Eselu, Ching halau win overall honors
The members of O'Brian Eselu's Ke Kai O Kahiki hula halau escorted their kumu to the stage over and over again, as did the dancers of Sonny Ching's Halau Na Mamo O Pu'uanahulu, as each kumu received multiple awards for the 46th annual Merrie Monarch Festival.
Tradition rules Merrie Monarch
The Hilo wind picks up in the dark parking lot of Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium, scattering memories and maile leaves. Trophies for the winners, the thrill of dancing on the coveted stage for the halau members and the joy of watching for thousands in the audience — the 2009 Merrie Monarch hula festival has come to a close, but not without honor for some of Hawai'i's finest kumu hula and their dancers.
Victory honors name, teachers
The 2009 Miss Aloha Hula, Cherissa Henoheanapuaikawaokele Kane, was gifted with a Hawaiian name passed down through six generations. It has Moloka'i roots, and her mother also carries it.
'Hulaholics' take over Hilo festival
There are new names on the list of judges, and some first-time hula halau are appearing on stage, but one thing remains the same: the energy of "hulaholics" gathered at the Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium for the 46th Merrie Monarch Festival.
A young halau refines the hula
Like most who are competing in the Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition this week, the dancers of Ka La 'Onohi Mai O Ha'eha'e rehearse in a space a fraction of the size of the stage at Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium in Hilo, where the annual event takes place before a sold-out house, TV cameras, Internet hookups and the eyes of every true hula lover on the planet.
Reichel halau joins 21 other schools at fest
Grammy-nominated singer, chanter and kumu hula Keali'i Reichel's Halau Kealaokamaile will make its first competitive appearance at the 2009 Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition, joining 21 other hula schools from around the Islands and on the Mainland.
MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL VENUES
Edith Kanaka'ole Tennis Stadium
350 Kalanikoa Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium
323 Manono Street
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
MERRIE MONARCH BLOG
Advertiser writer Wanda Adams reports from hula's premiere competition, the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo on the Big Island.
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