Time: Saturday, 6/20. 4:00PM-4:30PM
Location: The Hawaiian Airlines Stage at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26
Hālāwai and New York Outrigger are pleased to present Nā Lehua Melemele on the Hawaiian Airlines Stage at the Liberty Festival in Hudson River Park’s Pier 26 as part of the 2015 Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge on Saturday, June 20.
About Na Lehua Melemele
Formed in 2007 by Lisette Kaualena Flanary under the guidance of Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakāne, Nā Lehua Melemele is a hui (group, club, union, alliance) that is comprised of individuals who are joined or united by a common love of the hula. Although we are a hui and not a hālau hula (formal hula school), it does not mean that we do not take our hula studies seriously. It is our kuleana—responsibility and commitment to respect the integrity of the hula traditions that have been shared with us from our teachers.
In 2010 Lisette left NY to pursue a professorship in the University of Hawaii. Dara Faust & Eleanor Trillana were left to follow in her footsteps; to hula imua and continue the responsibility in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture in New York in the traditions of Maike Aiu Lake.
More than just a dance, the hula is a way of life and nurtures the people of our community beyond the dance studio. We are not just striving to become better dancers, but better individuals through practicing these Hawaiian values. For the dancers of Nā Lehua Melemele, studying the hula is much more than just a dance class.
Believing strongly in the philosophy of legendary master hula teacher Maiki Aiu Lake that ‘Hula is Life’, our dancers share the native art of Hawaiian dance expressing all that we see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel. Through the songs and dances of the hula, we study the culture, legends, poetry, history, genealogy and spirit of Hawai’i. It is through the hula that our dancers remain connected to the great heritage of Hawai’i on the distant shores of the island of Manhattan.
Our hula ‘ohana, or family, is a diverse community of people that embraces Native Hawaiians and non-natives alike. The many colored varieties of the lehua are a reflection of the many different backgrounds and ethnicities that make our group unique. For us, flowers symbolize people. We believe that hula is not just for Hawaiians, but to be shared by everyone as a universal language of the heart. In our hula classes, we refer to each other as ‘hula brothers’ and ‘hula sisters’ and function as a hula family.
We strive to lawe i ka ma’alea a ka ‘ono’ono, (acquire skill and make it deep) and kūlia i ka nuʻu (strive to reach the highest).