World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

FESTIVAL DANCERS

Hālau ʻo Keikialiʻi

DANCE ORIGIN: Hawaii
GENRE:
Hula
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR:
Kumu Hula Kawika Keikialiihiwahiwa Alfiche
First Appearance in SF EDF:
2001
Website:
www.keikialii.com

Kawika Keikialiihiwahiwa Alfiche is Kumu Hula, Artistic Director, and Choreographer for Hālau o Keikialii and Director for the Kaululehua Hawaiian Cultural Center, South San Francisco. The company, founded in 1994, tours throughout the US, Mexico, Japan and the Pacific Rim. The dancers—ages five to eighty-five—study Hawaiian dance, chant, and culture extensively with Kumu Kawika. Kawika’s Kumu Hulas have been Tiare Maka-Olanolan Clifford of Hanalei, Kauai; Kumu Hula Harriet Kahalepoli Keahilihau-Spalding of Keaukaha, Hawaiʻi; and in 1996, Kumu Hula Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca of Hilo, Hawaii. In March 2007, Kawika was one of six at Rae Fonseca’s only ūniki (traditional graduation). Also a noted composer and recording artist, Kawika has released three CDs: Nālei, Kalea, and his newest, White Ships.

2015 PERFORMANCE

Festival Opening Event at San Francisco City Hall

GENRE: Hula Pahu, HulaAuana
TITLE:
Ulei Pahu; Kaulilua; Aua Ia; Hamakua; Waikiki; White Ships; Ei Nei; I’ll Weave a Lei of Stars For You; Hilo, My Home Town
CHOREOGRAPHER/MUSICIAN:
Kumu Hula Kawika Keikialiihiwahiwa Alfiche
DANCERS:
Vanda Baptista, Adrianne Dizon, King Ganotise, Mary Ganotise, Diane Gee, Jan Jong, Marian Kelley, Apana Lei, Kiai Maurille, Anjal Pong, Jo Ventura, Kaolu Vida

Hālauo Keikialii presents two sets of Hawaiian hula, beginning with ancient hula pahu dances once used only for ceremony. The chants, dances, and drums honor the gods and the elements, and the drum patterns are played on a sacred pahu drum made of sharkskin and coconut. It’s rare to see this sacred form on a contemporary stage.

The first song, Ulei Pahu, is a song with a stomping movement called ulei. It prophesizes the arrival of the outside world to Hawaii, an event that will cause everything to change. The prophecy was fulfilled once with the Tahitian migration, and again with Captain James Cook and western migration. Next, Kaulilua, also handed down through an ancient line of teachers, talks about the island of Kauai and the geography of the mountains. Aua Ia is a foundational dance, not previously performed in public. It’s about the island of Maui and a famous ancient chief. The movements are deep motions, strongly connected to the pahu drum. This song teaches us how to stand straight and walk forward in this modern world and maintain our traditions—a song used in protest and also to build harmony. The final piece in this opening set, Hamakua, is a collection of songs to entice and continue procreation and longevity. This year, it is danced to bring us some much-needed rain!

The closing set is modern hula: hula auana. The songs are from 1910 to the 1930s, performed with the ukulele and a 2015 spin. Songs like these—Hawaiian songs written in English with a few Hawaiian words—are called hapa-haole (half-foreign) songs. After the wildly-popular Royal Hawaiian Quartet performed at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, songwriters were hooked. Everyone began writing hapa-haole songs, and in 1916, hapa-haole recordings outsold other types of music. Over the decades they were written in all popular styles—from ragtime, to 30’s swing, to 60s surf-rock.

The operatic Waikīkī opens this set, followed by Kumu Kawika Alfiche’s original song, White Ships, recently released on his latest CD. The song celebrates the Matson Line, the cruise ships that put Waikīkī on the map. It’s a classic hapa-haole song:

It is here on the piers of San Francisco / Welcome aboard the White Ship to Hawaii / Saying Aloha oe to the families waving/ As streamers fly down to the sea / Three blows of the horn says it’s farewell / Passing by the Golden Gate with the Farallon islands / Far off in the distance / Now we're heading to Hawaiʻi...

The next song, Ei Nei, is a song by the “Hawaiian Songbird” Lena Machado, who was known for her high voice and halting breath, and for bringing in a little jazz and Latin. I’ll Weave a Lei of Stars For You was written by Jack Owens, also the composer of Hauula; and Hilo, My Home Town is a classic hapa-haole song describing the excitement and hospitality of Hilo.


2013 PERFORMANCE

DANCE ORIGIN: Hawai`i
GENRE: Hula Pahu
TITLE:  Mele No Laka, Eō e Kahekilnui, Nā Nalu o Hawai`i
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Kumu Hula Kawika Alfiche
DANCERS:
Kalei Alonzo, Courtney Chung, Kahaku Desai, Carina Duque, April Espaniola, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Kawika Fernandez, Cristin Fong, Rachel Guerrero, Kellee Hom, Darla Ippolito, Kalani Ippolito, Pi`i Lawson, Apana Lei, Teresa Lopez, Tess Lush, Kia`i Maurille, Raena McBride, Margaret Mendoza, Kaleipua`ena Monce, Antonio Nunez, Anjal Pong, Jen Valiente, Leilani Villanueva, Maryann Walton

Hula Pahu— Sacred Dances presents hula pahu dances once used only for ceremony. The movements—hula basics—and the rhythms of the sacred sharkskin pahu hula drum, are specific and different than that of the hula pā ipu (hula with gourd drum). It’s rare to see this form on a contemporary stage: chants, dances, and drums to honor the gods and the elements:

Eō e Kahekili, written by Hōkūlani Holt, is a song for chief Ali`i Kahekilinui. It also honors Kānehekili, god of lightning and thunder—King Kamehameha’s father—who tattooed half his body black. This new choreography is built on a rarely used set of basic hula movements.

`O Kahekilinui ka ola`i o ka honua, Ku`i ka hekili, wāhia ka lani Kahekilinui is shaker of the earth, Thunder roars, heavens split.

Mele Laka is a new piece, honoring hula goddess Laka who dwells in the deep forest, and sometimes emerges to check out what we’re doing.

E ke akua o ka nahelehele, E ola ia uka i ka wao
Goddess of the wildwoods, you bring life from the mountains and inlands.

Nā Nalu o Hawai`i is a traditional song with a difficult chant and beat, learned from Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca. It’s an old migration chant, honoring the ocean, calling out surf conditions, wave patterns, and canoe landings on Hawai`i Island.

The dancers perform barefoot, wearing lole and kūpe`e (clothing and lei) with colors to reflect the songs. Although the materials are modern, dancers hand-sewed the garments in the traditional way, hand-dying materials, and stamping personalized patterns.

Kumu Kawika Alfiche says of these new choreographies, “A very small set of hula pahu dances have made it through from antiquity to today. Some lineages shy away from creating new work in this tradition: for them hula pahu is not something you create. However, I come from a lineage that allows for new creations. These songs are a respectful attempt to “create in tradition.” A`ohe pau ka `ike i ka hālau ho`okahi—Not all knowledge is contained in one school.”

2012 PERFORMANCE

TITLES: ‘O Kamehameha He Inoa – Hula Ali‘i (Song for a Chief), E Ka Pua Hau o Maleka – Hula Ku‘i (Stomping Hula), Maika‘i Ke Anu o Waimea – Hula Pa‘i Umauma (Chest Slapping / Stomping Hula), ‘O Lanakila Ke Kaahi Ali‘i – Hula ‘Ulī‘ulī (Gourd Rattle Hula)
GENRES:
Hula Kahiko, Hula Pahu
CHOREOGRAPHERS:
Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche, Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca, George L. Naope
DANCERS:
Kaimana Allerton, Kalei Alonzo, Courtney Chung, Kahaku Desai, JR Diaz, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Kawika Fernandez, Leilani Fernandez, Catie Flannary, Cristen Fong, Ann Giron, Kris Giron, Marz Hernandez, Kellee Hom, Apana Lei, Lulu Masaganda, Kia‘i Maurille, Raena McBride, RJ Mendoza, Kaleipua‘ena Monce, Antonio Nunez, Gabi Panonon, Anjal Pong, Puna Quiroz, Jennifer Tan, Rebecca Wong

MUSICIAN: Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche

This program commemorates Hawai‘i's last chieftains and queens while celebrating diverse styles of Hawaiian hula kahiko (ancient dance). The dances, in order, honor:

King Kamehameha I. The accompanying chant, written at the time of the king's birth, describes signs that foretold his greatness, including Halleys's comet (1758). King Kamehameha unified Hawai‘i, but during his rule western disease and violence decimated the ancient society.

King Kamehameha's wife, Queen Ka‘ahumanu (1772-1832), whose views on the position of women began to erode male-dominated tradition.

King Kamehameha II (1797-1824), who, along with his wife, died of the measles while touring London.

Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838-1917). When her brother, King Kalākau, who brought hula back into the light, died in San Francisco in 1891, she rode a train around the leeward side of O’ahu to reassure her people.

The pieces are in aiha‘a (close to the ground) style, a form that honors specific gods, ali‘i or chiefs, and natural places. The steps are flat-footed, to draw energy from the earth, and offer gratitude back to her. In the Hawaiian oral tradition, chant, song, and dance documented history and acted as guides to proper cultural etiquette. Also, in the oral tradition of hula, lineage is crucial: these dances were passed down from Tiare Maka Olanolan Clifford, stemming from Helen Kekua-Waia‘u on Kaua‘i; Harriet Keahilihau-Spaulding, stemming from Mary Ahi‘ena on Hilo; and Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca, stemming from George Naope on O‘ahu & Hawai‘i islands. The two middle dances are ancient, and the opening and closing pieces are choreographies by Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche, based on traditions. This piece has not yet been performed in its entirety. Kumu Alfiche presents it today in part to protest the Hawaiian government's recent proposal to sell pristine land held in trust for the Hawaiian people.


2011 PERFORMANCE

Halau O' Keikiali'iTITLE: Na Pilina Aloha
GENRE: Hula ‘Auana
DANCERS: Raymond Alejandro, Kalei Alonzo, Julie Apana, Courtney Chung, Kahaku Desai, Margaret Edralin, April Espaniola, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Kawika Fernandez, Leilani Fernandez, Cati Flannery, Carina Florendo Duque, Cristin Fong, Kellee Hom, Ka‘imi Horuichi, Darla Ippolito, Pi‘iali‘i Lawson, Tess Lush, Leimomi Mabanta, Lulu Masaganda, Kia‘i Maurille, Kaleipua‘ena Monce, Maile Morris, Antonio Nunez, Raena Orozco, Gabrielle Pabonan, Anjal Pong
MUSICIANS:
Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche (’ukulele), Kale Ancheta (upright bass), Lehua Yim (guitar)

Halau o Keikiali`i presents contemporary hula `auana with a favorite Hawaiian theme: Na Pilina Aloha—Relations in Love. The suite includes:

Ke Aloha, for a secret love affair, a drumbeat as the lovers’ hearts, with a wahine (women’s) choreography by Kumu Rae Fonseca and kane (men’s) choreography by Kumu Alfiche. Mai mana`o `oe—pay no heed to gossip, all that matters is we are bound.

Ho`i Hou Mai, for love that stands the test of time. E nene`e mai, ma ku`u poli mai—come here my love, your head upon my chest, in my arms is where you belong.

Hi`ilawe, for jealousy, a kane dance about a romance between an out-of-town woman and a hometown boy. `A`ole no wau e loa`a mai—gossip all you like, I’m like the mist on the mountain, you cannot grab my attention.

Maluaki`iwaikealoha, for a true love that ends too soon: in a fit of fiery rage the Volcano Goddess Pele, destroys Hopoe, the first hula teacher and loving companion of the Goddess Hi‘iaka. Maluaki`iwaikealoha—it is you, beloved Maluaki`iwai breeze, causing the lively birds of Panaewa to sip nectar of the lehua buds.

In the 1800s, when Mexican Spanish vaqueros and Portuguese immigrants arrived in the islands, Hawaiian musicians adopted the ‘ukulele, guitar, bass, and western melodic structure. Their new music shaped modern hula ‘auana. The form honors classical choreography and poetry and it also includes waltz tempos, hips that roll instead of sway, a high body carriage, melodies from western hymns, and lyrics about modern life. The wahine wear ruffled holomu or mu‘umu‘u, and the kane wear pants, shirts, and vests. The dancers themselves raised some of the flowers blooming in their hair.

2010 PERFORMANCE

Title: Hiiakaikapoliopele
Genres: Hula Kahiko, Hula Pahu
Artistic Director/ Choreographer: Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche
Dancers
: Wahine (Women) - Kalei Alonzo, Maka Aniciete, Julie Apana, Maika‘i Chung, Carina Duque, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Leilani Fernandez, Catie Flannery, Cristin Fong, Ann Giron, Kellee Hom, Ka‘imi Horuichi, Tess Lush, Lulu Masaganda, Raena Mcbride, Margaret Mendoza, Kaleipua‘ena Monce, Gabrielle Pabonan, Anjal Pong; Kāne (Men) - Raymond Alejandro, Kale Ancheta, Kahaku Desai, Kawika Fernandez, Kris Giron, John Hansborough, Pi‘iali‘i Lawson, Kia‘i Maurille, Antonio Nunez, Voltaire Villanueva

Before Western encounters with Hawaii, performers transmitted Hawaiian history though hula kahiko, a combination of mele chant, song, and dance. The hula kahiko on today's stage is called Hiiakaikapoliopele. It comes from the ancient epic recounting the first and most dangerous battles of Hiiaka, the youngest sister of Pele. Hiiaka is associated with hula and also the healer, restoring damage caused by Pele's volcanic wrath. She purges the land of shape-shifting Moo demons and new forests grow under her every step. In this dance, the goddess first learns her power as she engages in fierce physical battles.

A Waiakea:
Hiiaka begins with etiquette, pleading with the dangerous Panaewa —a human-eating tree-dragon— for a peaceful passage. When Panaewa refuses, she summons her divine ancestors to help her win the battle.

E Pana
ewa Moku Lehua Nui:
Hiiaka fights two Moo in a river.
Mai
alai ke ala o ke kamahele
Don’t obstruct the path of these voyagers
Hele ke aloha hele pū; no me ka makani
Head forth with love in the wind

Hulihia Ka Mauna:
To battle Moo that are fifty times faster than any other demons, Hiiaka learns to spin her magical pāū skirt—to pound her enemies as if they were crickets, and then lay the skirt on the earth for healing.

Hulihia ka mauna, wela i ka ahi -
The Mount is convulsed in belching flames
Wela moa nopu ka uka o Kuihanalei -
Fire scorched is upland Kuihanalei
I ke a pōhaku Puulena e lele mai uka
A hail of stones shot out with sulphur blasts

A Mo
olau: Hiiaka picks as her companion the goddess of ferns, who throws fern shoots and creates fern walls.

True to island tradition, Hālau dancers make their own costumes and implements. The kaai belt is woven with lauhala leaves. The pāū a moolau women's skirt represents Hiiaka’s magical pāū. The musical instruments are from nature: gourds, branches, bullroarer, horns, bamboo flutes, and stones.

2009 PERFORMANCE

Titles: ‘O Kamehameha He Inoa – Hula Ali‘i (Song for a Chief), E Ka Pua Hau o Maleka – Hula Ku‘i (Stomping Hula), Maika‘i Ke Anu o Waimea – Hula Pa‘i Umauma (Chest Slapping / Stomping Hula), ‘O Lanakila Ke Kaahi Ali‘i – Hula ‘Ulī‘ulī (Gourd Rattle Hula)
Genres: Hula Kahiko, Hula Pahu
Choreographers: Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche, Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca, George L. Naope
Dancers:
Kaimana Allerton, Kalei Alonzo, Courtney Chung, Kahaku Desai, JR Diaz, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Kawika Fernandez, Leilani Fernandez, Catie Flannary, Cristen Fong, Ann Giron, Kris Giron, Marz Hernandez, Kellee Hom, Apana Lei, Lulu Masaganda, Kia‘i Maurille, Raena McBride, RJ Mendoza, Kaleipua‘ena Monce, Antonio Nunez, Gabi Panonon, Anjal Pong, Puna Quiroz, Jennifer Tan, Rebecca Wong
Musician:
Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche

This program commemorates Hawai‘i's last chieftains and queens while celebrating diverse styles of Hawaiian hula kahiko (ancient dance). The dances, in order, honor:

King Kamehameha I. The accompanying chant, written at the time of the king's birth, describes signs that foretold his greatness, including Halleys's comet (1758). King Kamehameha unified Hawai‘i, but during his rule western disease and violence decimated the ancient society.  

King Kamehameha's wife, Queen Ka‘ahumanu (1772-1832), whose views on the position of women began to erode male-dominated tradition.

King Kamehameha II (1797-1824), who, along with his wife, died of the measles while touring London.

Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838-1917). When her brother, King Kalākau, who brought hula back into the light, died in San Francisco in 1891, she rode a train around the leeward side of O’ahu to reassure her people.

The pieces are in aiha‘a (close to the ground) style, a form that honors specific gods, ali‘i or chiefs, and natural places. The steps are flat-footed, to draw energy from the earth, and offer gratitude back to her. In the Hawaiian oral tradition, chant, song, and dance documented history and acted as guides to proper cultural etiquette. Also, in the oral tradition of hula, lineage is crucial: these dances were passed down from Tiare Maka Olanolan Clifford, stemming from Helen Kekua-Waia‘u on Kaua‘i; Harriet Keahilihau-Spaulding, stemming from Mary Ahi‘ena on Hilo; and Rae Kahikilaulani Fonseca, stemming from George Naope on O‘ahu & Hawai‘i islands. The two middle dances are ancient, and the opening and closing pieces are choreographies by Kumu Hula Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche, based on traditions. This piece has not yet been performed in its entirety. Kumu Alfiche presents it today in part to protest the Hawaiian government's recent proposal to sell pristine land held in trust for the Hawaiian people.

2008 PERFORMANCE

 

TITLES: O Ka Wai Mukiki, Hula Mano, Ulei Pahu
GENRE: Kahiko-Pahu
KUMA HULA: Kawika Keikiali‘ihiwahiwa Alfiche
DANCERS:
Kaimana Allerten, Johnny Almony, Kalei Alonzo, Kale Ancheta, Melika Ancheta, Maka Aniciete, Julie Apana, Marisza Barreras, Trixie Barreras, Emily Cabrera, Rosanne Campbell, Kimberly Carelli, La‘akea Chu, Ryan David, Kahaku Desai, Kimberly DeVillier, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Kawika Fernandez, Leilani Fernandez, Catie Flannery, Carina Florendo-Duque, Cristin Fong, JoAnn Galaviz, Raquel Gomez, Kellee Hom, Ka‘imi Horuichi, Darla Ippolito, Corinne Kaha‘i, Nannette Kaha‘i-Lipton, Vilma Lobato, Lulu Masaganda, Kia‘i Maurille, Raena Mcbride, Margaret Mendoza, RJ Mendoza, Amethyst Monce, Gabrielle Pabonan, Anjal Pong, Puna Quiroz,Charlene Tabasa-Rosenbaum, Jennifer Valiente, Rebecca Wong, Charisse Zarate

The dancers of Halau o Keikiali‘i present kahiko dance, a form developed before Western encounters with Hawai’i. Hula pahu is sacred hula, once danced only in the heiau, or learning temples, to honor and alert the gods and high chiefs. Even on today's stage, the hula is performed for the audience, but most importantly to create an energetic spiritual connection with the gods. Pahu, played by Kumu Kawika Alfiche, is the traditional drum. It is made from coconut tree trunk and shark skin, and so it remains connected with both ocean and land.

O Ka Wai Mukiki honors the goddess Hi‘iaka, the youngest sister of Pele. When Pele created the land, she also ravaged it. (Or as choreographer Kumu Alfiche says, "Pele is a volcanic fire goddess! She ain't going nowhere!") Hi‘iaka heals the islands, and this song describes happy times to come, as Hi‘iaka finds her true love, Lohi‘au.

Hula Mano honors the shark god Kamohoali‘i, Pele's oldest brother. It tells of the ancient migration of the Pele family, who arrived in Hawai‘i from the south, kahiki.

Ulei Pahu is a prophecy uttered by a kahuna, or high priest, about 400 years ago. It was said that a floating island would arrive in Hawai‘i and change all of life—its politics, religion, and livelihood. This prophecy was made into a dance so that future generations will remember this important history.

The costumes are handmade by the huamana (students) in a pre-contact (pre-1780’s) style in the colors of land and sea. The dancers grow the materials themselves, hand-dye and stamp them with natural patterns, and hand-knot hau (a native twine) to create the striking traditional headdresses.

 

2006 PERFORMANCE

TITLE OF PIECE: Maluaki’iwaikealoha , Mele ’Ulili Aia ‘O Kalani I Maleka
GENRE: Kahiko
DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Kawika Alfiche
DANCERS: Johnny Almony, Kalei Alonzo, Kale Ancheta, Melika Ancheta, Maka Aniciete, Julie Apana, Marisza Barreras, Rosanne Campbell, Sally Cuaresma, Ryan David, Raj Desai, Valerie Evangelista, Tiffany Evangelista, Leilani Fernadez, Cristin Fong, Raquel Gomez, Ka’imi Horiuchi, Tiffany Mariano, Lulu Masaganda, Kia’i Maurille, Raena McBride, RJ Mendoza, Anjal Pong, Charlene Tabasa, Jennifer Valiente, Charisse Zarate

Utilizing rarely seen implements with the ancient dance style kahiko, Halau ‘o Keikiali’i presents a blending of traditional and contemporary songs as testament of hula’s sacred tradition. The first dance, Aia O Kalani i Maleka, uses the uncommon form of footwork known as hula ki’elei, and honors the last Hawaiian king who traveled to America to help preserve the traditions of his kingdom. The second piece, Maluaki’iwaikealoha, pays tribute to the moisture-bearing Hawaiian wind, and is presented as a hula noho or seated dance using the puniu knee and small pahu drums. The newest work is the finale, Mele ‘Ulili, performed with the infrequently used ‘ulili, or triple-gourd rattle.

In keeping with custom, most of the implements and costumes are hand-made by the performers using traditional methods. The earthy brown, lime green and sky blue colors represent colors in the natural environment.

2005 PERFORMANCE

Halau Aloha 

groupTITLE OF PIECES: Ki'ina ia Aku Na Pae Moku (for King Kalakaua), Pau'ole Ko'u Aloha (for Queen Lili'uokalani), O'Wailuku Kau I Ka Hano, and Tu 'Oe (procreation dance)
GENRE:
Hula Kahiko (Ancient Dance)
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Kawika Alfiche
DANCERS:
Vilma Agcaoili, Johnny Almony, Kalei Alonzo, Kale Ancheta, Maka Aniciete, Julie Apana, Marisza Barreras, Melika Belenzo, Christine Butac, Rosanne Campbel, Ryan David, Raj Desai, Corinne Domingo, Tiffany Evangelista, Valerie Evangelista, Leilani Fernandez, Raquel Gomez, Ka'imi Horiuchi, Kalani Lobato, Tiffany Mariano, Lulu Masaganda, Kia`I Maurille, Raena McBride, RJ Mendoza, Amethyst Monce, Jackie Patricio, Anjal Pong, Michelle Sawa, Charlene Tabasa, Jennifer Valiente, Charisse Zarate
MUSICIAN:
Kawika Keikiali'i Alfiche (pahu) (ipu heke)

There are many different styles of Hula dance. The most ancient is the kahiko style and is characterized by being done aiha `a, or close to the ground. The dancers' feet are flat, with knees bent and torsos slightly tilted forward to be more connected to the earth from which they receive life-giving energy. In 2005, Halau `o Keikiali'i offers a suite of dances which honor the chiefs and monarchs of Hawaii. These dances and accompanying chants recall the beginnings of several significant events in Hawaii's history.

The first piece was written originally as a prayer for Hawaii's seventh ruler, King Kalakaua, as he set out on his journey to circumvent the globe. He is said to be the first Head of State to succeed, and his last days were in San Francisco when he passed in 1891. The second piece honors the last reigning monarch, Queen Lili'uokalani, sister of King Kalakaua. Performed by a child in the community, it refers to the adoration shared between the children and the Queen.

Not often performed publicly, the third piece uses the papa hehi, or treadle board. It signifies proliferation of the royal lineage. Following traditional protocols, the group concludes with a procreation dance honoring the lineage of chiefs. This unusual form of hula, which is rarely performed in public, is known as 'ohelo and is performed seated. The costumes worn during these dances reflect various aspects of different kings and queens who ruled throughout Hawaii's history.

2004 PERFORMANCE

Halau Aloha 

groupTITLE OF PIECES: He lua I ka hikina (Fire Creation chant),
Ho`opuka e ka la ma ka hikina (entrance dance), Aia la `o Pele (dance), Kilauea (dance), Nou Paha e ka Inoa (creation/procreation/fertility dance)
GENRE: Hula Kahiko (Ancient Dance)
CHOREOGRAPHY: Kawika Alfiche
DANCERS: Vilma Agcaoili, Johnny Almony, Kalei Alonzo, Kale Ancheta, Maka Aniciete, Julie Apana, Melika Belenzo, Rosanne Campbell, Kale Cuaresma, Ryan David, Raj Desai, Corinne Domingo, Leilani Fernandez, Raquel Gomez, Ka'imi Horiuchi, Tiffany Mariano, Lulu Masaganda, Kia'I Maurillle, RJ Mendoza, Amethyst Monce, Anjal Pong, Michelle Sawa, Charlene Tabasa, JR Tarape, Jennifer Valiente, and Charisse Zarate

The kahiko, or ancient dance, is done in an aiha `a, or, "close to the ground style." The dancers' feet are flat, with knees bent and torsos slightly tilted forward to be more connected to the earth from which they receive life-giving energy. Even the instrument played, a gourd, and the adornment worn, fresh greenery, come from the land. The costume's bold shades of red and black symbolize the powerful rivers of molten lava and ash of Hawaii's famous volcanoes.

Through their chants and dances the company pays tribute to the great Hawaiian goddess Pele, known as the goddess of all volcanic activity. Pele is regarded as both destroyer and giver of life; she personifies the cycles of nature from birth to destruction to rebirth. The opening Fire Creation Chant poignantly invokes Pele. The first dance, a ritual dance meaning "rise sun in the east," is performed to a song summoning the awakening of life and bounty of nature. The main dance, Aia la `o Pele, tells stories of Pele's life, her sister and her destructive ways. Kilauea, the name of Pele's home, speaks to her great powers. The final dance is a fertility dance honoring creation and the continuity of life. It refers to the pit, or center of volcanic activity, also a metaphor for the source of our own creation.

Back to top