The Auckland Hawaiian hula school, Hālau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie (Peacefully Heavenly Flowing Water School) will showcase a dance theatre production of Hawaii’s infamous mythological figure, Pele: Goddess of Fire.
Pele: Goddess of Fire has been adapted, choreographed and directed by kumu hula (dance teacher) Aruna Kekeha Po-Ching. Aruna believes there is a need to fill the gaps in New Zealand’s knowledge of Hawaii, our Polynesian cousins.
“As a screenwriter, actor and dancer, it’s a beautiful way to present our end of year showcase in a tale format. Not only are the students learning the depth of the hula and the story in which the hula belongs, but the audience also gets the opportunity to appreciate the genealogies, customs and practices of Hawaiian culture.”
Of Samoan-Chinese heritage, Aruna was given her Hawaiian name ‘Kekeha’, meaning ‘to rise to the top’, in 2013 by her kumu and mentor, multi-award winning hula teacher and musician Blaine Kamalani Kia. Both Aruna and Blaine have been advocating Hawaiian hula across the globe, perpetuating this beautiful culture since 2010.
Aruna teaches in New Lynn, Te Atatu and Onehunga and boasts 60-80 students of all ages and cultural backgrounds walking through the doors every year, willing to learn the traditions of the Hawaiian hula through ancient chants and modern and ancient dance.
Pele: Goddess of Fire will be having two shows over one day only at Te Pou Theatre on 2 December.