I believe we need to always emphasize hula's traditional legacy. Without adhering to tradition we will be unfaithful to our past and lose our bearings for the future. This means traditionalism in thought, movement, dress and style. Hula has evolved over the last 200 years and thus there are many "eras" that can be considered "traditional". Because hula has changed so rapidly over the last 10 years, we emphasize traditional forms of hula and teach nothing unless it has been passed down to us or thoroughly researched.
Many of our kahiko hulas date from the 1920's and earlier, and our 'auana hulas all consist of songs written in multiple verses. Hula is too important to keep reinventing every other year; we must emphasize tradition more. Traditional dancing may not be exciting for young students or audiences who do not benefit from understanding the language, but that does not mean we should therefore change the way we dance.
Hula is one of the most profound spiritual and emotional experiences that I know. I believe hula is the core of Hawaiian culture and has been the chief means of its survival, and will be the primary engine driving the culture into the future. But enjoyment of hula can only be had by sharing the experience with others. Hula is not a solitary, but a group activity. We need to teach each other to dance, dance with each other, and dance for others.
1985 Granted permission to teach & choreograph by O'Brian Eselu
Kumu O'Brian Eselu named the halau Kaiāulu
1983-1984 Kau'i Zuttermeister & Noenoe Zuttermeister (Hula and Chant)
1980-1983 'Iolani High School
Kumu Frank Kahala (Hula)
1979-1985 Nā Wai 'Ehā O Puna
O'Brian Eselu & Thaddeus Wilson (Hula)