July in Waikiki: Japan vs. Hawaii Hula Showdown

July in Waikiki: Japan vs. Hawaii Hula Showdown

It goes without saying that one of the aspects that makes Hawaii such a special place is the unique bonds that link us to cultures across the oceans. Hula is no exception: On Saturday, July 11, the annual Hula Ho’olauna Aloha Festival bridges Japan and Hawaii for a weekend of celebrating the graceful art of storytelling through dance and chant.

Beginning with an exhibition performance at Ala Moana Center, more than twenty-five hula halau from Japan will take the stage, demonstrating their hula prowess in an engaging atmosphere.

On Sunday, the festival turns things up a notch when the top ten halau (and six soloists) compete against one another for the title of Hula Ho’olauna Aloha 2009. This will take place at the Royal Hawaiian Center’s Coconut Grove, starting at noon and lasting until 7:00 p.m. (the competition officially starts at 3:00 p.m.).

Make no mistake, however: Although the competitive hula circuit is very serious, this festival makes it easy to see the friendship and camaraderie between artists that practice the same form of art. Hula, by nature, is extremely expressive and open to personal interpretation. Come down to Waikiki and see how two different cultures put to motion the stories of Polynesia.

Visit www.hoolauna.com or call (808) 286-2178 for more information.