Dance of Hawaii
The Art of Hula
When words fail, we turn to a more ancient art of communication to express the beauty of Hawaii. Hula is as much an expression of Hawaiian life in general as it is a spiritual language. Local children and adults learn hula in schools called halau and the dance is performed at parties and celebrations on an almost daily basis throughout the islands. If you’re lucky, you’ll visit the islands during one of our many hula competitions – most notably, the Merrie Monarch Festival on Hawaii, the Big Island, held every spring and considered by many to be the Olympics of hula.
Other Forms of Dance in Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands provide a setting in which to witness, not just Hawaii’s hula, but also the dances of New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, and other Pacific islands. Hawaii’s dancers also celebrate a wide range of contemporary expressions, from hip-hop to jazz, ballroom, and postmodern. What’s more, there is also a thriving classical dance company – Hawaii Ballet Theatre – that has a repertory of eight full-length ballets, seven one-act ballets, and 38 shorter works. The HBT also dances with the Royal Hawaiian Band and offers an annual presentation of The Nutcracker at Christmas time.
To get you started, you’ll find a sampling of Hawaii dance festivals, contests, theaters, and more below.