Magazine article Dance Magazine

Women's Work Is Finally Done

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Women's Work Is Finally Done

Article excerpt

WOMEN'S WORK IS FINALLY DONE TAU DANCE THEATER LEEWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE THEATRE HONOLULU, HAWAII MARCH 30-31, 2001

Tau Dance heater inaugurated its fifth season with the blend of style and tradition Tau fans come to see. This amalgam of dance, song, performance art, and drumming satisfies Artistic Director Peter Rockford Espiritu's long-held goal of offering not just another dance concert, but a full evening of art and entertainment. In the past, he has used a Samoan choir, a Hawaiian nose flutist, even a singing dog. What he hasn't done before is devote an entire evening solely to the work of women choreographers and performers.

The cultural and stylistic mix represented by these women's works was impressive. One of the strongest came from Halau O Kekuhi. `Aih`a is a low-to-the-ground and vigorous style of hula for which this group is known. As powerful as the dance is, it was hard not to watch the animation expressed by the two kumu hula (hula masters) seated on the side apron. Sisters Nalani Kanaka'ole and Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele are the seventh generation in their prestigious family line. That ancestral spirit showed in their faces as they chanted and played the ipu (gourd) and pahu (drum). The traditional opening oli (chant) to the Hawaiian goddess Pele appears in their Great Performances/Dance in America epic. The documentary is about their 1996 evening-length work Holo Mai Pele, which airs later this year on PBS (see Reviews, Dance Magazine, October 1999, page 110). …

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