Coming Soon: Hawai`i Aloha

Submitted by Alestra Menendez

For several years now, Kualapu`u School has been producing outstanding student performances under the guidance of the Kula Kaiapuni o Kualapu`u.  This year, the expanded learning time allowed an arts curriculum for all students pre-K through sixth grade.  Kualapu`u School students participate in performing arts, visual arts as well as `ike Hawaii.  These programs will come together this year to create a production entitled Hawaii Aloha, after the poem written by Makua Laiana, that became a popular mele, about this beloved place where we live. There will also be performances arranged by kumu Maile Naehu and the kumu of Kula Kaiapuni grades four through six.

‘Hawaii Aloha’ will be on April 7 at 4 p.m. at the school, and highlights the many migrations made by the people who call Hawaii home. It begins with a Polynesian voyage and transitions to the passages of various other cultures that came in search of a new home during the plantation era.

The fourth, fifth and sixth grade students will present a myriad of performing arts from Tahiti, China, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Brazil and of course Hawaii. Audiences will enjoy performances of Himeni Tarava, a new year’s dragon dance, Taiko drumming, Tinikling, Katchi Katchi, modern day Capoeira and a culminating performance of Hula. 

Also below is a student written article that attest to the importance of the arts in education. Throughout this study, students were able to make connections to the arts of various cultures, noting the similarities we share and the distinguishing characteristics that enrich our understanding of one another and ourselves.

“Eo mai, `o Havaiki”
By the Kualapu`u School Glee Club

Our number opens with a Himeni Tarava, or Tahitian a cappella. The boys are paddling the wa`a as they sail from Tahiti to Hawaiki, a place only heard of in stories.  The voyagers spend a long time on the wa`a and then they find Hokurea.  They celebrate and rejoice to know they have found the place they were searching for.

We learned this number from Kumu Maile Naehu, who arranged this Himeni Tarava.  She played contemporary Tahitian music for us and gave the boys and girls separate parts to sing.  We will also be dancing Tahitian dance while we sing.  The only music will be our voices.

We are both nervous and excited in doing this play.  We can’t wait to perform for the audience so they can learn and feel the joy of Tahitian culture.

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