From the small city to the large stage, a halauian halau makes its Merrie Monarch debut

VOLCANO (HawaiiNewsNow) – Near the largest district on the island of Hawaii is the small, closely-knit community of Volcano.

It is home to the Mauna Loa mountain.

“I remember when I was little I was just so excited that we asked Kumu, ‘Kumu, when is our turn, when is our turn?’ And I’ve always dreamed that our Halau could represent our culture in such a prestigious and respected arena, ”said Jessica Anahu of Halau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa.

After 27 years, they made their debut on the world’s largest hula stage at the Merrie Monarch Festival.

“Some of them have always danced with me and their loyalty and this climax, seeing them on this big stage, I had probably more than likely imagined, but I had pushed that idea so far into the back of my mind because I never did I think it would be us, ”said Kumu Hula Meleana Manuel from Halau Ke ‘Olu Makani O Mauna Loa.

Each halau was rated in more than 12 categories, including their posture and ornamentation. And all of this was recorded by cameras not only on the stage, but also above.

“Dancing in front of your own congregation is difficult because the people in your hometown expect it,” said Manuel.

The Halau was supposed to take place in 2020, but that was canceled due to the pandemic.

It was a night of premieres – not just for the group but also for the composer of the song they are performing on: “Skyflower” or “Pualani”, written by Manuel’s classmate John Doza HB Enos.

“The highlight, you know, has been for our Halau all these years and is finally coming to the big stage and also for his Mele, which was written so long ago and which will also be on stage for the first time,” said Manuel .

“I wish my kumu could see because that’s all we do is just want to make our kumu proud, see your kumu smile and of course everyone will say, ‘Oh, I’m sure he’s watching ‘and I’m sure too. But I would just like to see his face. “

Although they dance with different people on their minds, they share a common thought that they represent the hometown of Halau.

“So that we can present our small, small community of Volcano, we did what we set out to do,” said Manuel.

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