‘Dance 40/22’ Exhibit Presented at UH-Hilo

January 21, 2015, 11:02 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:35 PM
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An art exhibit celebrating decades of dance at both the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and Hawai’i Community College is on display at UH-Hilo’s Upstairs Gallery, located in Campus Center room 301.

The photo exhibit, titled “Dance 40/22: The Legacy Continues,” celebrates the 40th anniversary of the birth of the Dance Program at UH-Hilo and the 22nd anniversary of the Dance program at Hawai’i CC.

On Jan. 12, the doors opened to the exhibit. Celebration of the opening included a performance by Trina Nahm-Mijo with guest artists Kumu Hula Manaiakalani Kalua, classical singer Kim Nagy, and celloist Anna Callner. Kea Kapahua and Annie Bunker were other dance faculty performers.

In 1974, during a time where there was a rapid growth of the arts on the Big Island, centers for culture and the arts started to spring up, including the Volcano Arts Center, the East Hawai’i Cultural Center, and Kalani Honua Eco-Retreat Center in Kalapana.

Dance training followed, and the expression began spilling into the growing college campus community. At times, classes of 60 more students could be found packed into the UH-Hilo Old Gym. The gym just so happens to be scheduled for a renovation in Spring 2015, coincidently coinciding with the 40th anniversary.

The milestone of the dance programs at both schools are honored in the Dance 40/22 exhibit that presents iconic photos and newspaper articles from the 1970s and 1980s, offering a glimpse at the past, and providing inspiration for the future.

Faculty Trina Nahm-Mijo and Manaiakalani Kalua perform at the art exhibit opening. UH Hilo photo.

Faculty Trina Nahm-Mijo and Manaiakalani Kalua perform at the art exhibit opening. UH-Hilo photo.

The exhibit pays tribute to the founder of modern dance in the state of Hawai’i, who was also the founder of the Dance program at UH Hilo, Earnest T. Morgan (1947-1992). Morgan and Trina Nahm-Mijo, founder of the Dance program at Hawai’i CC, started the first modern dance company in the state called “Dance O Hawai’i,” as well as coordinated summer dance retreats in the Volcano for many years.

A full spectrum of dance classes in all sorts of varieties are currently available, including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Aerial, Pilates, Dance Education, Choreography, and Dance Ensemble at either UH Hilo or Hawai’i CC by faculty members Celeste Staton, Kea Kapahua, and Annie Bunker.

At the end of every semester, a “Great Leaps” Dance Concert is presented at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center, showcasing the many students who have taken the dance courses over throughout the semester.

The exhibit is scheduled to be displayed through Feb. 12.

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