Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula - DVD
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Album NotesIn 1975, at the height of the renaissance of Hawaiian culture, master hula teacher Maiki Aiu Lake asked her student, legendary entertainer Robert Cazimero, to open a school for only male dancers. With six young high school students, Robert Cazimero founded Halau Na Kamalei and it suddenly became "hot" for men to dance hula again.
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of this halau, NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA tells a story of Hawaiian pride through the examination of male roles in Hawaiian culture both in the past and the present. Blending dance and culture with the personal stories of the men, the film follows the dancers -ó who range in age from 18 to 55 years old ó- as they return to the largest hula competition in the world.
Often called the "Superbowl of Hula", the stakes are high at the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. Though Na Kamalei won over thirty years ago in 1975, the competition today typically favors women or the younger, more physically chiseled male groups. These men, many of whom are the oldest in competition, instead seek not to win, but to dance with pride and masculine grace.
Capturing the grueling rehearsals and the nervous last minutes backstage to the preparations of their leis and offerings to the goddess of the volcano, Na Kamalei's exciting return to the stage thrusts male hula dancers into the spotlight once again.
Called a "rare victory" for a male group, Robert and his men sweep the awards with their warrior-like dancing. NA KAMALEI: THE MEN OF HULA highlights the menís ageless joy of dancing to reveal a renaissance that is not fading, but continuing the proud legacy of men in perpetuating the art of hula.
DVD Special Features include bonus footage, deleted scenes, and additional interviews.
RUN TIME: 58 minutes
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