Sacred Dances and Legends of Hawai’i

Friday, April 6, 2018 @ 8:00 PM

Celebrating 30 years of performing, the Halau Hula Ka No’eau Ensemble captivates audiences with their exquisite presentations of dance with a strong storytelling element. At this concert, choreographer and cultural historian Michael Pili Pang presents a new work, based on legends about the divine creators of the Hawaiian Islands, that innovatively combines traditional hula, music, and chants. (This show was rescheduled after a weather cancellation the previous season.)

8 Replies to “Sacred Dances and Legends of Hawai’i”

  1. The performance was excellent. I loved the way the performance took us from the beginnings of the Hula to the present day. Loved the original dances and how, today, it’s being incorporated into modern choreography. Well done.

    However, what was most frustrating was paying for the parking tickets, where we all had to stand in line waiting to use our credit cards to pay for parking. And it took forever to get out of the garage. There has to be a better system.

  2. The speech at the beginning was very moving. Loved the ancient sacred dances. Some of the later stuff made me appropriately uncomfortable, as placed in its proper colonial context.
    Fantastic stuff.

  3. I loved the show. The way the dancers moved there hands to tell a story was fascinating.
    I agree with the above statement about the inconvenience of the parking garage. It was much better when there were humans to take our money. Particularly annoying that there was no way to pay with cash.

  4. It was a good time, but someone should learn to play the ukulele instead of relying on recordings.

  5. Super! Ranjanaa Devi is a treasure! She arranges absolutely amazing, wonderful looks at so many different cultures for the Amherst audience. This history and demonstration of rarely seen traditional Hawaiian culture was such a treat – beautifully presented and performed. Her Asian Arts & Culture performances, lectures, special events, etc. are the highlights, to me, of your annual FAC series. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. The ancient hula was lovely as was the dance from later eras. I love the story telling of legend & history. I felt the modern/contemporary hula, which is quite beautiful, danced to Hawaiian music (composed by & played by local mucisians of Hawaii) was given short shift leaving the impression that contemprary hula is plastic & inauthentic.

  7. I was born in Hawai’i and grew up there, so I might have a slightly different perspective. Odd as it might sound, I don’t think I’ve ever seen “authentic hula,” insofar as I left the islands before the Hawaiian Renaissance of the 1970s, as Michael Pili Pang described it. I found tonight’s performance fascinating and moving, and I salute those who worked so hard to preserve this unique cultural expression. I’m also glad that this halau hula has embraced all forms of Hawaiian dance and song, including contemporary forms. Thank you to the Fine Arts Center for this type of programming. If I may add one additional observation: I found some of the costumes jarring, and I wondered if some concessions could be made so that the men don’t look like they’re wearing giant Christmas bows.

  8. Loved the show! It was beautiful. I have lived in Hawaii and learned hula with teachers at Shriners in Honolulu, Connecticut, Maui, and Tahiti. So very impressed with Michael Pili Pang. I learned so much in this short 1.5 hour show. Wish I had known about them sooner so I could have taken classes with them when I worked & lived in Honolulu. My favorite part was the chanting, I had even learned one of the chants in the show. Thank you so much for bringing them to UMASS and so glad an email was sent for those of us who bought tickets last year so we knew they were coming back.

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