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. Last year, 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.
Band members gather regularly at Del and Linda W'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.
Betty Ann discusses the arrangement of each mele with the band so that the style of the music enhances the choreography.
Betty Ann is there, the only person who knows all the hula at this point in time – but Nellie and Carolyn, and other dancers, refuse to miss any chance to dance with the band, so they come, too.
Craig records the new mele and makes CDs for practice and listening pleasure. He makes videos of Betty Ann dancing the new hula and posts them on this website.
By September, the hulas have been picked and the learning begins. All the different classes get their challenges of new routines to master. Craig takes class photos and keeps this website up to date. Because it’s all too much fun and every Hula Mai moment is delicious!
When Hula Mai has an upcoming performance the dancers who will be in the show practice and rehearse at class and Bety Ann's hale.
Practice at Batty Ann's hale
Sandy and Betty Ann
It's Show Time!
If you would like Hula Mai to perform at your event please give us a call at (707) 938-9051.