Dance fest grows

Adaptations Dance Theater celebrates diversity by leaps and bounds

Amelia Couture (left) and Yezzi from “Dance Maui 2017.” This year, Adaptations Dance Theater presents the fourth annual “Dance Maui 2018” at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Yokouchi Pavilion at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. General admission tickets are $15 (plus applicable fees). To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org. Chelsea Fine photo

“Dance Maui” celebrates our cultural diversity by bringing local and visiting dance troupes together as one for an afternoon each November. The festival continues to expand in size, and this year’s performance will be staged outdoors at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului — a move that festival producer Adaptations Dance Theater hopes will increase the festival’s visibility for audiences and performers alike.

“By moving the festival to the MACC, it opens the doors to bringing in more artists from across the Hawaiian Islands, and eventually the rest of the country,” said ADT Co-founder Nicole Humphrey, who has served as the company’s executive director and “Dance Maui” festival director for the past three years.

Humphrey recently returned to the Mainland, but continues to serve on the ADT board of directors.

“Much like the ‘Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’ in Massachusetts, or ‘Vail Dance Festival’ in Colorado, we have always envisioned ‘Dance Maui’ to become a world-renowned festival, not only representing the diversity found within our island, but attracting others from across the globe to share their art with our beautiful Maui community,” said Humphrey.

The 2018 lineup includes many well-known Maui artists who have been performing at the festival since its inception, including Darshan Dance Project, Akari Dance and the festival’s host, ADT.

Noel Overbay (left) and Lin McEwan in a scene from “Vindication” at ProArts Playhouse. Jack Grace photo

Several Maui newcomers will also join “Dance Maui 2018,” including featured guest artist Kimberly Miguel Mullen. A classically trained folk-dance artist and cultural ethnologist, Mullen’s style is rooted in ritual dance expressions from Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian religious deities called the Orichas or Orixas (the worship of ancestors, warriors, kings and cultural founders).

Described as “spectacularly supple” by the Los Angeles Times, Mullen embodies, interprets and transmits the archetype of Orichas.

A press release noted that “Kimberly travels the world teaching, performing and mesmerizing audiences with her unique ability to reframe Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian traditional forms while remaining true to the legacies of the practitioners, performers and communities that have mentored and molded her.”

Additional festival performers are Maui Aerial Arts, 808 Breakers, Sacred Dance Path, Brilliant Dance Care LLC, PureMotionZ Dance, Maui Butoh Dance Tribe, Maui Belly Dance Company, SeaFire Entertainment, LLC, Maria Teresa Houar, The Soma Aina Project and the Village Pulse Drum and Dance Ensemble.

“A lot of these artists don’t have many opportunities to showcase their dance, and giving them the opportunity to do so is what motivates ADT to continue this festival year after year,” said Cady Cox, “Dance Maui’s” new festival director.

Original “Dance Maui” participant, Akari Ueoka of Akari Dance, an Izanai Yosakoi dance artist (an energetic Japanese dance style), asked ADT Co-artistic Director Hallie Hunt to join her this year on the Akari Dance piece “Musuhi.”

“As a contemporary dancer, it has been an honor and a challenge to delve into a whole new culture of dance. The movement is athletic, rhythmic and celebratory. I am inspired to let all this new information inform my own future work as a contemporary dance choreographer,” said Hunt.

“What I love about Yosakoi is that it allows dancers to dance like themselves,” explains Ueoka. “Yes, there is a set choreography, but we don’t have to look alike. I saw how it was interpreted by Hallie, and the dance which found its new body was moving with her own flavor.”

“Through this experience, I have been reminded of the most magical aspect of dance — its universality,” adds Hunt. “Even though we may speak different verbal languages, come from different backgrounds and represent different beliefs, we all embody this shared language of dance that allows us to communicate with each other and with our audiences. It’s a powerful experience, and one that binds us together as a dance community.”

Also this week

King Kekaulike High School Drama continues its electric and lively production of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Chris Kepler.

Set in the 1980s, the King Kekaulike students excel at fight choreography and soliloquies. In the quintessential teen tale of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo (Danny Pieper) and Juliet (Anastasia Morales-Middleton) are forbidden by their feuding Montague and Capulet families to pursue their love.

• Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday at the King Kekaulike Performing Arts Center on the King Kekaulike High School campus in Pukalani. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students, and are available at the box office 30 minutes before showtime. For more information, visit www.kingkekaulike.com.

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ProArts presents the world premiere of “Vindication, Scenes from the Life of Mary Wollstonecraft” by Lin McEwan, directed by Tina Kailiponi. This original, locally-written, poignant, dramatic bioplay follows the life of Mary Wollstonecraft (McEwan), the 18th-century architect and mother of women’s rights.

• Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, opening Friday and running through Nov. 18 at the ProArts Playhouse at Azeka Place Makai in Kihei. Tickets are $26. “Vindication” contains adult themes. For more information or to purchase tickets for any ProArts event, call 463-6550 or visit www.proartsmaui.com.

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Oahu’s Kumu Kahua Theatre presents “Pakalolo Sweet” by Hannah Ii-Epstein, directed by Wil Kahele. Junior Boy (Randall Galius Jr.) is a pakalolo grower set to take over the family business. At home one evening, he talks story about his job and marijuana legalization with his pregnant girlfriend, his best friend and his grandfather. As the night progresses, Junior Boy’s father arrives with terrible news about their grow operation and questions if Junior Boy is at fault.

• Performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the McCoy Studio Theater at the MACC. Tickets are $28 (plus applicable fees). “Pakalolo Sweet” contains adults themes, smoking and adult language. To purchase tickets for any MACC event, visit the box office, call 242-7469 or order online at www.mauiarts.org.

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Seabury Hall Performing Arts presents Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” directed by David Ward, under the musical direction of Tana Larson. When Billy (Carl Molinaro) discovers the love of his life, Hope (Megan Malcolm), is on a cruise with her fiance, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh (Carver Glomb), he enlists the help of a night-club star and evangelist, Reno Sweeney (Caitlyn Campbell), his new gangster friend Moonface Martin (Gabe Frampton) and Martin’s moll Erma (Taylor Takatani) to help him win back Hope.

• Performances are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, opening Saturday and running through Nov. 18, and 3 p.m. Sundays at the ‘A’ali’ikuhonua Creative Arts Center on the Seabury Hall campus in Makawao. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $8 for students (with $2 discounts if purchased in advance). For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.seaburyhall.org.

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Baldwin Performing Arts Learning Center and Baldwin Theatre Guild present “The Bully Plays,” a collection of short plays written by several authors, directed by Linda Carnevale.

In “Bully-Bully,” a teen girl who just wants to be popular and fit in learns that if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

“A Bully There Be” is set in a royal palace where a serving wench schools an arrogant prince on the causes and consequences of his bullying of the court jester.

“Bystander Blues” exposes the inner thoughts of a group of bystanders watching a bullying incident; and “Send” examines the anguish of a teen that sends an inappropriate picture of herself to her boyfriend.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, opening Friday and running through Nov. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, with a special 3 p.m. after-school performance on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Loudon Mini-Theatre on the H.P. Baldwin High School campus in Wailuku. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for students and $3 for children 10 and younger, and are available at the box office 45 minutes before showtime. To reserve tickets, call 727-3297.

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ONO! returns with a showcase of scenes and songs performed by the Maui OnStage Youth Theater students. Performance is 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku. The free ONO! performances are every second Monday of the month. For more information, visit www.mauionstage.com.

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