Hula Poem Analysis

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The hula is the national dance of the Hawaiian people. It is Hawai’i’s richest form of artistic expression. Though it can be thought of as a form of dance accompanied by song, it is more correct to say that the hula is a form of narration accompanied by movement. We simply cannot dance in the absence of a prayer, poem, or story. Indeed, the most important element of hula is its narration. Its movements are tied to the words being sung. If there are no words, there can be nothing to interpret. If there is nothing to interpret, there can be no hula. It is this quality that makes the hula unique among so many world dance traditions. Our mele (songs) come to us from the ancestors, as well as our contemporary selves. They reflect what the composer sees, feels, and experiences. They are also a way of manifesting, through our bodies, the energy of the natural world, of which we are a part. Hula is characterized by intricate combinations of footwork, hip…show more content…
Without directly mentioning Kauaʻi’s Queen Kapiʻolani, to whom the song is dedicated, the red of the sun and the gold color of the ʻilima blossoms convey a sense of the aristocracy, as these are the colors representing the Hawaiian monarchy. When we dance the hula of a classical mele, we are able to visit the world of the ancient ones. Presenting an interpretation of a more contemporary song is no different—the movement of the body, facial expression, costuming, and lyrics are there to convey a particular feeling that was intended by the composer. It is up to the dancer to impart this worldview to the observer and, in essence, invite them into the portal where we intersect with spirit. In fact, the most powerful aspect of this art form lies in its ability to commemorate the world of the composer and to translate this understanding through time and space. The hula teaches us to honor our own stories, to recognize the essence and beauty of the land we occupy, and to celebrate

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