Kumu Malia Helela will bring her hula school, Na Hula Ola Aloha, to Kauai for the annual Queen Emalani Festival (Eo E Emalani i Alakai). This will be the fourth year that our Still & Moving Center students will have the privilege of performing our hula halau’s dances and chants.
This is a very Hawaiian celebration of Queen Emalani and her delightful journey up the mountains of Kauai. Each year a modern day Hawaiian lady is chosen to enact the role of the Queen, who arrives on horseback. All the hula performances of the day are addressed to the “queen”, who graciously acknowledges each halau (hula school). The Festival is in its 27th year, and Kumu Mālia has been in attendance since its first year, when she was age nine.
Kumu Malia’s contingent this year will feature some of her students from Japan who teach their own hula classes in Malia’s tradition. Also performing will be Still & Moving Center’s hula kahiko students who have trained in the ancient hula style, as well as her mother, Mary, her daughter, age 9, and twin sons, age 11, who will be amongst the youngest performers in the festival.
Note: For the opportunity to perform in future Queen Emalani festivals, you might consider hula halau membership at Still & Moving Center. Joining Kumu Malia’s halau requires at least a 6 month commitment, as well as her approval. The halau’s hula kahiko and oli (chanting) classes happen twice a week: Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings. Halau members are invited with their families to participate in cultural events, such as quarterly hi’uwai (ocean cleanses) on the solstices and equinoxes, as well as the chance to volunteer at the sacred site and kalo (taro) patch in Kailua called Ulupō, of which Malia and her family are caretakers.
Gallery: photos from our trip to Kauai!