All posts tagged: hula

Weekly Small Pleasures (#10)

1) Prince – While classmates were going crazy for Madonna and Mariah Carey, Prince was the one artist who was continuously present for the major milestones in my life. Even though his artistry was usually perceived as eccentric, his musical genius was undeniable. With his sudden passing, I dug out his CD’s this past week and relived my life, captured through his music. Mahalo, Prince. 2) Spending Time with the Parentals – I flew to Honolulu on Tuesday to go to doctor appointments with my mom and when we were done, we escaped to Pearlridge for lunch and a bit of shopping before heading over to the airport. Although I can be happy being with them anywhere, the hospital is becoming the norm, so getting out is always a good thing. 3) Friends – If you don’t know by now, I have the best friends. I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones that I do consider my closest friends, know everything about me and continue to stand by me and make me laugh. …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#9)

Merrie Monarch Hilo comes alive during Merrie Monarch week and this year was no different. I went to the free hōʻike night on Wednesday to watch Hālau o Kekuhi, as well as other indigenous dance from Taiwan, Tahiti, and New Zealand. I also watched TV coverage of the competition on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Over the course of the week, I had 3 performances and walked in the parade on Saturday. Below are a few photos, most taken by Maria, from my week. It felt amazing to be dancing again and to be immersed in hula for 7 straight days. Sunday, March 27: Kīpaepae Welina (Welcoming Ceremony)   Tuesday, March 29: UNU Noontime Performance at the Naniloa Hotel     Thursday, March 31: UNU at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center   Saturday, April 2: Merrie Monarch Parade Here are other people’s weeks: A New Life Wandering | Weekly Small Pleasures #82 Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Architecture (Photo 101, Day 12)

For the past month, we’ve been practicing hula in a space with no mirrors and dance-unfriendly flooring, but tonight, we returned to dancing in Polihua a Mauliola, a quonset hut that was converted into a hālau dance space and where we’ve danced our entire training prior to ʻūniki. Stepping in to the space felt kind of like visiting your childhood home after just settling into your first apartment. Returning home, everything feels intimately familiar. You know where things are located and you can relax in the space, but the truth is, itʻs not really your home anymore. That’s how I felt tonight. I missed Polihua, but more so, I missed how my body responds in that space, and how I am able to dance beside people I’ve danced with for all these years. Here are some other photos I’ve taken on my travels that speak to the amazing architecture I’ve never really noticed before going abroad.  

Pop of Color (Photo 101, Day 11)

I came across a few pūkiawe bushes with bright pink berries today. After I took the photo, I noticed that although the pink stood out, the green leaves were amazing in their own right. I should have saved a few photos from yesterday’s post for today because some of the dancers’ pāʻū were an amazing orange, so I’ll repost just because I love the color and texture of the pāʻū. Finally, I’ve not known what to do with this photo that I took last summer at the Esprit Dior exhibit in Seoul last year, but on display was Charlize Theron’s Dior dress from Cannes 2015 and the yellow popped inside that darkened room.

Weekly Small Pleasures (#8)

1. Unulau. I was honored to attend the debut of my hula brother’s new hālau, Unulau, yesterday. They performed at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park, overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. It was a great day to witness the arrival of a new generation of dancers from our tradition. 2.  Redux. I dusted off my Dinosaur-SLR and started taking photos again. It’s a joy getting back behind the camera, especially since most of my photos have been taken on my iPhone. Nothing wrong with iPhoneography, but it’s comfortingly different behind a camera. I ended up visiting Uwēkahuna, a bluff overlooking Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, and snapped some beautiful shots. 3. Foodie Splurge. I have been packing home lunch for the past year and enjoy knowing how much money I save not eating out, but this past week, I bought lunch twice and it was amazing. The first was at Miyo’s, one of my all-time favorite restaurants, which I enjoyed with colleagues and ate my favorite sesame chicken. The second was lunch bought at the cafeteria on campus, consisting of sautéed veggies, fresh greens, and furikake salmon. 4. Reality Check. I’ve …

Solitude (Photo 101, Day 5)

On a hike to Sanbutsu-ji Temple, the cliff temple, I took this picture of my hula brother at a rest stop. Our hula tradition is based upon the concept of environmental kinship, so as he looked out at the mountains and the trees in foreign Japan, I could tell that he wasnʻt just resting and admiring the beautiful view, but that he was syncing himself and connecting to the environment around him. His breathing steadied, his body relaxed, and he would occasionally close his eyes to feel the gentle breeze on his skin and once, he was in harmony with his surroundings, he inhaled deeply and turned to me and smiled.

Weekly Small Pleasures (#6)

Dance and music have been the recurring themes for this amazing week. Back to Hula. Even though I “graduated”, my cohort was invited back to learn a new set of hula pahu (drum dances), so we have resumed twice a week practices for this month. These lessons also serve as preparation for our performances during the week of Merrie Monarch, both at the opening of the festivities and at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. Learning and dancing again feels amazing, but I’m also grateful to be dancing next to people with whom I’ve danced for years and consider family. Here is one pahu set we performed two years ago which will be included in the  5-6  sets to be done at ʻImiloa. Enjoy and wish my knees luck these next few weeks! Solo Hiking in Volcanos National Park. I met with a lot of people this past week and being an introvert, by Friday, I was in need of huge doses of solitude and nature. After a week of miserable vog, today’s clear skies allowed me to do a solo hike. From the parking …


Transition Last December, I went through the rites of ʻūniki which, in the tradition of my hālau, is a formal graduation ceremony marking ones transition to becoming a kumu hula or a teacher of hula. Every tradition is different. Some hālau do not ʻūniki students, while others do. I share this image with all of you because it was a defining moment in the ceremony. It was the culmination of my lifelong career as a hula student and the beginning of a new chapter. A kumu hula from a different tradition tied on my pāʻū kaula and was the first to greet me into this prestigious guild of hula masters. Becoming a kumu hula has been something I’ve reflected upon hundreds of times in the past year. I continue to mourn the end of my time as a hula student and although my new role demands its own attention, I now have time and space to properly process my transition between death and rebirth within the hula realm.

A Merrie Hangover

Itʻs been a little less than a week since the close of Merrie Monarch and I can honestly say that itʻs been the most hectic one I’ve ever experienced. The exhaustion, however, was well worth it since with it came so many wonderful moments, especially those spent in the company of my hula family. I miss the surge of energy that comes with Merrie Monarch, but I do appreciate the calm when it’s over. We had several appearances and kuleana (responsibilities) during the week. These pictures were taken from our noon time performance at the Naniloa Hotel last Tuesday. Mahalo to Maria for these beautiful images! Also, if youʻre interested in watching snippets of that performance, mahalo to Joanna Ehu Mazurek for capturing these dances on video with a vintage filter. My hula family and I also spent a little bit of time with our Māori cousins of Te Waka Huia and were glad to have met and know them over the course of the week. Here are a few images from their performance in the Merrie Monarch hōʻike on Wednesday night, again, compliments …