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17 Halau Hula Participate in This Year’s Hoike

Laie, Hawaii – January 19, 2013 – The fragrance of flowers and the sound of music filled the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) Pacific Theater as gorgeous lei and live music accentuated the beauty of hula at the 23rd Annual Moanikeala Hula Festival. Every January, many of the world’s premier halau hula (hula schools) from Hawaii and Japan take the stage in this hoike (exhibition) to honor PCC’s first Hawaiian Instructor, Aunty Sally Wood Naluai and her 60-year dedication to hula.

Originally a keiki hula competition, Moanikeala has since evolved into an annualhoike that allows dancers of all ages – from keiki to kupuna – to share the spirit of hula without the pressure of competition. This year’s festival featured a new element, the kupuna solo competition. Kumu Hula (hula instructors) of participating halau selected one haumana (student) to demonstrate their mastery of the art, and it was JoAnn Evalei Loa of Hula Halau O Kawananakoa whose hula won the heart of the judges
“Aunty Sally would be so proud to know that hula is thriving in today’s modern world. In the last few decades we have really seen a reclamation and revival of the Hawaiian culture, and hula is great way to perpetuate and celebrate the culture,” said Cy Bridges, cultural director at the PCC, and one of Aunty Sally’s formerhaumana (student). “Not only is hula thriving in Hawaii, but it is immensely popular internationally as seen by the many dancers from Japan, Russia and the Ukraine that joined us this year.”

The Moanikeala Hula Festival kicks off a year’s worth of cultural events during PCC’s 50th anniversary year, including the We Are Samoa Festival, featuring the popular World Fireknife Championships in May, Te Mahana Hiroa Tumu O Tahiti Tahitian Dance Festival in July, and Te Manahua Maori Cultural Festival in August.
This year’s festival featured a wonderful mix of both hula ‘auana (modern hula) and hula kahiko (ancient hula) performed by the following halau:

  • Napuananionapalionakoolau – Sunday Mariteragi – Laie, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio – Joan S. Lindsey – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Na Mele Hula Ohana – Rie Kubota – Gifu Japan
  • Hui Park Hula Studio – Coranne Kepoomaikalani Park-Chun – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Ka Pa Nani O Lilinoe – Lilinoe Lindsey – Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Pikake Leilani Hula Halau – Shizuko Onishi – Nara, Japan
  • Ka Hale I O Kahala – Leimomi I Maldonado – Kahala, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Halau Hula O Namakahulali – Shirley Kanemura Recca – Maunalua, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Halau Hula O Hokulani – Hokulani De Rego – Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Hula Hui O Kapunahala – Carolee Nishi – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Halau Hula Olana – Howard and Olana Ai – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Hula Kao Studio – Kaori Izumi – Amami Oshima, Kagoshima, Japan
  • Hula Halau O Pua Loke – Mona Yamada – Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Halau Na Pua Lei Ilima – Reina Sugimura – Nagoya, Japan
  • Hula Halau O Kawananakoa – Alberta Nicholas – Keaukaha, Hawaii Island, Hawaii
  • Hula Halau O Keanuenue O Na Pua Wilipuia – Keiko Uchino – Tokyo, Japan
  • Hula Halau O Kekela – Kekela Miller – Laie, Oahu, Hawaii
  • The four placed in the kupuna solo competition:
  • JoAnn Evalei Loa – Hula Halau O Kawananakoa – Keaukaha, Hawaii Island, Hawaii
  • Audrey Aukele Kuulei Kahakui – Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Winona Bryson – Halau Hula O Hokulani – Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Donna Lee Napua Kaanaana Fernandez – Hula Halau O Kekela – Laie, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Other competitors included
  • Mariko Hayashi – Na Mele Hula Ohana – Gifu Japan
  • Ann Teruya – Ka Pa Nani O Lilinoe – Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Yvonne Ulumea Lutero – Ka Hale I O Kahala – Kahala, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Betty Hall – Halau Hula O Namakahulali – Maunalua, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Patricia Mae Perez – Halau Hula Olana – Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Kaori Izumi – Hula Kao Studio – Amami Oshima, Kagoshima, Japan
  • Lani Castro – Hula Halau O Pua Loke – Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii

Celebrating 50 years in 2013, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) was founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, and has entertained more than 37 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 18,000 young people from more than 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.