×

Oahu halau takes top honors at Ka‘anapali competition

Maui dancers earn runner-up spots for individual categories

Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols performs during the ‘auana (modern hula) portion of the 29th annual Hula o na Keiki competition at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. Nichols was named the 2019 Master Hula o na Keiki. ZANE MATHIAS photos

The Maui News

Two dancers from an Oahu halau topped every category – including the overall soloist honors — at the 29th annual Hula o na Keiki competition at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel from Friday to Sunday.

Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols and Haily Kamakahukilani Na-wahine Nascimento claimed the titles of 2019 Master Hula o na Keiki and 2019 Miss Hula o na Keiki, respectively. Both are with Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, under the direction of kumu hula William Kahakuleleihua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Six halau, including three from Maui, participated in the three-day event, which featured a two-day hula competition, cultural demonstrations, continuous live Hawaiian entertainment, local food prepared by the hotel and a Hawaiian festival of arts and crafts.

Maui’s own Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, under the direction of kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes, produced the first runner-up in both the Master and Miss Hula o na Keiki categories, while Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, another Maui school under the direction of kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson, earned the second runner-up spot in the Miss Hula o na Keiki category.

Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento performs during the kahiko (ancient hula) portion of the 29th annual Hula o na Keiki competition at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel. Nascimento was named 2019 Miss Hula o na Keiki.

This year’s competition also debuted a new category, palua kahiko, which allowed two students of any gender to dance and chant together in the traditional style. Contestants aged 5 to 17 also performed kahiko, or ancient hula, and ‘auana, or modern hula.

Dancers were judged on their style of chanting, interpretation of the dances and cultural appropriateness of costumes and adornments. Contestants were also scored through individual interviews with a respected panel of judges, who asked questions to reveal their understanding and interpretation of dance, costume selection, including adornments and the proper use of the Hawaiian language. Ten contestants competed in their respective categories.

This year’s winners were:

2019 Master Hula o na Keiki

Overall Winner: Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

First Runner-up: Maikalani- kamealoha Eli Keohuhu-Kanana Wong, Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes.

2019 Miss Hula o na Keiki

Overall Winner: Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

First Runner-up: Chaslyn Kamea’i’omakamae Cadiente Kala, Halau Kekuaokala’au’ ala’iliahi, kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes.

Second Runner-up: Korey Pa’ana’akala Iseri Hanaike, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson.

Oli and ‘Olelo Hawai’i Award — Palua Category

First Place: Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols/Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Second Place: Leimomimakamae Hokoana-Molinas/Aiyanna Lahela Adams, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson.

Hula Palua Kahiko Award

First Place: Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols/Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Second Place: Leimomimakamae Hokoana-Molinas/ Aiyanna Lahela Adams, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson.

Hula Palua ‘Auana Award

First Place: Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols/Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Second Place: Leimomimakamae Hokoana-Molinas/Aiyanna Lahela Adams, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson.

Keiki Kane Interview Award

Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Kaikamahine Interview Award

Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Oli and ‘Olelo Hawai’i Award — Keiki Kane Category

First Place: Marcus William Kamakanamakamaeokeakua Nichols, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Second Place: Maikalanikamealoha Eli Keohuhu-Kanana Wong, Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes.

Oli and ‘Olelo Hawai’i Award — Kaikamahine Category

First Place: Haily Kamakahukilani Nawahine Nascimento, Halau Na Mamo o Pu’uanahulu, kumu William Kahakuleilehua Sonny Ching and Lopaka Igarta DeVera.

Second Place: Chaslyn Kamea’i’omakamae Cadiente Kala, Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, kumu ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes.

Third Place: Korey Pa’ana’akala Iseri Hanaike, Halau Kamaluokaleihulu, kumu Kahulu Maluo-Pearson.

Meanwhile, ‘Iliahi and Haunani Paredes won the Akoni Akana Perpetual Award, which is given to the kumu who best demonstrate the value of “po’okela,” or excellence, in preparing for Hula o na Keiki. The Akoni Akana scholarships, which are awarded to help further each individual’s education in Hawaiian culture through college, halau, mentorship programs or other fine arts, were awarded to Maikalanikamealoha Eli Keohuhu-Kanana Wong of Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi and Jaelyne Ipo Leolani Navarro of Halau Hula Kauluokala.