Hula is the Hawaiian dance that is quite popular among its inhabitants. This dance has a rich culture. Even though it is performed nowadays as a means of entertainment, it was the medium used in olden days to pass down stories, history, culture, and tradition that runs in the blood of the inhabitants of Hawaii. The meaning of the chant hides in its words, which makes the dance more mysterious and appealing. Tourists visit Hawaii to experience its rich culture, which includes the Hula dance.
This dance is mainly categorized into two types. The first one is Hula Kahiko, which is the traditional version of the dance. They do it as a means of honoring someone or something, be it a person, place, animal, or thing. A chanter accompanies this dance. He narrates the story in the form of a chant assisted by a drum. The dress used by the dancer consists of the tones inspired by nature. That applies to the jewelry worn by them, too. However, in this dance, there is no scope of creativity or uniqueness. The dancer has to replicate as she learned it.
Even if someone wants to pass down the art, they must do so without making any modifications. The teachers who teach this art are strict and do not allow students to use a camera, smartphone, or even pen and pencil for that matter. They also do it create a bond between the students and the teacher. It is missing so much in youth nowadays.
The Second Version
The second version of the Hula dance is Hula Auana. The word Auana itself means wandering, which indicates the flexibility provided to those who want to learn and perform this art. The artists also perform this dance with wither English or Hawaiian songs. Also, they use modern instruments for the same. There is much more scope with the costumes in this dance, and the designers try to depict a particular era while designing the costumes. Even the dance can be altered and customized according to one’s talent and experience. People performing this art do so in several styles and several outfits, thus linking the old Hawaiian era with the new one.
Anyone can see it by visiting Hawaii. You can start by joining any festival and events performed throughout the year. You can see the best of Hula dance in Hilo during the Merrie Monarch Festival. They celebrate it grandly. This festival is an ode to King David, and the festival includes the best of the region, including exhibits of art, craft, parade, and of course, the Hula dance. Other famous attractions consist of the Prince Lot Hula Festival in July and the Kauai Mokihana Festival that happens in September. It is an experience that one should get in his or her lifetime. It is to understand the vibrant stories and traditions that they depict through the dance.