Almost as soon as the curtain figuratively falls on one June Ho`ike, the beginnings of the next year’s Ho`ike start to emerge. This is the thoughtful, quiet work of planning, of choosing and shaping the next production--the time of ‘endless possibilities!'
Betty Ann pours over the volumes of the dances that Ida taught from the 1950’s through the 1980’s in the East Bay. Sprinkled among Ida’s routines are hulas from Uncle Joe Kahaulelio—hundreds of dances from all the Pacific Islands.
Once in a while, however, there’s a song that needs a dance. The year before last, for example, the band suggested that Hula Mai dance to Koke`e by Dennis Kamakahi. So, Betty Ann created the hula by asking herself “How would Ida dance this? How would she express that?” In this way, she can carry on Ida’s legacy of the style and hula traditions.
Kalulea band members Liko Puha and Jim Cramer meet at Betty Ann's hale to work through arrangements, decide on which key for this song, how fast or slow for that song, how much music do the dancers need to get on stage – and to get off again.
Jim, Liko, Betty Ann
Betty Ann discusses the arrangement of each mele with the band so that the style of the music enhances the choreography.
When everyone is satisfied with the arrangements Craig records the new mele for haumana practice and posts them on the student tools page. Betty Ann uses the recordings for class as the ho`ike draws closer. All the different classes get their challenges of new routines to master. Leo Montero, Kaluhea's bass player and back-up vocalist, flys in from Las Vegas a week before the ho`ike for a full show rehearsal.