On Saturday, Sept. 8, Ku Mai Ka Hula (Hula Appears) returns to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's (MACC) Castle Theater for the largest adult hula competition in its seven-year history. This year, nine halau winners from Japan's Maui Festival Ku Mai Ka Hula Competition, and halau from Hawai'i and California will compete in solo and group performances from 1 to 7 p.m.
The groups perform in adult male and female categories, including kupuna, as well as solo performances in kahiko (traditional) and 'auana (modern) hula. The competition is part of a longstanding friendship between Hawai'i and Japan, which is eloquently delivered in this beautiful and inspirational event.
Hokulani Holt, cultural programs director for the MACC and president of Kauahea Inc., said, "Ku Mai Ka Hula is a wonderful opportunity for all who enjoy hula to come together and celebrate. If you are a hula enthusiast, this is where you should be. Each of the competing halau has placed or won top awards in other hula competitions."
A hālau from Japan performs in last year’s Kū Mai Ka Hula.
Halau participants include winners from Hawai'i's prestigious Merrie Monarch Festival and the Maui Festival Ku Mai Ka Hula Competition in Japan. Food, beverages and Hawaiian style crafts are offered for sale from island artisans.
Tickets to see Ku Mai Ka Hula 2012 are $25 for adults and $12.50 for keiki 12 years of age and younger (plus applicable fees).
As part of the weekend's hula festivities, the MACC will offer two special events: On Thursday, Sept. 6, recording artist and award-winning Kumu Hula Keali'i Reichel will explore an often over-looked genre of Hawaiian poetry--Hakukole: Sayings & Chants of Ridicule--in a PowerPoint presentation revealed through chant, songs, proverbs and gestures.
Tickets are $13 per person (plus applicable fees).
Then on Friday, Sept. 7, there will be a free screening of the documentary film, "Fukushima Hula Girls" (2011). The story revolves around the efforts of the hula performers from Spa Resort Hawaiians in Fukushima as they tour the country to persuade their fellow citizens to visit the resort, even as the region struggles towards recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Contact the MACC Box Office for complimentary seating tickets; a donation to Japan disaster relief will be appreciated. Call 242-SHOW (7469) or purchase tickets online at MauiArts.org.