.He Lei Hiwa No 'Iolani Luahine
Hula Festival &
The 13th annual ‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival was held on January 30 & 31, 2015 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. The 'Iolani Luahine Festival was established in 2003 with a vision to perpetuate the hula, and it also serves as a way to honor the memory of 'Iolani Luahine and her contributions to the preservation of hula and Hawaiian culture.
Friday featured two hula workshops with Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, a Ni’ihau shell earrings and/or bracelet workshop with Kumu Kele Kanahele and a lei making workshop with Ben Mahi. Saturday featured a hula workshop by Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett and an ipu heke workshop with Kalim Smith.
Hula presentations began at 5pm on Friday and featured makuahine, makuakane and kupuna hula presentations. Saturday began at 1pm and will featured the keiki, wahine and kane presentations. A new category this year featured mixed group presentations.
Evening entertainment on Saturday featured five time Na Hoku Hanohano award winning Hawaiian music group Waipuna!!
About 'Iolani Luahine
'Iolani Luahine was born in 1915 in Nāpo'opo'o. 'Iolani Luahine was admired as a famed hula dancer that preserved the ancient dance traditions. She was trained by her aunt Keahi Luahine, and she taught and coached her niece Hoakalei Kamau'u. Aunty 'Iolani’s superb talents, attractiveness to audiences, and personal commitment kept the ancient dance art from being lost. Her career is testament to the adage that dances are passed down like myths, from one artist to another. 'Iolani Luahine is one of Hawai'i’s premier performers and cultural treasures.
Original oil painting by Shelley Grisbrook