Hawaii Dance Festival

Hula is a Polynesian dance form accompanied by chant (oli) or song (mele, which is a cognate of "meke" from the Fijian language). It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. The hula dramatizes or portrays the words of the oli or mele in a visual dance form. There are many sub-styles of hula, with the main two categories being Hula ʻAuana and Hula Kahiko. Ancient hula, as performed before Western encounters with Hawaiʻi, is called kahiko. It is accompanied by chant and traditional instruments. Hula, as it evolved under Western influence in the 19th and 20th centuries, is called ʻauana (a word that means "to wander" or "drift"). It is accompanied by song and Western-influenced musical instruments such as the guitar, the ʻukulele, and the double bass.




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