LIHU‘E — Looking for something fun and cultural this weekend? Kumu hula and recording artist Leilani Rivera Low and Halau Hula o Leilani will present their 20th annual Hula Ho‘ike Saturday, at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.
The program will begin with chants and hula kahiko that herald the sunrise that brings light and warmth to the shore and hills of Wailua.
Nearly 100 keiki, teens and adults from Kaua‘i, Japan and Reno, Nev. will dance hula kahiko, hula ‘auana, Tahitian otea and aparima and Maori songs in the ho‘ike (recital).
The Makaha Sons will also perform. The group, made of Louis “Moon” Kauakahi, Jerome Koko and the late John Koko, have recorded numerous CDs and performed in concerts worldwide for the last 30 years. Eric Lee will accompany them at this concert.
Other guest musicians include Uncle Larry Rivera, Michael Keale, the group Kapala, Nelson Ka‘ai, and the 3 Ts, magnificent singers of spiritual songs from Ni‘ihau.
In tribute to Ni‘ihau and its families, Rivera Low created hula for songs she received from Mama‘ane Kanahele, a respected composer and teacher in the Hawaiian community. Her daughter Ehu Kanahele taught the dancers and parents to make lei pupu (shell lei) and earrings from Ni‘ihau shells to strengthen their connection to the island.
From 4 p.m., producers will offer island-made Hawaiian clothing, gifts, jewelry and accessories. A Hawaiian lu‘au dinner is available at $25 prior to the show.
The auditorium opens at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m.
Rivera Low has recorded five Hawaiian music albums, given workshops and concerts in Japan and competed successfully in various hula competitions. She teaches hula, Tahitian and other dances to keiki, teens and adults in Kapa‘a and Koloa, as well as in Reno. Her daughters, Kamalani and Ariel Leilani, assist with creating and teaching Tahitian dances.
A year ago, Leilani and Darryl Low opened Ka U‘i o ka ‘Aina, a cultural center where visitors and residents can learn to hula, play the ‘ukulele, make Ni‘ihau shell leis, coconut leaf bowls and learn about the Hawaiian, Tahitian and Maori cultures and arts. The center is at the Coconut MarketPlace in Wailua, and it brings together craft experts and people who want to learn about the cultures.
The event is a fundraiser for Rivera Low’s halau.
Tickets in advance (not including the lu‘au) are $20 for adults, and $10 for keiki age 4-14. Prices at the door will be $25 for adults and $15 for keiki.
Call Riveral Low at 651-0652 or Darryl Low at 651-0864 for advance tickets and to reserve front row seats.
Tickets are also available at Ka U‘i o ka ‘Aina, Hawaiian Music kiosk at Coconut MarketPlace, Hawaiian Music kiosk in Princeville, Pono Market in Kapa‘a, Larry’s Music in Kapa‘a, Hilo Hattie’s in Lihu‘e, ‘Ukulele Store in Koloa, Island Soap & Candle in Koloa and Aloha ‘n’ Paradise in Waimea.