Maui Arts & Entertainment

The MACC to Present ‘Pōhaku’ Dance Premiere April 14

April 13, 2016, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated April 13, 10:10 AM
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Pōhaku, by Christopher Kau‘i Morgan & Artists . Photo credit: Brian S. Allard.

The Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present the Maui premiere of the dance theater work, Pōhaku, by Christopher Kau‘i Morgan & Artists at The MACC’s Castle Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.

Performing live with Morgan are Kumu Hula Elsie Kaleihulukea Ryder of Hālau Hula o Kukunaokalā and classically trained electric cellist Wytold.

Pōhaku is a dance theater piece bringing together storytelling, hula, modern dance, classical music and projection design to explore compelling universal themes in the story of Hawai‘i’s native people, including land loss and fractured identity.

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Pōhaku, by Christopher Kau‘i Morgan & Artists. Photo credit: Sareen Hairabedian.

The work incorporates Morgan’s own stories that are relevant to Hawai‘i’s living culture from the perspective of a first-generation, part-Hawaiian, born and raised in California as a result of Hawaiian out-migration that continues today.

Pōhaku represents Morgan’s first choreographed work that incorporates his Native Hawaiian background and its cultural traditions along with his modern dance training.


Choreographer Morgan danced hula as a child in California, far from his family’s native Hawai‘i. As Morgan developed a body of work in modern dance, said to be “charming and poignant” by The New York Times, he longed to connect his native Hawaiian artistic and personal roots to his contemporary work. Inspired by Morgan’s late cousin, Kumu Hula John Kaimikaua (1957–2006) Pōhaku premieres one decade after his cousin’s passing, and nearly as long since the piece was first conceived.


This premiere of Pōhaku represents the culmination of The MACC’s first performing arts residency, which took place over two weeks last summer. A work-in-progress preview performance of Pōhaku was held for the public in the Castle Theater at the conclusion of Morgan’s residency.

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Pōhaku, by Christopher Kau‘i Morgan & Artists. Photo credit: Sareen Hairabedian.

Tickets are $35 (plus applicable fees). Call The MACC Box Office at 242-SHOW (7469) or go online to buy tickets.

For more information about Morgan, go online.


About Christopher K. Morgan & Artists
Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) is a professional contemporary dance company founded as a vehicle for Morgan’s choreographic exploration of social and cultural issues. The company provides a creative outlet for its artists through virtuosic and expressive dance performances that give audiences an opportunity for self-reflection. CKM&A works to demystify contemporary dance through community dialogue and online video content. CKM&A also provides professional and pre-professional opportunities through educational intensives, workshops and university residencies, through peer-to-peer artist facilitation and by commissioning the work of other choreographers.

About Christopher K. Morgan
Christopher K. Morgan is Artistic & Executive Director of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A). Christopher’s Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international modern dance career that moved him from Orange County, CA to San Diego, Munich, New York, London, Dublin and now Washington DC, all influence his choreography. Said to be “charming and poignant” by The New York Times, his choreography has been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents. The work has addressed issues including sexuality, gender identity, race, climate change, immigration and water conservation.

Christopher founded CKM&A in 2011; the same year Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. Collaborating with musicians, composers, visual artists, and dancers, the work of CKM&A truly embraces the word ‘Artists’ in its title. The company was named Washington DC’s Best Dance Company in the 2015 CityPaper Reader’s Poll.

Christopher’s performing career has been expansive, dancing for the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, the original Olivier nominated cast of Fabulous Beast Dance Theater’s Giselle, the original cast of David Gordon’s Bessie Award Winning Production, [email protected], and the original cast of David Gordon’s NEA Masterpiece, Dancing Henry V. Television and film credits include a PBS Great Performance with Placido Domingo, and on film dancing with Kate Winslet and Christopher Walken in John Turturro’s film, Romance & Cigarettes.

In addition to directing CKM&A, he is the dance artist in residence at the University of Maryland, and director of the Dance Omi International Dance Collective, an annual collaborative choreographers’ residency in New York. Christopher has adjudicated for numerous American College Dance Festivals, served on multiple panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council and the McKnight Foundation, among others.

Recent awards include a “2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship,” a “2014 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Solo Dance Performance,” being named one of the top “100 Creatives in the United States” by Origin Magazine in April 2015, and the “2015 Montgomery County Executive’s Award for Outstanding Artist.”

He and his husband, opera director Kyle Lang, reside in North Bethesda.

The presentation of Pōhaku made possible by New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from National Endowment for the Arts. Pōhaku also made possible with support from the National Performance Network Residency Program.

Pōhaku is a NPN Creation Fund project co-commissioned by The MACC in partnership with Dance Place and the National Performance Network. Additional support provided by the County of Maui and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and Capezio.

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