Community

Traditional Hula Ensemble Comes to Weis Center

Traditional hula ensemble, Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau, will perform on Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

There will be a free pre-performance talk on the same day as the performance from 1-2 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium Lobby. The talk will include a brief history of hula and an informal hula dance lesson.

Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau is dedicated to preserving and performing traditional hula, a dance style called hula ku‘i. This style evolved from the teachings of the late hula master Maiki Aiu Lake, a revered teacher and artistic director who was one of the hula leaders at the forefront of the Hawaiian renaissance, a movement that began in the 1960s to restore the knowledge of Hawaiian cultural traditions that had almost disappeared. Lake’s styling reflected the gentle mannerisms and courtly dances of the Hawaiian Monarchy during the late 1800s.

Michael Pili Pang, founder, kumu hula (hula master), and artistic director of Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau, studied hula under master artists Lake and Mae Klein and master chanter Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele. With his hālau hula (hula school and performing group), he takes the folklore of the Hawaiian Islands and through traditional hula, styling, music and chant present emotional and stirring performances. He explores both the traditional stylings of his “hula genealogy”, and he creates new hulas based in tradition.

Barbara von Furstenberg, former Director of Programming at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa says, “True hula is the quintessential expression of Hawaiian cultural values, deeply rooted in tradition and legend…The company’s hula is a far cry from the hip-swaying hula popularized and stereotyped decades ago for Hollywood movies and in songs to lure and entertain tourists.”

Dance Magazine says, “For Hawaiians, studying and performing hula is a lifelong undertaking, requiring concentration, discipline, and constant practice.”

The company has won top honors at hula and chant competitions throughout Hawai‘i and has performed in New York City, British Columbia, Minnesota, Arizona and for a number of professional dance companies and universities across the country. In 1997 the Hālau appeared in collaboration with Pittsburgh modern dance company Dance Alloy.

Pang says the reason the company tours is to share Hawaii’s “true culture. We’re trying to bring as much of Hawai‘i to the mainland as possible and not make it so commercialized, but instead as traditional as possible. Because hula is a tradition for us.”

William Feltz, director of the arts program at the East-West Center in Honolulu says, “Pang approaches Hawaiian dance as an artistic, creative and educational endeavor, not simply as entertainment … The members of the ensemble take their work very seriously, and their public performances are varied, polished and exciting.”

Tickets for the performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62+, $15 for youth 18 and under, $15 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2), and $15 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2). Tickets can be purchased online at Bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling 570-577-1000.

Please note that tickets are available in the main auditorium only; the balcony will be closed.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

(Information from Lisa Leighton)


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