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Folk Arts Series: Hawaiian Hula Dancing

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Folk Arts Series: Hawaiian Hula Dancing

May 03, 2018 - 13:43

Folk Arts Series: Hawaiian Hula Dancing

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PELHAM, NY --

Saturday, May 5, 2018, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Aloha! Hula dancers will take you to the Hawaiian Islands through song dance and audience participation. Basic hula dance moves, a Hawaiian song and some Hawaiian words will be taught. After the dance there will be a workshop on making colorful lei.

Aloha Hula NYC performers have been sharing Hawaiian and Polynesian culture for over 20 years across the US and abroad including Australia, the Philippines and Bahrain in the Middle East. The company regularly shares “Aloha” in the tri-state area. The bold prints and colors of the handmade costumes come to their right as the dancers move to the music.

Aloha is the Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion and mercy that is commonly used as a simple greeting.

The hula dance was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there in ancient times before a written language existed. The hula dramatizes or portrays the stories told in the oli (chants without instruments) or mele (song with instruments often performed by a group) in a visual dance form. There are many sub-styles of hula, with the main two categories being Hula ʻAuana (modern) and Hula Kahiko (traditional). Hula is much more than just dance. It is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people. The dance and chants played an important role in keeping history, genealogy, mythology and culture alive. With each movement – a hand gesture, step of foot, swaying of hips – a story unfolds. It is an expression of history, religion and the human spirit and through it; the Native Hawaiians were connected with their land and their gods.  And now you get to be connected to this history through a wonderful performance. 

The workshop following the dance will be held by the very inventive PAC teacher Donna Ross. Ms. Ross has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and has taught children at Pelham Art Center for many years. She is a ceramicist, fine arts painter as well as a decorative, mural, and faux painter and restorer. In the workshop you will be making fun lei inspired necklaces. A lei is a garland or wreath. More loosely defined, a lei is any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn. The most popular concept of lei in Hawaiian culture is a wreath of flowers presented upon arriving or leaving as a symbol of affection.