Halau from Japan leads way with five awards at Ku Mai Ka Hula competition

Award-winning halau were featured competing in solo and group dances

Halau Hula ‘O Mehanaokala performs the auana “Aia Ka La‘i I Ka‘uiki” while competing in the kupuna division of the Ku Mai Ka Hula 2018 hula competition at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater Saturday afternoon. The halau from Tokyo, Japan, under the direction of Ku‘uleinani Hashimoto, took first in the kupuna division and also won the Maui Nui Award and the Leianaikaroselaniomaui Award. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Halau Hula ‘O Meha-naokala of Japan captured five awards and Halau Kamaluokaleihulu of Wailuku won four at the 2018 Ku Mai Ka Hula competition Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

The competition features award-winning halau competing in solo and group performances. This year’s invitees included halau from Hawaii and Japan.

Led by kumu hula Ku’uleinani Hashimoto, Halau Hula ‘O Mehanaokala of Shinagawa in Tokyo, Japan, won the Leianaikaroselaniomaui Award, which honors the halau that exhibits overall excellence in hula. The halau also won the Maui Nui Award, which recognizes the halau that participated fully in all aspects of the competition and has tried to be involved in as many divisions as possible. It also finished second in the group kahiko and auana wahine divisions (women’s ancient and modern hula) and first in the kupuna division.

Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, led by kumu hula Kahulu Maluo, earned the Palikumaikalewalani Oli Award, which honors the halau that exhibits excellence in oli, or chanting. The halau also won first place in the group kahiko and auana wahine divisions.

Halau Hula O Keola Ali’iokekai, which hails from Wailuku and is led by kumu hula Iola Balubar, won the ‘Olelo Makuahine Award, which recognizes the halau that exhibits excellence in Hawaiian language use.

Kelsey Nohonani Makamae Maua‘i of Hui Ho‘oulu Aloha performs the kahiko “No Ka La‘i Awakea Ke Aloha” on her way to winning the Ms. Hula Maui title Saturday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Winners by division were:

• Mr. Hula Maui — first place, Trenton Kapiliela Akima of Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company from Las Vegas, led by Kanani Pharr-Cadaoas.

• Ms. Hula Maui — first place, Kelsey Nohonani Makamae Maua’i of Hui Ho’oulu Aloha from Haleiwa, led by Pomaika’i Krueger; second place — Teresa Deneen Welolani Medeiros of Halau Manaiakalani from Kahului, led by Kapono and Kanoenani Kamaunu.

• Kupuna — first place, Halau Hula ‘O Mehanaokala, led by Hashimoto; second place — Halau Hula I Kona Mau Lima from Kahului, led by Kehaulani Kaneholani-Santiago; third place — Halau Hula O Keola Ali’iokekai, led by Balubar.

• Group Kahiko Wahine — first place, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, led by Maluo; second place — Halau Hula ‘O Mehanaokala, led by Hashimoto.

Trenton Kapiliela Akima of Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company performs the kahiko “He Mele No Ka Manu ‘Alauahio” on his way to taking first in the Mr. Hula Maui competition. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

• Group ‘Auana Wahine — first place, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, led by Maluo; second place — Halau Hula ‘O Mehanaokala, led by Hashimoto.

This year’s judges were Kamakaokalani Herrod, Iwalani Kalima, Ulalia Woodside and Pueo Pata.

COMMENTS