America (Washington, DC)
- 2006 Holo Mai Pele tour (Japan, Mexico)
- 2004 National Museum of the American Indian opening (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC)
- 2003-2005 Hānau Ka Moku tour (Hawai‘i, Maui, O‘ahu, California)
- 2003-2004 Florida tour
- July 2003 Celebration of Sacred Dance and Music presented by the Cultural Olympiad in collaboration with the World Music Institute and Art, Music and Dance Productions (Greece)
- May 21, 2003 Homegrown: Music of America series, presented by the American Folklife Center at the Library (Library of Congress, Washington, DC)
- 2002 Hawai‘i State Museum opening (O‘ahu)
- 2002: Hānau ka Moku premiere (Maui)
- 2001 Dance In America Holo Mai Pele premieres on PBS Great Performances
- 2001 Kilohi: Nā Akua Wāhine tour (Hawai‘i, Maui, O‘ahu)
- 2000 World Performing Arts Festival (Japan)
- 1999-2000 Kamehameha Pai‘ea mainland debut tour (Alaska & West Coast)
- 1999 World Festival of Sacred Music – the Americas (California)
- 1998 Market the Arts Holo Mai Pele European Tour
- 1997 Dance Quake Festival (Maui)
- 1996 The Office of Hawaiian Affairs acknowledges Hālau o Kekuhi and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation as “Hawaiian Living Treasures” for the outstanding cultural integrity exhibited through the performances of the epic dance drama Holo Mai Pele
- 1996 Amsterdam tour
- 1995 World Music Institute (New York)
- 1995-1998 Holo Mai Pele Hawai‘i tour
- 1995 Holo Mai Pele debut (Maui)
- 1993 The National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC presents Nālani Kanaka‘ole and Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele with The National Heritage Fellowship Award
- 1987 New Mexico tour
- 1983 Northern Mariana Islands tour