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Gobs of hula and ukulele

  • Contributed by Lori Dill

    Kumu Leihi‘ilani Kirkpatrick will lead a hula group at Monday’s E Kanikapila Kakou concert at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort near Hanamaulu.

  • Contributed by Anne E. OʻMalley

    Nathan Kalama, a co-founder of the Malie Foundation, will lead a hula group at Monday’s E Kanikapila Kakou concert at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort near Hanamaulu.

It’s the fifth of 10 Monday nights in the heritage Hawaiian music program, E Kanikapila Kakou, now in its 36th season. This Monday’s guests at EKK will provide choke hula — learn a hula from 6 to 7 p.m., enjoy an hour of ukulele music by a Japanese group from 7 to 8 p.m. and, after a short break, show-your-stuff hula until 9 p.m.

Thanks to the hula organizers — the nonprofit Malie Foundation — the Jasmine Ballroom of the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort will be hopping. They’re hosting four kumu hula who will be teaching in four areas of the ballroom.

The guest kumu hula are Nathan Kalama, one of the foundation’s founders, with his Na Kupuna O Kalamaolaimaluhialani; Kamealoha Forrest, whose Halau Hula ‘o Ke‘alalaua‘eomakana is based in Waipa in Halele‘a; Lehi‘ilani Kirkpatrick, whose Halau Ka Lei Kukui Hi‘ilani is based in Princeville; and Troy Hinano Lazaro, with his Halau Ka Pa Hula o Hinano.

“Hula is not simply a dance. It is a prayer brought to form,” Forrest said. “Many people think of it as a pretty art form that tells stories, but forget its religious and ceremonial importance.”

“A hula not only brings the story or prayer to life, but brings it to the present, allowing those deities, demi-gods and chiefs to be among us for a time,” he added.

In the second hour, Ukulele Paradise, a troupe of ukulele students and music professionals from Japan, will take to the stage and share their love of Hawaiian music. It’s no secret that the Hawaiian culture is strongly embedded in those islands that boast many thousands of hula practitioners, and an ever-growing number of ukulele players.

In the final hour, all groups take turns dancing the hula they learned earlier.

Musical artists for the hula include executive director of the Malie Foundation Maka Herrod, Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira, Anuhea Ka‘auwai and Darryl Gonzalves.

Suggested donation is $10 to $15.

The E Kanikapila Kakou 2019 Hawaiian Music Program is funded in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, supported by the County of Kauai Office of Economic Development, the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, the Garden Island Arts Council, and other supporters.

Next Monday at EKK, Week 5, Feb. 25: Mauna Hape will teach and perform, comprised of Jeff Au Hoy, Adam Asing and Kapono Lopes.

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