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22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival Took The Stage At The Polynesian Cultural Center

22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival Took The Stage At The Polynesian Cultural Center

Halau from Hawaii and Japan Celebrate Hawaiian Culture and Honor Aunty Sally Wood Naluai

Laie, Hawaii – Jan. 21, 2012 – The spirit of hula filled the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) today as the 22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival showcased dancers of all ages in this hoike. Beautiful garments and fragrant lei accentuated the dancers graceful movements as hula halau from Hawaii and Japan came together for a celebration of Hawaiian culture in honor of Aunty Sally Wood Naluai, PCC’s first Hawaiian Instructor.

Originally a keiki hula festival, Moanikeala kicks off a year’s worth of cultural events at the PCC, which includes the We Are Samoa Festival, featuring the popular World Fireknife Championships, Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti Tahitian Dance Festival, and Te Manahua Maori Cultural Festival.

“Hula is such an iconic part of Hawaii and this festival helps to preserve it for future generations,” said Cy Bridges, cultural director at the PCC, and one of Aunty Sally’s former haumana (student). “Moanikeala is a great way to start off the year, halau are able to perform on a large stage without the pressure of competition.”

This year’s festival featured a mixture of both long time participants, such as Halau Hula Olana and Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio, who have been a part of the festival since its inception in 1990, and first time participants like former Merrie Monarch overall winner halau Ke Kai O Kahiki.

The fourteen halau that participated in the 22nd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival were:
Halau Hula Olana – Howard & Olana Ai – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
Ka Nani O Lilinoe – Lilinoe Lindsey – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
Kageyama Hula School – Noriko Kageyama – Aichi, Japan
Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio – Joan S. Lindsey – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
Hui Park Hula Studio – Coranne Kepoomaikalani Park-Chun – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii including dancers from Japan
Hula Halau O Kawananakoa – Alberta Nicholas – Keaukaha, Hawaii Island, Hawaii
Halau Na Pua Lei Ilima – Reina Sugimura – Nagoya, Japan
Halau Hula O Hokulani – Hokulani De Rego – Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii
Ka Hale I O Kahala – Leimomi Maldonado – Kahala, Oahu, Hawaii
Ke Kai O Kahiki – O’Brian Eselu – Waianae, Oahu, Hawaii
Halau O Napualaikauikaiu – Sallie Yoza – Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii
Hula Halau O Pua Loke – Mona Yamada – Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
Napuananionapalionakoolau – Sunday Mariteragi – Laie, Oahu, Hawaii
Halau Hula O Kekela – Kekela Miller – Laie, Oahu, Hawaii
Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more than 36 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts, and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to nearly 17,000 young people from over 70 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.