Maui Arts & Entertainment

Wailuku and Waimānalo Dancers Win 2014 Hula O Nā Keiki Titles

November 16, 2014, 8:27 AM HST
* Updated November 19, 8:15 AM
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By Wendy Osher

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Hula dancers from hālau in Wailuku, Maui and Waimānalo, Oʻahu took the overall titles in the 24th annual Hula O Nā Keiki competition, which took place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14-16 at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel in West Maui.

Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi and Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu took home the overall Wahine and Kāne titles respectively in this year’s event, according to event organizers.

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Overall Kāne Award: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza. Courtesy photo.

In addition to her Overall Wahine title, Maui’s Kea also placed: first in the ʻŌpio Wahine Hula division; third in the ʻŌpio Wahine Oli division; received the costume and adornment award for the ʻŌpio Kahiko division; and took home the interview award for the ʻŌpio division.

In addition to his Overall Kāne title, Oʻahu’s Pinto also placed: first in the ʻŌpio Kāne Hula division; third in the ʻŌpio Kāne Oli division; and received the costume and adornment award for the ʻŌpio ʻAuana division.

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Overall Wahine Award: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes. Courtesy photo.

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In the Kieki hula categories, the awards went to: Kalen Kaleʻalauliʻimakamae Yamamoto of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos out of Los Angeles, CA, who took first place in the Keiki Wahine Hula division; and Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza out of Waimānalo, Oʻahu, who took first place in the Keiki Kāne Hula division.

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Costume and Adornment winner in the Keiki ʻAuana division: Danielle Sasuga of Ka Pā Nani ʻO Līlīnoe under the direction of Kumu Līlīnoe Lindsey. Courtesy photo.

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The children’s competition for keiki between 5 and 17 years old, is held each year to help preserve Hawaiian culture through dance and music.

A total of 23 hula students competed in various categories for awards and titles at this year’s event, and a chance to win prizes valued at over $12,500, according to event organizers.

Categories included soloist, pālua of boy and girl pairs, the ancient kahiko style of hula, modern hula styles classified as ‘auana, oli or chant, Hawaiian language, and clothing and adornments.

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Keiki Kāne Hula 1st place: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza. Courtesy photo.

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A panel of judges evaluated dancers on their style of chanting, interpretation of dances, and cultural appropriateness of clothing and adornments.  Interviews, organizers say, focused on the dancer’s manaʻo or thoughts about the hula that they performed, their selection of clothing, and the proper use of the Hawaiian language.

Head Judge, Hōkūlani Holt was joined by fellow judges: Kaponoʻai Molitau; Shane Kamakaokalani Herrod; Chris Kaiʻaokamālie; Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele Kealiʻikanakaʻoleohaililani; Manaiakalani Kalua.  The event was emceed by Hawaiian song and chant composer Jonah Hauʻoli Akaka.

“Congratulations to all the Hula O Nā Keiki winners and participants for their outstanding work celebrating an honored tradition of preserving Hawaiian culture,” said Mike White, General Manager of Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel in a company press release. “It has been wonderful to see the growth through the years and we are grateful to our participating kumu (teachers), hāumana (students), esteemed judges, staff, volunteers, sponsors and the local community for their support,” he said.

Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel and event organizers released the following list of 2013 Hula O Nā Keiki winners:

Overall Wahine Award: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes

Overall Kāne Award: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza

ʻŌpio Wahine Hula

  • 1st: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes
  • 2nd: Danielle Hiʻilani Watanabe of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Māhealani-kauʻiokamoku Taitague-Laforga of Ka Pā Nani ʻO Līlīnoe under the direction of Kumu Līlīnoe Lindsey

ʻŌpio Kāne Hula

  • 1st: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza
  • 2nd: Jordan Keoni Brache of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Lamakūokanaʻauao Kauikawēkiu Hosino of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes

Keiki Wahine Hula

  • 1st: Kalen Kaleʻalauliʻimakamae Yamamoto of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 2nd: Kahōkūliʻiliʻi Tanaka of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Jenna Chiemi Anuhea Ubando Matsuyama of Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company under the direction of Kumu Kanani Pharr-Cadaoas

Keiki Kāne Hula

  • 1st: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza
  • 2nd: Ty Silva of Hālau Nā Pua ʻO Uluhaimālama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret

Overall Music

  • Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu

OLI AWARDS

ʻŌpio Wahine Oli

  • 1st: Kahakumele Hāmākua of Hālau Kauluokalā under the direction of Nā Kumu Uluwehi Guerrero & Pōmaikaʻi Krueger
  • 2nd: Danielle Hiʻilani Watanabe of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes

ʻŌpio Kāne Oli

  • 1st: Jordan Keoni Brache of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 2nd: Lamakūokanaʻauao Kauikawēkiu Hosino of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes
  • 3rd: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza

Keiki Wahine Oli

  • 1st: Kahōkūliʻiliʻi Tanaka of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 2nd: Kalen Kaleʻalauliʻimakamae Yamamoto of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Jenna Chiemi Anuhea Ubando Matsuyama of Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company under the direction of Kumu Kanani Pharr-Cadaoas

Keiki Kāne Oli

  • 1st: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza
  • 2nd: Ty Silva of Hālau Nā Pua ʻO Uluhaimālama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret

PĀLUA AWARDS

ʻŌpio Pālua

  • 1st: Teva Medeiros & Kahakumele Hāmākua of Hālau Kauluokalā under the direction of Nā Kumu Uluwehi Guerrero & Pōmaikaʻi Krueger
  • 2nd: Jordan Keoni Brache & Danielle Hiʻilani Watanabe of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos
  • 3rd: Kenan Shaw-Demello & Lahela Makamae Rosario of Hālau Nā Pua ʻO Uluhaimālama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret

Keiki Pālua

  • 1st: Noah Kuaolalaumailemoanimauikamakaniokohala Sniffen & Kapuau`ionālani Aiwohi of Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio under the direction of Kumu Joan S. Lindsey
  • 2nd: Jonah Kawehiwaokawēkiuehanomauikananiokohala Sniffen & Haliʻa ʻOhuʻohupūʻololeimokihanaikealoha Sniffen of Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio under the direction of Kumu Joan S. Lindsey
  • 3rd: Ty Silva & Gisele Dakota S. Ramelb of Hālau Nā Pua ʻO Uluhaimālama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret

COSTUME & ADORNMENT AWARDS

  • Keiki Kahiko: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza
  • ʻŌpio Kahiko: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes
  • Keiki ʻAuana: Danielle Sasuga of Ka Pā Nani ʻO Līlīnoe under the direction of Kumu Līlīnoe Lindsey
  • ʻŌpio ʻAuana: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza
  • Keiki Pālua: Noah Kuaolalaumailemoanimauikamakaniokohala Sniffen & Kapuauʻionālani Aiwohi of Joan S. Lindsey Hula Studio under the direction of Kumu Joan S. Lindsey
  • ʻŌpio Pālua: Jordan Keoni Brache & Danielle Hiʻilani Watanabe of Hālau Kealiʻi O Nālani under the direction of Kumu Kealiʻi Ceballos

INTERVIEW AWARDS

  • Keiki Interview: Jenna Chiemi Anuhea Ubando Matsuyama of Nani Ola Hawaiian Dance Company under the direction of Kumu Kanani Pharr-Cadaoas
  • ʻŌpio Interview: Leimakamae Maura Kea of Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi under the direction of Nā Kumu ʻIliahi & Haunani Paredes

In addition to the hula competition, other weekend festivities that were held in conjunction with the event included a Hawaiian Festival of Arts and Crafts featuring island artisans, cultural demonstrations and workshops, and Hawaiian entertainment.

The Hula O Nā Keiki event was established by the staff of Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel in 1990, according to hotel officials.

Keiki Kāne Hula     1st: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza. Courtesy photo.

Keiki Kāne Hula
1st: Koby Kainalu Ichimasa of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza. Courtesy photo.

Keiki Pālua division 3rd place winners Ty Silva & Gisele Dakota S. Ramelb (pictured here) of Halau Na Pua O Uluhaimalama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret. Courtesy photo.

Keiki Pālua division 3rd place winners Ty Silva & Gisele Dakota S. Ramelb (pictured here) of Halau Na Pua O Uluhaimalama under the direction of Kumu Emery Aceret. Courtesy photo.

Costume and Adornment winner in the Keiki ʻAuana division: Danielle Sasuga of Ka Pā Nani ʻO Līlīnoe under the direction of Kumu Līlīnoe Lindsey. Courtesy photo.

Costume and Adornment winner in the Keiki ʻAuana division: Danielle Sasuga of Ka Pā Nani ʻO Līlīnoe under the direction of Kumu Līlīnoe Lindsey. Courtesy photo.

Overall Wahine Award Leimakamae Maura Kea Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi Na Kumu Iliahi & Haunani Paredes. Courtesy photo.

Overall Wahine Award
Leimakamae Maura Kea
Halau Kekuaokalaaualailiahi
Na Kumu Iliahi & Haunani Paredes. Courtesy photo.

Overall Kāne Award: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza.  Courtesy photo.

Overall Kāne Award: Kaleookalani Pinto of Hālau Hula ʻO Kawaihoʻomalu under the direction of Kumu Kūkahoʻomalu Souza. Courtesy photo.

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