Hula Ho‘ike 2007 pays tribute to two

Tomorrow the 14th annual Hula Ho‘ike recital pays tribute to Na Kapuna o Kaua‘i Pohaku Nishimitsu and Clarice Nuhi.

Nishimitsu, who passed away late last year, contributed to the community as an educator and musician.

Leilani Rivera Bond recorded two of his songs and created hula for this special night.

Clarice Nuhi, a close friend of Bond, had hula schools in both California and Utah and collaborated with Bond before her passing away this year.

A hula by Auntie Clarice entitled, “The Fragrance of Pikaki” will be performed by two of her California students traveling to Kaua‘i in her honor.

For Bond, performing the ancient and graceful art of hula is about more than just keeping the Hawaiian culture alive. It’s about ensuring that the culture thrives.

“When our haumana (students) get on that stage, we express our history and legends with our music and dances,” said Bond, kuma hula at Halau Hula O Leilani. “It’s an opportunity for us to educate our tourists and, at the same time, they enjoy watching our hula and Polynesian dances with our haumana, young and old.”

Visitors looking to enjoy traditional hula can catch Bond and her students at Hula Ho‘ike, the halau’s annual fund-raising performance, tomorrow at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.

The family-oriented show features keiki and adult dancers performing hula, Tahitian and other Polynesian dances to the traditional sounds of the islands.

Also scheduled to make an appearance at this year’s event is Keli‘i Kaneali‘i, formerly of the group Hapa.

“The word hula is well known all over the world,” said Bond, but not everyone knows the rich traditions behind the dance. “Sharing our culture with tourists is like having a beginning hula class.”

The program is billed as a great mix of traditional, contemporary and Tahitian hula with dancers ranging in age from 4 years to adult. Tickets are available at Hilo Hattie, Bounty Music, Pono Market, Hawaiian Music Carts, Island Soap & Candle and Scotty’s Music. For more information, contact Donna Stewart at 635-7248.

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