Kamehameha School’s Hula Drama Honors Keʻelikōlani

February 23, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated February 22, 2020, 8:26 PM)
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The 17th annual Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi Kula Kiʻekiʻe Hōʻike will break new ground as the schools first-ever hula drama, honoring Princess Ruth Keanolani Kanāhoahoa Keʻelikōlani.

The title of this year’s Hōʻike is “Keʻelikōlani: Moku Aʻe Ka Pawa” − the pre-dawn darkness is breaking.
The performance will reference the reawakening of Hawaiian consciousness, as Keʻelikōlani was never disconnected from her kānaka identity. Through hula, mele, art, and pāleoleo (rap), a vibrant moʻolelo will be shared celebrating the life, lessons, and connections of Keʻelikōlani.

Keʻelikōlani is significant to the history and formation of Kamehameha Schools, with Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop inheriting the bulk of her estate from Ruth. Keʻelikōlani, five years older than her first-cousin Pauahi, would from the time of infancy remain as loyal and close as sisters are to be. Their life-long closeness and aloha for one another will eventually inspire the vision that made possible the founding of Kamehameha Schools, forever honoring their shared legacy.

Hawaiian language teacher Kalehua Simeona has written most of the mele and put together the storyline for this year’s production. Her Hawaiian Language VI course has also created a Hawaiian language talk series to build excitement around this year’s show and share more information about Keʻelikōlani and other Hawaiian language content. Other teachers have also worked with Simeona to incorporate this history and lessons learned from Keʻelikōlani into their curriculum for the year.

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“The unifying work of the high school surrounding the preparation of this year’s Hō‘ike epitomizes the pride and aloha of the high school that embraces the legacy and mission set forth by our Ke Ali‘i Bernice Pauahi Bishop,” shares kula kiʻekiʻe poʻo kumu Dr. Lehua Veincent.

Hōʻike is an all-school production, with all students, faculty and staff participating as performers, choir, band, costuming and make-up, decor, and stage management. The show takes place on March 12 and 13 at 6 p.m. in the school’s Koaiʻa Gymnasium.

Tickets are now available for purchase. Presale general admission is $8 presale through March 11, $5 for keiki (ages 12 and under) or a VIP package for $20 that includes early entrance, reserved seating, a special gift, and a souvenir photo.

Tickets may be purchased online via pauahi.org through March 2, in-person, after-school starting on Feb. 24 at the High School office from 2:45-3:30 p.m. on school days until March 11, or at the door for $10 from 5-6 p.m. on the night of the performance.

More information on the show is available at www.ksbe.edu/kshhoike.

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