Hula Kahiko Informance in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Aims to Entertain and Educate

Volcano Art Center (VAC) proudly presents an exciting addition to this year’s Na Mea Hawaii Hula Kahiko, an annual traditional hula performance held in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The “Hula Kahiko Informance” scheduled for June 30 will provide a rich context for both kama‘aina (locals) and malihini (newcomers) on the inspiring cultural heritage that makes hula such a treasured dance for Hawaii.

For over 30 years, VAC has held the responsibility and privilege of coordinating the Hula Kahiko presentations for the public. The beautiful backdrop of the national park offers the perfect setting for the performances, held each year at the sacred pa hula (hula platform), and delivered with such a true spirit of aloha one imagines the dances to serve as a loving gift to the volcano goddess Pele herself.

Leilehua Yuen dancing hula with Manu Josiah by Ken Kuroshima

In response to the wonderfully engaged and curious audiences over the years, VAC will now be offering the Hula Kahiko Informance – a live educational performance that aims to pass on the traditions of the costumes, leis and cultural significance behind the Hula Kahiko. Invited to preside over the Informance are the acclaimed kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and her equally talented husband and accompanying musician Manu Josiah.

This unique offering will reveal the elaborate behind-the-scenes preparations for the Hula Kahiko – from the gathering of lei foliage, to the art of weaving the lei, to the adornment of the dancer – each meaningful step is demonstrated and described in one beautiful and unforgettable hour. Prepare for an enriching experience in both the wisdom of kumu Leilehua and her inspiring hula as the crowning finale.

Leilehua and Manu admire each other’s love of and respect for their island home. They live in her family home in Hilo, restoring the medicinal garden that her grandfather tended. Leilehua’s hula lineage is rooted in her grandmother’s teachings and her studies with legendary expert on all things Hawaiiana, Auntie Nona Beamer. The powerful natural forces of the island are where Leilehua draws much of her artistic inspiration. Manu also draws strength from the island as he works to preserve his cultural heritage through music and community education.

Save the date for this intimate and revealing display of the age-old pageantry and ritual behind the hula dance. The Hula Kahiko Informance with kumu hula Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah will begin at 10:30am on Saturday, June 30 in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the same day, a hands-on cultural demonstration will be offered from 9:30am to 1:30pm on the front porch of the Volcano Art Center Gallery. The Hula Kahiko is scheduled for the following Saturday, July 7 at 10:30am. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact Julie at (808) 967-8222 or julie@volcanoartcenter.org.

 

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