Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Merrie Monarch 2012

Ke welina mai nei.....
Greetings to all! Did you get to see this years Merrie Monarch 2012? No? Well, let me share some great videos I liked. Check out this first one from Halau Hula O Kamuela:
Not only did this award winning halau use the Kala'au, but they used the not seen often Papa hehi. This halau is very competitive, always performing last in the competition because that is how the halau's are lined up. The later the halau performs, according to the competition standards, the better they are.  At least that's what I think. As great the performance was, it didn't even place this year! What?! Using a hula implement as they did should have placed this halau even if it was 5th place!

This next halau is a personal favorite of mine, The Academy of Hawaiian Arts:
Big winners in California, but not so big to the judges of Merrie Monarch. I love this halau for its bombastic style and no holds barred kind of hula. Not to mention Kumu Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu's rich and powerful chanting style. Again, no placing this year either...sheesh, no surprise there. Kumu Mark is beyond this competition...oh yeah I said it.  If the MM let the public vote like American Idol this halau would win hands down, every time!..oh yeah, I said it!

The following 2 halau's are 1st and 2nd place winners in Women's Kahiko.
Halau O Ke 'A'ali'i Ku Makani with Kumu Manu Boyd:
 I love this Kumu who is also the lead singer for Ho'okena.  I wonder how many halau Ho'okena sang for this year, since I saw him a few times at the mike working hard for everyone..now that's aloha.... Did he deserve a first place win? I think for his traditional style and knowledge of hula yes he did. I'm just not sure it was his dancers' best performance at Merrie Monarch.  I still admire this Kumu very much. He was the best on the mic when he mc'd for the competition. No dead air and lots of mana'o.
Halau Mohala 'Ilima:
   Big winners this year along with their solo performance, Kumu Mapuana De Silva and Halau Mohala 'Ilima are regulars at Merrie Monarch with their recognizable unique style and a sure crowd pleaser. No doubt traditon at its finest.  I think this year's judges were good, and reminded us that at this competition tradition is the word and 'getting back to basics' was the theme.  I only wish they would open a new category for "best new artistic achievement award", then I know my favorite halau would win!  What do you think?
Check out more great hula videos at youtube.com ...and don't be afraid to comment below! A hui hou!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing these videos - brings "home" to me. I'm with you...Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu should have taken it. His stuff is so powerful and just goes to the very core of one's being.

  2. Yes, Aunty Loke...its just time to make some changes to the competition and add a new category! Thanks for making a comment!

  3. Aloha Kumu,
    Thanks for taking da time to teach us... I'm very hau`oli for ur teachings it helps me alot. My elua kaikamahine go to paia school in hawaiian so I need to learn now plus ekahi my kaikamahine is in papa ekolu so I need to learn bad. Plus I got ur book for free n jus wanted to thanks you. If I have any other? I will email u.
    Hanako kealoha


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