When you think of hula dancing, do you relate it to a dance done by girls in grass skirts to ukelele music? Hula is performed at resorts all over Hawaii, but the significance of the dance is much more than tourist entertainment.
Since ancient Hawaiians didn’t have a written language, cultural histories and mythologies were recorded through hula and chants (oli). There are two styles of hula: ‘Auana and Kahiko. The former is the more modern style of hula and the latter is the ancient traditional dance.
Hula festivals and competitions are a fantastic place to experience the authentic dance and culture of the dance. E Hula Mau, host to Southern California’s only hula and chant competition, transforms the Terrace Theater in Long Beach into a Hawaiian Village on Labor Day Weekend for its 19th annual celebration of the Hawaiian culture.
Festivities start on Friday, Aug. 30 and go through Sunday, Sept. 1. Come here to enjoy live performances, arts, crafts and a taste of island cuisine. Workshops include the art of lei making, Hawaiian educational lectures and a slack key workshop. All are open on a first-come, first-served basis, but some fees may apply.
To view a full schedule of events, visit www.ehulamau.org. Tickets to the hula competition are $25 per day and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by phone. You can also visit or call the box office at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center for tickets. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. No ticket is needed to visit the cultural village vendors or events in the Terrace Theatre lobby/plaza.
E Hula Mau
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS L.A. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.