The sounds and chants of Hawaiian dance filled Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday night with the dance team Hālau O Kekuhi. The free hula workshop led by Nalani Kanaka’ole and Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, gave about 100 guests not just a dance lesson, but a piece of Hawaiian culture.
“This is how stories were told before; it is older than written language in Hawaii,” said Sig Zane, a former member of the team.
Hālau O Kekuhi are celebrated for performing one of the oldest traditions of Hawaii. It integrates both the ‘aiha’a style of hula and oli chants. What makes this form of dance distinctive from other hula styles across the Hawaiian islands is its bent-knee postures, stout poses and pompous style.
The tempo is maintained by beats created by utilizing instruments passed down through the generations like the paku, made of coconut and shark skin, and the ipu heke, a double gourd drum originating from this tradition.
Hālau O Kekuhi's show is filled with traditional stories, a glimpse of Hawaiian culture and phenomenal hula dance performances.
Hālau O Kekuhi will perform Saturday, April 28, at ASU Gammage. Purchase tickets for $20 online or at the box office.