Friday, April 5, 2013

Merrie Monarch Festival's Ho'ike Night Highlights.

Another beautiful presentation of hula dancing at its finest was to be seen in Hilo, Hawaii with Ho'ike night (a show or exhibition). Normally this is a celebration of hula and Polynesian dances from around the Pacific islands, the variety of island dances performed are colorful and presents unique dances attributed to each island culture. This year's Ho'ike event was focused on celebrating Hula's golden anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival from its humble beginnings into being the pre-eminent hula event.

Prior to the start, the stage is empty except for all the elaborately carved pahu drums decorated in a variety of native ferns.


Symbolizing passing down the knowledge and dance of hula and mele (chanting) from older generations to the young, the event celebrates the nostalgic dances and evolution from kahiko hula (ancient) through the victorian era into the modern or Auana style. Some of the ladies over 80 were performing with some of the historic halau (hula school) along with younger hula students dancing under these halau. The performance with these grand dames totally commanded the show and showcased dancing at its finest by spreading their joy and aloha to the audience.


This beautiful hula dancer is so graceful and completely exudes with aloha to every movement and gesture. Her smile completely lights up the performance, and the audience shouts deliriously in support and excitement to these dancers.

There was so much love and aloha with these dancers on the stage, it was just amazing to see and experience this beautiful portion of the evening's performance.


The introduction of the kane (male) hula division was also represented with the Cazemero brother's halau dancing from their first kane division win in 1976. The inclusion of the kane hula division has brought new excitement in hula dancing, increase viewership and participation with a new set of young dancers to learn hula and all aspects of the hula.


One of the highlights of the evening was a segment introducing all of the Miss Aloha dancers from the early 1970's to the present day Miss Aloha - it was a visual delight seeing all the amazing costumes, gorgeous adornments and individual dancing styles.

Ornate head pieces and leis made with fresh flowers like orchids and plumeria create beautiful statements to each Miss Aloha's ensemble and is a visual delight to see.

There were so many beautiful presentations of different hula dances and dancers of every age and experience. The golden anniversary presentation showcased all the beautiful dances that marked highlights of dancing throughout the Merrie Monarch Festival's existence and was so elaborately presented.

Here's a look at some more images of the Ho'ike hula highlights.


This was a spectacular Merrie Monarch anniversary performance with an amazing array of solid performances from past shows and amazing collaborations.

A hui hou (until we meet again) - hopefully at another beautiful hula performance at the Merrie Monarch festival in Hilo.


©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

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