Arts and Culture

Kilohana Hula Show at Waikiki Shell

In a triumphant return to the Waikiki Shell on Thursday, Feb. 15, the iconic Kodak Hula Show made a remarkable comeback after more than 20 years, now reimagined as the Kilohana Hula Show. This revival witnessed an overwhelming turnout, with Kilohana Chief Administrator, Tyler Iokepa Gomes, expressing joy at the packed stadium, stating, “The turnout today was absolutely incredible. We pretty much filled the entire stadium.”

Maintaining its nostalgic charm, the modern Kilohana Hula Show features original performers from the Kodak Hula Show, creating a seamless blend of tradition and contemporary artistry. Charlene Kalae Campbell, a Kilohana performer, shared her emotional experience, stating, “I was ready to cry because I was just so happy it could all come back together again.” Campbell, who performed in the Kodak Hula Show for thirty years, expressed her hope that future generations would continue to be part of the show, emphasizing the rich history and familial connections within the performance.

silhouetted hula dancers

Having starred in the original show alongside her mother and later with her own daughters, Campbell reminisced about her journey since 1973. Her sentiment reflects the deep generational ties and commitment of individuals who contributed to the legacy of the Kodak Hula Show.

The Kilohana Hula Show, now financed by the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), has been revitalized after being canceled for over two decades. The show runs free for both locals and visitors, showcasing authentic hula performances from Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Tyler Iokepa Gomes, Kilohana Chief Administrator, emphasized the significance of this cultural revival, stating, “Hawaii is incomplete without honoring the culture, native Hawaiians, the Hula, and all of those aspects. So that really translates through this presentation.” The Kilohana Hula Show, with its blend of tradition, heritage, and contemporary vibrancy, stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of Hawaiian culture.

hula dancer by the ocean at sunset

Resource: Hawaii News Now

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