Productions & Performances

Hiʻiakaikanoʻeau

Hiʻiakaikanoʻeau delves into the creative center of the Hawaiʻi sense of practical beauty by recreating occupational images and messages from mele. The hula performance reincarnates the wisdom of the kupuna in making things both useful and beautiful through the poetry of movement, just as Hana Kapa reincarnates that functional aesthetic through the poetry of the fiber.

Hoakua

“Hoakua,” an evening of dance, music, and spirituality that brought together traditional Japanese and Hawaiian dance in celebration of a common respect for the environment.

In 2013, EKF invited Mr. Yoshida, the high priest of the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine at Kamakura, Japan, to Hawai‘i to share environmental kinship through the Shinto religion and Hula. Mr. Yoshida and the Gagaku-dan—the ancient court music orchestra and their Miko (maiden) dancers— performed at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

The invitation to Hawai‘i was prompted by Hālau O Kekuhi’s dedication dance in 2008 at the Hachiman Shrine, when the hālau visited Japan for a series of performances. While foreigners are typically discouraged from dancing at the shrine’s sacred pavilion, Hālau O Kekuhi was allowed to dedicate their dance.

After the dedication, the hālau was invited to lunch to discuss their practices. Both the hālau and the Hachiman people realized that they had so much in common at the core of their practices, they decided that it would be “beautiful”—spiritually, educationally, socially, and ecologically—if they introduced the Japanese and the Hawaiian fire deities to one another. From there, they conceived of this visit of Mr. Yoshida to Hawai‘i in 2013, with the ambition to bring his retinue of approximately 30 priests and maidens to Kīlauea.

 

An Artistic Collaboration: The Hawaiian Arts of Hula and Kapa

An Artistic Collaboration: The Hawaiian Arts of Hula and Kapa made its debut at the 2011 Merrie Monarch Festival. World –renowned kapa practitioners gathered to produce kapa for traditional hula garments in a manner that has not been seen for over a century to showcase Hawaiian kapa in its functional, cultural, and traditional use and form!

An artistic collaboration between Hālau o Kekuhi and a hui of contemporary kapa practitoners (Marie MacDonald, Moana Eisele, Kawai Aona-Ueoka, Evangeline Aona-Kaeo, Roen Hufford, Ulu Garmon, Maile Andrade, Ka‘iulani de Silva, Verna Takashima, Eric Enos, Dalani Tanahy, Sabra Kauka, Lisa Shattenburg-Raymond, Bernice Keola Akamine, Shari Malu Lee, Denby Freeland-Cole, Pualani Lincoln, Wendeanne Ke‘aka Stitt, Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, Chris Kaunaoa Kaaikala, Pomai Bertelmann, Reni A‘ia‘i Bello).

Hi‘iaka Wahinepō‘aimoku

This sequel to the famed hula drama, Holo Mai Pele, continues the journey quest of Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, the youngest sister of Pelehonuamea, in her undertaking to fetch Lohi‘au, the chief of Hā‘ena, Kaua‘i.

Hānau Ka Moku: An Island is Born

The mythic imagination gives birth to this timeless dance drama that honors the procreative forces of the earth. Modern movement abstraction juxtaposes with hula ‘aiha‘a, a traditional Hawaiian dance form, to forge the continuing story of the movement of Pele, creating new land.

The island child of Haumea (earth) and Kanaloa (sea) is born. Kama‘ehu rises from deep in the ocean floor and is nurtured and cared for in the benthic realm of Kanaloa. The first occupants of Kama‘ehu are nā po‘e i‘a, the animate and inanimate creatures of the ocean that enjoy the deep, hot springs of the Kanaloa region. Pelehonuamea, once again dutiful to her task, continues her journey eastward in search of Haumea’s womb where Kama‘ehu is to be born. The new mountain child is Kama‘ehu, the substance is Pelehonuamea, and the matriarch is Haumea.

Presented by Hālau o Kekuhi and The Tau Dance Theater.

Great Performances: Dance In America: Holo Mai Pele

Every culture has its defining myth: Hindus have the Mahabharata, the Greeks the Homeric Odyssey. For native Hawaiians, perhaps no myth is more central than the story of the Fire Goddess Pele and her enduring rivalry with her sister Hi‘iaka. A dynamic blend of traditional Hawaiian chant and dance, this remarkable performance now comes to public television under the auspices of the Pacific Islanders in Communications in an exciting adaption for PBS’ Great Performances: Dance in America.

Awards received:

  • 2002 Aurora Awards Platinum Best of Show
  • 2001 CINE The Golden Eagle Award

Holo Mai Pele is a co-production of Hālau o Kekuhi, Pacific Islanders in Communication, International Cultural Programming, and Thirteen/WNET New York.

Kilohi: Nā Akua Wāhine

Born were the immortals, the female intelligence, the elements of creation, and the deities of hula. Kilohi: Nā Akua Wāhine is a glance into the ethereal realm of Hawai‘i’s own female deities and honors their influence on hula from time immemorial. The primary female divinities of hula are the goddesses Haumea, Pelehonuamea, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, Kapō‘ulakīna‘u, Laka and Hina. A practitioner of hula depends on the physical and the unseen manifestations of these female elements. Kilohi: Nā Akua Wāhine is a demonstration of the significance of femaleness, of physical birth, of spiritual rebirth, of earthly energies, of subconscious instruction and possession for inspiration, of physical and mental discipline and of creation in the traditions of hula.

Presented by Hālau o Kekuhi, Nā Pualei o Likolehua, Pā‘ū O Hi‘iaka, and Nā Maile Kūhonua.

Kamehameha Pai‘ea

Kamehameha is the first warrior chief in our history to rule all of the Hawaiian Islands. He is honored as a survivor of much vitality in the harsh world of warfare. He is honored as one who supported his religion. He is honored as one who blessed his people. He is honored as a lawgiver. He is honored as a guileless leader who was honest and straightforward. He is honored as a model for indigenous Hawaiians to emulate. He is honored because he is Kamehameha the Great!

Holo Mai Pele

The epic poem of Pelehonuamea and Hi‘iakaikapoliopele recounts the travels of Pele and her family. From Kahiki, the clan came with their religion and idols, in search of a new home. Settling in Halema‘uma‘u on the island of Hawai‘i, the family visits Maui, O‘ahu, and Kaua‘i, paying their respects to the ‘ohana of those islands.