Sunday, April 15, 2012

Merrie Monarch 2012 - Results


 


Merrie Monarch 2012 -
Results

Stay at Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast and visit Hilo and the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, - only 30 minutes away:

HILO, Hawaii: Hours of hula culminated on Saturday night in Hilo, when the 49th annual Merrie Monarch Festival competition wrapped up and the winning halau were announced.

Winners were named in Kane Kahiko, Wahine Kahiko, Kane ‘Auana, Wahine ‘Auana divisions, as well as overall winners. In many ways, the night belonged to the group from Pauoa on Oahu, Halau I Ka Wekiu.

Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang’s halau were top place finishers in both the Kane Kahiko and Kane ‘Auana divisions (1,147 points overall), and even took 2nd place in the Wahine ‘Auana.
The halau swept both the kane kahiko and kane ‘auana divisions to top Halau o ke A‘ali‘i Ku Makani, the overall wahine winner, by a final cumulative score of 1,147 to 1,139 points. The scores are the combined tallies from Friday night’s hula kahiko competition and Saturday’s group hula ‘auana; the awards ceremony was held shortly after midnight.

First-time entrant Halau Kekuaokala‘au‘ala‘iliahi, with dancers ranging in age from 17 to the minimum of 13 years, shocked the crowd with a fourth-place kane overall finish.

Throughout the evening, the ancient protocols were relaxed and the lucky audience of a few thousand within the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium were treated to another incredible set of performances. The show was also broadcast live statewide and online to the world.

Oahu’s ‘Ilima Hula Studio performed “Moku O Keawe,” composed by a homesick former court dancer for Kalakaua who was performing in California in 1894. The women wore elegant long white dresses, plumed hats, red shoes and, on their left arms, golden bracelets.

“Moku O Keawe was because of this island, and Hilo has hosted the Merrie Monarch for all these years,” said kumu Lani-Girl Kaleiki-AhLo, in the halau’s first appearance in the competition since 1983.
Kaleiki-AhLo was pleased with her halau’s return. “They did great,” she said, repeating the sentence twice more for emphasis. The halau, then run by the late Louise Kaleiki and known as the Louise Kaleiki Hula Studio, was one of the original groups to enter the first Merrie Monarch competition in 1971, Kaleiki-AhLo said. At a meeting with George Na‘ope and Dottie Thompson, and other hula masters in Honolulu, it was Kaleiki who asked, “Why don’t we have a competition?” Na‘ope said it wouldn’t be a success unless the Oahu halau groups were invited, including Louise Kaleiki Hula Studio. So they came, and the festival was on its way.

“It was such a blessing to be back here on this stage,” Kaleiki-AhLo said.

The same could be said for Halau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine, a first-time entrant whose green-garbed kane group danced to “Waikiki Hula.”

“It was fun. I had to control myself from dancing back there,” said kumu hula Ka‘ilihiwa Vaughan-Darval, a former Miss Aloha Hula. Vaughan-Darval said she chose the mele because she wanted to honor the places that they know best. It’s believed that those who are most familiar with the subject of a song are able to convey their aloha in hula. “For the boys, they live all in that area,” Vaughan-Darval said.
The wahine members of Halau Hula O Kaleimomi of Las Vegas, wearing white dresses, danced to “Nani Kaua‘i,” a song of praise for the Garden Island.

“I am, first of all, very happy to be back in Hawaii,” said kumu Sheldeen Kaleimomi Haleamau, who chose the song for the island where she was born. “Very happy at tonight’s performance. … We’re dedicating this performance to my friend, Betty Kaleohano and the Kaohi ‘ohana. “For many of the women, it’s their first time to the Merrie Monarch Festival, and they’re so excited to participate in the festival,” Haleamau said.

Getting here from Los Angeles wasn’t easy, said Christy Miller.“A lot of fundraisers, and a lot of practices,” she said. A hula sister, Kaleinani Bacarro, said the halau dedicated six months for their six or seven minutes on stage Friday and Saturday. And what did Bacarro think about her actual performance on stage? “It was an out-of-body experience,” she said.

The popular Los Angeles Halau Keali‘i O Nalani paid tribute to the island of Niihau with their mele of the same name. The halau wants to use the song as a springboard to a future journey to the island. “You know, this mele is inspiring us to one day perhaps get permission to visit the island of Niihau,” said kumu Keali‘i Ceballos. “So we’re trying to get inspiration from the song,” he said. Renowned Ni‘ihau shell lei master Kele Kanahele actually came to Los Angeles to work with us” in making the rare lei that the women were wearing, Ceballos said.

While the dancers couldn’t get to Ni‘ihau before this trip, the kumu was able to describe the process of finding the tiny shells, said halau member Minoaka Nagamori. She imagined combing the beach of the island for the sparkling shells, and tried to express that in her dance. “I wanted to actually share this, my beautiful lei, to people,” Nagamori said. “I wish the people (watching the hula) can feel what I feel.”
If she wanted to put the audience in a good mood, Nagamori succeeded, although it wasn’t hard. Every hula was well-received, even if members didn’t know the back story behind each mele.

Keolalaulani Halau ‘Olapa O Laka performed “Pili Aloha,” a love song set on the island of Kauai. Although no Big Island-based halau was participating in this year’s festival, this halau featured about a dozen local residents, not all of whom performed in the hula ‘auana.

According to kumu Aloha Dalire, the song symbolizes a loved one with a cherished mokihana lei from Mount Wai‘ale‘ale, Kauai, but there’s a twist — the object of the song had her heart stolen by someone else. The halau had planned to wear mokihana lei, but recent floods on Kauai forced them to change their plans and use sea grape and maile. And at one point the halau members from Hilo and San Mateo, Calif., spent a week on Oahu to practice together. She credited her daughters with helping run the far-flung halau.

“Hula runs in my blood,” the first Miss Aloha Hula said.

Halau Hula ‘O Hokulani danced to “Nene‘u,” the place on Oahu better known as Poka‘i Bay. For this mele, the halau went to the bay and to see Mount Ka‘ala along the Wai‘anae coast, said halau member Shyloh Ahne. The bay has deep personal significance for co-kumu Hokulani De Rego, Ahne said. One night, De Rego’s mother was sitting in the ocean under the full moon, which in Hawaiian is called the Hoku moon. And that’s how Hoku De Rego got her name.

Just before the intermission came Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua, dancing “Halema‘uma‘u,” a beautiful song written by Maddy Lam and Bill Ali‘iloa Lincoln for the crater of the same name. “I just wanted to do something for Hawaii Island, and I wanted to do something that’s just ‘olu‘olu (refreshing) and pleasing,” said kumu hula Snowbird Bento. The previous night, the halau had performed a hula kahiko for Haumea, an important goddess and the mother of Pele, and that’s a serious hula with a lot of kuleana (responsibility). So Saturday needed to be something different, for balance.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Ka Pa Hula dancer Pua Reis-Moniz. The halau plans to make a trip to Halema‘uma‘u this morning for a ho‘okupu, or offering, to Pele.

And then they’ll probably begin thinking about next year.

Hawaii Tribune Herald: Email Peter Sur at psur@hawaiitribune-herald.com.  

2012 Merrie Monarch Festival results

Kane Kahiko
4th – 544 pts
Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi
Na Kumu Hula Brandon ‘Iliahi Paredes and Joy Haunani Paredes
Wailuku, Maui

3rd -
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La
Kumu Hula Kaleo Trinidad
Kapalama Uka, Honolulu, O’ahu

2nd – 565 points
Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili’ula
Kumu Hula Chinky Mahoe
Kailua, O’ahu

1st – 569 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang
Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu

Wahine Kahiko
5th – 554 points
Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha’eha’e
Na Kumu Hula Tracie Ka’onohilani Farias Lopes & Keawe Lopes
Kahauiki, O’ahu

4th – 556 points
Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea
Kumu Hula Kapualokeokalaniakea Dalire-Moe
Kane’ohe, O’ahu

3rd – 557 points
Halau Hula Olana
Na Kumu Hula Olana A’i & Howard A’i
Pu’uloa, ‘Aiea, O’ahu

2nd – 560 points
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima
Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva
Ka’ohao, Kailua, O’ahu

1st – 573 points
Halau O Ke ‘A’ali’i Ku Makani
Kumu Hula Manu Boyd
Kane’ohe, O’ahu

Kane ‘Auana
4th – 547 points
Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi
Na Kumu Hula Brandon ‘Iliahi Paredes and Joy Haunani Paredes
Wailuku, Maui

3rd – 565 points
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La
Kumu Hula Kaleo Trinidad
Kapalama Uka, Honolulu, O’ahu

2nd – 568 points
Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili’ula
Kumu Hula Chinky Mahoe
Kailua, O’ahu
Chinky Mahoe

1st – 578 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang
Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu

Wahine ‘Auana
5th – 566 points
Halau O Ke ‘A’ali’i Ku Makani
Kumu Hula Manu Boyd
Kane’ohe, O’ahu

4th – 568 points
Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala
Kumu Hula Leina’ala Pavao Jardin
Kalaheo, Kauai

3rd – 569 points
Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha’eha’e
Na Kumu Hula Tracie Ka’onohilani Farias Lopes & Keawe Lopes
Kahauiki, O’ahu

2nd – 573 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu

1st – 576 points
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima
Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva
Ka’ohao, Kailua, O’ahu

Overall – Kane
3rd – 1,117 points
Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La
Kumu Hula Kaleo Trinidad
Kapalama Uka, Honolulu, O’ahu

2nd – 1,133 points
Halau Hula ‘O Kawaili’ula
Kumu Hula Chinky Mahoe
Kailua, O’ahu
Chinky Mahoe

1st – 1,147 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang
Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu

Overall – Wahine
3rd – 1,125 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang
Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu

2nd -
Halau Mohala ‘Ilima
Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva
Ka’ohao, Kailua, O’ahu

1st – 1139 points
Halau O Ke ‘A’ali’i Ku Makani
Kumu Hula Manu Boyd
Kane’ohe, O’ahu

OVERALL
2nd – 1,139 points
Halau O Ke ‘A’ali’i Ku Makani
Kumu Hula Manu Boyd
Kane’ohe, O’ahu

1st – 1,147 points
Halau I Ka Wekiu
Na Kumu Hula Karl Veto Baker & Michael Nalanakila’ekolu Casupang
Pauoa, Honolulu, O’ahu


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