Also known as E Ho `i Mai I Ka Piko Hula, the World invitational Hula Festival is held annually at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, Hawaii. The festival celebrates the culture, art, history, language of Hawaii and offers opportunities for those who do not live in Hawaii to take part in hula competition. Hula groups from all over the world, including the U.S., Guam, Japan, Mexico, and Europe participate in the festival.
The halau was first invited to participate in the festival in November of 2004. Twenty wahine and one kane started training in the early part of 2004 to learn an `oli, kahiko and auana that was choreographed by Luana. The group spent a week in Honolulu prior to the competition to take part in other workshops and other performances, including a performance at the Bishop Musuem.At the end of the festival, the halau took two awards home: the Kuluwaimaka Achievement Award (Hawaiian language award) and the Henry Mo'ikeha O Kahiki Pa Achievement Award (top combined score). Both awards were from Kaipo Bridges' performance.
In November 2007, the halau returned for the second time to represent New York at the festival. The event ran from November 8 - 10 at the Waikiki Shell. Sixteen wahine participated in the Wahine Halau category, and three kane and three wahine participated in the Combined Halau category. They shared their hula with halaus from countries including Japan, Mexico, Columbia and the Philippines. At the end of the festival, the halau was proud to take home three awards:
- EDITH KEKUHI KANAKA‘OLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - for highest achievement in combined language scores
- ROSE KAPULANI JOSHUA ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
- Presented to the Combined Hälau with the highest achievement in traditional and in contemporary hula and language performance.
For pictures and video footage of the Halau's time in Honolulu, visit the WIHF 2007 page.
For more information, visit the official E Ho`i Mai I Ka Piko Hula website at http://www.worldhula.com.