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#41 Apr 10, 2008
Sorry the above was a bit long-winded, but I hear the same thing year after year after year. It gets old and it takes away from the terrific performances we were all witness to. I swear, I don't know how they do it, but all these folks just get better and better and better every year.
#42 Apr 10, 2008
I am one of those who believe that the judging is biased, but only "somewhat" biased. Because, althought I believe that the judges typically pick the "same halau" each year, I also believe that there are certain halau that are just outstanding year to year.
And that is why I agree with AZ_Boy's observation about Kamuela. Actually, Kamuela is one of the Halau that I don't have a problem with - they are pretty much always perfect, and I believe that they are always deserving of a win.
It is not so much the group dances but the soloists that I have a problem with. I believe that the judges didn't really award the "best dancers," but that's just my opinion. And that's all it is - an opinion. And I'm entitled to voice mine. And so are others. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee.
#43 Apr 11, 2008
what the..... I agree with you with regard to opinions. Still, I think they should be directed to those who can actually fix the problem, if there really is one. Having the same judges year after year is good and bad, in my opinion. The good part? They really should know what they are looking for and be very, very good at seeing it. Practice makes perfect, as they say. BUT..... the other side is the potential for some bias. In all seriousness, though, if anyone has examples (it is recorded so everyone can analyze if they desire) they should send them to Auntie Dottie or Luana. They MORE than care about this festival....... as I think we all do. There isn't anything like it in the world.
Well, when it comes to the Miss Aloha participants, there are two things that are a bit different from the "groups." One is that they do their chant, hula kahiko and hula auana on the same night. THAT is tough! That feeds into number two..... they are alone on that stage. Nobody, but nobody is going to miss a "mistake," even the audience if they know anything at all :):)
BTW, in 2007 I had the absolute joy of meeting two of the Miss Aloha participants. We were sitting with the halau parents for one of them, so when I mentioned she gave me chicken skin, it got noticed and the parents saw to it she came to say hello. She was the picture of grace and aloha. Later, when we were leaving, I met another from Halau Hula Olana. Likewise, her performance was pure chicken skin and...... and I got some great shots of her performance since she faced our direction and I own a nice telephoto. Anyway, I saw her ipu heke that was her award for placing, said hi to her and once again...... pure grace and aloha.
I tell you true, I was there...... and I would NOT have wanted to be a judge that time. It was like magic last year. Everyone was so great, it had to be difficult to find some difference that would make one a winner and not the others. This applied to each night..... just superb.
I think that is my real point. Who "really" cares whether you win or not. WIth an even such as this and its cultural significance, they ALL were winners. I know that is a trite statement you hear all the time, but in the case of MM participants, you have to admit..... they are all simply amazing. Individually and as entire halaus. AMAZING!
#44 Apr 11, 2008
I spend half-year Puna, half-year Bay Area. I see great hula in the islands, but the Bay Area has super creative kumus Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu, Patrick Makuakāne, and Kāwika Keikiali'ihiwahiwa Alfiche among many others. All honor tradition while expanding on it. I went Merrie Monarch, and no one, not one Miss Aloha contestant, not one kahiko or auana hula that my wife and I thought were among the best (most creative, best performed) placed except Sonny Ching's kane auana.
#45 Apr 11, 2008
Aloha Puna Programmer! Well, I cannot argue with your love of Kumu Mark and his halau. I am one of their sponsors to the MM (I wish many others would do the same to help defray some of the enormous cost of getting them there). I LOVE those folks! I have been watching his work since I first saw them at MM in 1997. TO say he blew us away would have been an incredible understatement. They were the first ones out (kane) on kahiko night and he did a mele about Ko'olau as I recall. It was pure chicken skin! His chanting was so unique, I think it really caught everyone by complete surprise, except those who may have known him in the past. If he or any of his halau read this, they will know who I am.... he he he. Right Derik? Nah, they are too busy to be reading whatevah I write :)
Additionally, I agree with you concerning mainland halau. We are really lucky to have some here in AZ, too. They are terrific folks. One of the local Kumu just won a Kokua award that is presented once a year at our Aloha Festival. She really deserves it!
BTW, I would have said the same thing about last year. I can usually pick the ones that will place..... man, I was about as dead wrong as I could have been that time. Like I said, I wouldn't have wanted to be a judge last year. All I saw this year was the streaming, so until the dvd's arrive, I won't really be able to see it and hear it like I should. Bummer..... I have to wait. I really wanted to be there this year, but my wife and I stay at KMC when we are there and this year that would have meant an early departure due to Pele's recent actions :) We would still be ther, had our vacation panned out the way we wnated it to. Well, I am hoping for next year. Kumu Mark's halau, by the way, is doing the Ho'ike next year if they can make it out there ok. That should be really fun to see!
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