MACC to host Maui’s only adult hula competition
KAHULUI – Maui’s premier annual hula competition, Ku Mai Ka Hula (Hula Appears), will return to the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center this weekend for its tenth consecutive year.
For this competition, winning halau from Japan meet invited halau from the islands and the Continental U.S. All will share their finest dances in hope of being selected as the best kupuna, kane or wahine group, or Mr. or Ms. Hula Maui.
On Friday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m., the solo contest will feature male and female dancers competing for the title of Mr. and Ms. Hula Maui in kahiko and ‘auana styles.
Preshow entertainment starts at 4:45 p.m. featuring Na Hanona O Pi’ilani.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m., the group competition and awards ceremony will be held.
Male and female dancers compete for first place in kahiko and ‘auana styles, as well as kupuna competing in the ‘auana style.
Preshow entertainment starts at 11:45 a.m. featuring Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua.
Competitors include halau from Maui, Oahu, Japan and California. Halau Hi’iakainamakalehua, Halau Hula O Alohalani, Halau I Ka Wekiu, Halau Ka Ua Tuahine, Halau Ke’ala, Kahinano O Puna, Halau Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, Halau Manaiakalani, Halau Nawaipunalei, and Halonaikeohokapalai will all vie for the prestigious Maui Nui, Leianaikaroselani O Maui, Palikumaikalewalani and newly added ‘Olelo Makuahine perpetual awards.
Judges this year include prestigious members of the hula community: Keali’i Reichel, kumu hula and one of Hawaii’s most popular singer/songwriters; Maka Herrod, kumu hula and executive director for the Malie Foundation and Kaua’i Mokihana Festival; Ulalia Woodside, kumu hula and board member of Kauahea Inc. and the Lalakea Foundation; and Taupouri Tangaro, kumu hula and professor of Hawaii Life Styles at Hawaii Community College.
A commemorative DVD will be created featuring all of the performances that can be purchased at or after the event. Relive the magic of the competition throughout the year with a professionally produced, feature-length DVD.
In addition, a detailed, multi-page commemorative program will be available for purchase featuring in-depth information on the participating halau, past event information, statistics, highlights and more.
The event will begin Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the McCoy Studio Theater with “The Life and Music of John Kamealoha Almeida.”
This talk story and live performance for hula enthusiasts is a deeper exploration into the mind of Hawaiian song composer Johnny Almeida, who was blind since childhood, yet wrote beautiful songs about the beauty that surrounded him. The event is presented by Keola Donaghy of the Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii Maui College. Tickets are $15.
Tickets for Ku Mai Ka Hula are $25 each day; a Friday/Saturday ticket is $37. Admission is half price for keiki 12 and under. Purchase tickets at the MACC Box Office by calling 242-SHOW or visiting www.MauiArts.org.