‘Hula Royalty’ Beverly Noa Dies at 84
Noa is perhaps best known for her graceful performance of Lovely Hula Hands.
“She was the very best in her craft, and she transported you to a heavenly place, with just fingertips,” local entertainer and former Miss Hawai‘i Cathy Foy told Hawaii News Now.
She had been battling cancer, and had been hospitalized since Sunday, her son, Fred Noa, said.
“She loved people,” Fred told Hawaii News Now. “She always used to say, you know, ‘people matter, things don’t.'”
She was a regular dancer at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel as well as at other venues after being crowned Miss Hawai‘i in 1952. She also did fashion modelling.
“It probably wasn’t until we got significantly older, in our teens and seeing the adulation and the fact she moved a lot of people in the arts,” said Fred about his mother’s fame.
“Her name is of hula royalty. Her presence is unforgettable. Her hula is pure art,” Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang told Hawai‘i News Now. “Her style of movement is like watching poetry in motion as she transports you to a romantic place in the mountains or to a spectacular sunset along a beach.”
Noa was honored with Hula Grill Waikiki’s annual I Ola Mau Ka Hula award last March. She spontaneously performed hula with Robert Cazimero on the piano, including one sitting down. Fred Noa told Hawaii News Now that it was hard for her to do, but she still did it.
“She was in pain,” he said. “And she actually danced sitting. And it was precious. I’ve seen her dance my entire life, 57 years. And to see her dance then brought me to my knees.”
Noa is also survived by another son, well-known Hawaii Chef Ed Kenney.
Services are pending.