Merrie Monarch Hula Festival - 2004 - VHS

Various Artists

Copyright Year(s): 2004
Format: VHS
Price: $0.00

Album Notes

It has been said that hula is the heartbeat of Hawai`i. In ancient times, the dance was much more than a form of entertainment. It honored the gods and the ali`i (nobility); it chronicled important historical events; it was a part of religious ceremonies; and it served as the foundation for lua, a style of hand-to-hand combat requiring great speed, strength and agility.

When the New England missionaries arrived in Hawai`i in 1820, they discouraged the hula, viewing it as a bold, wanton display inappropriate for devout Christians. The dance remained submerged until the regin of King Kalakaua (1874-1891), affectionately dubbed the "Merrie Monarch", who revived many of the arts of old Hawai`i.

For over forty years, the best halau hula (hula schools) from throughout the islands, Japan, and the USA mainland have gathered in Hilo on the island of Hawai`i to celebrate the beauty, power and traditions of the hula at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. This prestigious cultural event is televised live statewide.

This video presents highlights from the 2005 Festival, with dramatic performances of kahiko (ancient) and `auana (contemporary) hula.

Play time 2 hours

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