Categorized | Entertainment

Kalani Performing Arts Festival underway

(Photo courtesy of Kalani Retreat)


A handful of Hawaii’s top performance instructors have converged on the Big Island to celebrate the Second Annual Kalani Performing Arts Festival, which runs through July 16.

The week-long festival at Kalani features a range of free public performances, workshops, and drop-in classes in the areas of hula, aerial and modern dance, music, voice and acting.

Headliners include well-loved hula performer Kaenaaloha Aoe Hopkins of Halau I Ka Wekiu, Jackie Pualani Johnson, Director of Performing Arts at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Andrea Torres, founder and director of Hawaii-based aerial dance company Samadhi Hawaii.

Festival instructors will offer free evening performances to the public and teach students during daytime classes throughout the week. The festival will culminate in a spectacular finale at 8 p.m. July 16 at Kalani’s EMAX.

Artistic and project director Wailana Simcock says that a recent grant from the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (HSFCA) has greatly assisted in enhancing the festival’s offering to the public.

“The grant has enabled us to secure a strong showcase of top local performers and teachers this year, which means we can continue to uphold and extend Hawaiian cultural values and traditions to the participants and audience members of this year’s festival,” he said.

In its second year, the festival attracts students from mainland states who seek to learn a mixture of Hawaiian and western performance techniques in the surrounds of the beautiful Puna coast.

Simcock is quick to add that in addition to its popularity with those from the mainland, the festival is a great opportunity for the people of Hawaii to experience performing arts with a local and native Hawaiian perspective.

“Whether you are an experienced professional, a curious amateur, or simply someone who loves the performing arts, we invite all Big Island residents to come and participate in the Second Annual Kalani Performing Arts Festival,” Simcock said.

Participants can elect to participate in the full performance workshop at a special kamaaina commuter rate of $400, or take advantage of drop-in classes throughout the week for $20 per class.

A schedule of free public performances, workshops and drop-in classes can be found at:

For further information, call Kalani at (808) 945-7828 or email

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