Thursday, May 31, 2007
It's Aloha Friday
Hula is a dance form accompanied by chant or song. It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula is unique to the Hawaiian Islands
Every movement in hula has a specific meaning, and every expression of the dancer's hands has great significance. The movements of a dancer's body might represent certain plants, animals, and even war.
When Calvinist missionaries arrived in Hawaii from New England, Hula went underground due to the influence of missionaries' to ban the "lewd and lascivious" dance. But later in the century, King David Kalākaua enouraged a return to the tradtional arts, and formed his own troupe, encouraging the dancers to learn the old hula.
At the Hula Preservation Society, you can read about the history of hula, see historic photos, hear chants, and listen to interviews with some elderly Hawaiians who grew up in the early 1900's and share memories of their lives.
Today there are several hundred halau hula (hula schools) and less formal hula groups on all the Hawaiian Islands and even the mainland, teaching hula to thousands of students and keeping the old ways and traditional Hawaiian culture alive.
Recently our elementary school celebrated May Day with each grade performing a Hula.
My thoughts on Hula - you don't have to be a tiny ballerina to perform Hula - actually, having a little meat on your bones is a good thing! We have been to a couple of performances, and I'm impressed by how beautiful and elegant the older (and more traditionally built) women are. They really know how to move.
I'm supposed to get my hula on for Girls Camp. I just don't think I'm up for it. Help!
***Late Breaking News - Sydney will not BEE 2nd VP. But she doesn't seem too sad about it....