Doors at 2:00 pm; Show at 2:30 pm - 4:15 pm
Tickets are $8 Adults / $6 Kids
Hula lesson for children and Polynesian dance performance.
Māhealani Uchiyama usually brings her colorful troupe of singers and dancers to celebrate Pacific Island culture at night; this Sunday family program offers both fun and total immersion with a hula dance lesson for children and a Polynesian dance performance by Hālau KaUaTuahine. This is not hula for tourists, but the real thing – island dances that are both dazzling and deeply rooted in culture and history.
Acclaimed dancer Uchiyama is joined by the dazzling dancers and drummers of Hālau KaUaTuahine. They are the resident troupe at the Berkeley dance studio and school she started more than 20 years ago, Māhea Uchiyama Center for International Dance. Hālau KaUaTuahine is an organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the performing arts of Hawai’i and Tahiti. It is named after the gentle “sister” rain that falls in the valley of Mānoa in Honolulu. The dance troupe has won numerous awards and perform internationally, appearing in venues ranging from the Hollywood Bowl to the Ka ’Aha Hula ’O Hālauaola of Maui, O’ahu and Kaua’i; the Heiva celebrations of Tahiti French Polynesia; and the National Museum of New Zealand.
Uchiyama describes her music as “sweet, soulful island sounds” – everything from Tahitian ahuroa to Hawaiian traditions and reggae, blended with musical elements from Africa. A dancer, musician, choreographer, composer and teacher, Uchiyama holds a B.A. in dance ethnology and a master’s degree in Pacific Island studies, both from the University of Hawai’i.
“As a child of African and Native American ancestry living in a multi-cultural community in our nation’s capital,” Uchiyama explains. “I was exposed to many ethnic traditions which reached back many generations. Yet, due to both the African Diaspora, and the near genocide and dislocation of the indigenous people of this land, I felt that I was without the same direct connection to the well of ancestral wisdom that many of my friends enjoyed. Like many, I have been compelled to search for knowledge of and connection to the cultural and spiritual traditions of my African and Native American ancestors. In my case, this search has led me on a journey into the artistic expressions of the Pacific Islands, as well as to Africa. Now I feel these connections to ancestral roots. In the end, we have a connection to Spirit which transcends all.