Ka ‘Imi Educational Institute, a non-profit Hawaiian educational halau, under the direction of Roselle Keli‘ihonipua Bailey will present its year-end ho‘ike recital this Sunday at the Island School auditorium (located in Puhi behind Kaua‘i Community College) beginning at 3 p.m. The group recently brought the art of hula to the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as a cross-cultural educational program offered to Indian students.
“This is an opportunity to enjoy live ancient hula and chant presented with traditional Hawaiian instruments blended with modern hula and mele (songs) in the special program, Dance Hula, Dance!” writes Dawn Kawahara, a member of the halau.
Ka ‘Imi Educational Institute performed at the Kaua‘i Museum earlier this year, sharing their life-changing experience of traveling to South India sharing the spirit and steps of aloha. The members of the group come from diverse backgrounds — Germany, Virginia to Kaua‘i — but work together “beautifully,” described Bailey. During their 2 1/2-week trip beginning in Bangkok and teaching in Tamil Nadu, the highlight was “working with such bright eyed students, who looked you in the eye and had sincere intention,” said Bailey.
The halau performed the full program at the Kaua‘i Museum in February and March of this year.
“In planning the Dance Hula, Dance! show, Bailey and her Kaua‘i teachers drew from the old and the new to weave a dynamic hula program that expresses natural elements: light, wind, water, earth, and spiritual humanity. All performances were instantly received by Indian audiences, who by their responses showed they recognized the shared reverence for these elements that support the lives of all peoples, no matter the genetic, cultural or religious differences,” writes Kawahara.
“When we began to chant during one of our performances at Imayam School, we heard a ripple of chatter from the audience, they were astounded and curious, they were really wonderful students,” recalled Bailey.
Before the 4 p.m. performance, the group will be sharing their experiences with an on-going slide show and multiple photo albums, journals, fabrics, instruments and other souvenirs of their trip beginning at 3 p.m. “Guests may interact with the costumed cast … as we will share highlights from the January cultural exchange and goodwill tour,” writes Kawahara.
“Tasty South Indian snacks will be made available by Vi Ganesan Herbert of the non-profit Kolam Foundation, www.kolam.info. All money raised is sent to aid schools and children and empower poor people by way of supporting handicrafts, such as hand-embroidery of traditional art kolam designs,” writes Kawahara.
Bailey was recently honored by the Kaua‘i Museum, receiving the title of “Living Treasure” for her long-time commitment teaching, promoting the truth of Hawai‘i through hula and the hula arts.
“The Ka ‘Imi Institute’s tree of learning now grows and flourishes with branches in Hawai‘i, the U.S. Mainland, Samoa, and in Europe,” writes Kawahara.