Escape to Hawaii With Hula at the Bing | Arts & Culture
Take an escape from the crowds of Hoopfest and travel to Hawaii with the Halau Hula O' Ku'ulei. The Hula dancers are bringing the Island to Downtown Spokane with their Hoi'ike, or exhibit, of Hawaiian culture at the Bing Crosby Theater on Friday night.
“Hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people,” explains Ku'ulei Johnson, owner and instructor of Halau Hula O'Ku'ulei. Johnson is a native of Oahu and has been teaching Hula and Hawaiian culture in the Spokane area since 1995.
Celebration of Hawaii will take the audience on a journey through Hawaiian history using Hula. Ancient Hawaii had no form written of language, Hula carried on the stories and legends of the Hawaiian culture for hundreds of years. Every hand motion, song and dance has a meaning and tells a story.
“A lot of people have a great love for Hawaii,” says Johnson. She is excited and proud to share her heritage with the Mainland. She has years of training in Hula and after getting permission and a blessing from those that taught her, Johnson was ready to bring her culture to her new home in Spokane.
“Just because I'm away from Hawaii doesn't mean I can't embrace it,” says Johnson. She was nervous about starting a Halau in Spokane, she was out of her element and wasn't sure if people around the area would appreciate it. Ten years later, the troupe, instructed in Hawaiian language, is going strong.
“My Halau is like a big, huge Ohana,” Johnson says of her students, who now feel more like a family.
The goal is to take the Halau to Hawaii so that Johnson can show her Island that Hawaii is alive on the Mainland.
“Even if I'm here, I'm still and island girl,” says Johnson.
Johnson is hoping that the crowds of Hoopfest will come by the Bing Crosby Theater and spend Friday evening enjoying a cultural journey. The event is wholesome fun for the whole family, as the Halau takes the audience to Hawaii through dance.
Halau O'Ku'ulei Presents Celebration of Hawaii
- Friday, June 28th, 7pm-9pm
- Bing Crosby Theater
- Tickets available at the door, $12