Categorized | Entertainment, Hula

Keiki Auana Hula Festival (Oct. 20)


The county Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the Merrie Monarch Festival Committee, announces the return of the Keiki Auana Hula Festival E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival.

Children dancers from 10 Hawaii Island halau will perform auana, or modern, hula 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium in Hilo.

Started in 1981 by the late Aunty Dottie Thompson, the Keiki Auana Hula Festival ran for 22 consecutive years until an election day scheduling conflict in 2003 resulted in the event’s suspension.

In Thompson’s memory, the department of Parks and Recreation is reviving the competition, now called E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival, to benefit Hawaii Island keiki and to preserve the island’s rich hula tradition.

“We’re delighted this exciting event is returning,” said Luana Kawelu, Merrie Monarch Festival Committee president. “Keiki represent the future of hula, and my mother loved keiki and would be honored to see this event again.”

The ‘E Malama Mau I Ka Hula Festival will feature a total of 20 performances in the following three divisions:

* Elementary Division – keiki attending kindergarten through fifth grade

* Intermediate Division – keiki enrolled in sixth through eighth grades

* Senior Division – high school keiki in ninth through 12th grades
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age category

Standard rules include a minimum of five dancers per performance, use of live musicians, and no plastic lei or cellophane skirts. Also, each mele must be sung in Hawaiian.

Prominent kuma hula Leolani Pratt Hao, Glenn Vasconcellos, Sandra Lee and Holoua Stender have agreed to judge the keiki performances.

Admission is $5 per person. Tickets may be obtained from the performing halau, at the Merrie Monarch Festival office at 865 Piilani Street in Hilo or by phone (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) at 935-9168.

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