Hula is our traditional form of dance that preserves history, tradition, knowledge and wisdom. It is a way of communicating with the elements of our Universe. Hula involves mental discipline, strong intuition, story-telling and the use of prayer. It is through these prayers, rituals, songs, chants & protocols, Hula connects you to your spirituality and the mana (spirit power) available for everyday life.
Why would you want to dance Hula in these modern times? Because Hula expresses the sacredness of life and your oneness with everything around you. Through Hula you find how to embody the Universal language of Aloha (unconditional love) and to bring it into your world. It can bring you to another layer and level of spiritual connection and relationship, and in this way, improve the quality of your life and relationship with other people and even the work you do. We're taught that if you want to know the future, pay close attention to what you do today, because what you do today becomes your tomorrow.
We teach both Kahiko (the old form) and Auana (the modern form) of Hula. Kahiko is the ancient style of hula, and can be performed either kneeling (known as Noho) or upright with bent knees (called Ai Ha’a) and to the beat of the Ipu heke (a double gourd drum) or Pahu drum (traditionally made from a trunk of the coconut tree with a sharkskin covering) accompanied by a chant.
Hula Auana known as the more modern form of dance, was developed in the late 19th/early 20th centuries (Auana closely translates to mean move or drift) and it primarily tells a story through flowing dance movements to a mele (chants, songs or poems) to instruments such as the Guitar, or Ukulele.
There are protocols we follow in the Halau (school) to honour and respect our Ancestor the Goddess Laka by performing a chant and calling for her to be present before we enter into Hula. In our workshops and retreats we honour Laka by creating and adorning a kuahu (small table like alter) with items that are specific to her.
To dance together as a group, utilising the chant and moving to the words of each mele (song) builds the mana, the spirit energy, within the space and within each person, opening a vibrant and powerful connection with and understanding of the Ancestors. Through Hula you begin to learn how the Ancestors continue to move through our current times.
Your own experience of Hula will be unique and powerful to you - for many dancers it is both sacred and mystical. Others love the physicality of the dance. We teach Hula regularly in city and regional areas. Visit our Hula page to find where we are next.
Blog Title provided by Hula Preservation Society (www.hulapreservation.org)