By Pauline Worsham
Moanalua Gardens Foundation (MGF) presents the premiere of the virtual 43rd Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival on Thursday, November 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. on KHON2.
The two-hour program will be live-streamed on www.khon2.com and on KHON’s YouTube channel. It will be rebroadcast on Saturday, November 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. on KHON, and on Sunday, November 8, from 8 to 10 p.m. on sister station KHII. Presenting Sponsor is Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
Instead of a live in-person event, this year’s festival was filmed at historic Queen Emma Summer Palace and features 11 hālau in an inspiring program of hula with special messages of aloha from each kumu. Founded in 1978, the festival honors Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, who helped revive hula in Moanalua and reigned as Kamehameha V from 1863 to 1872.
“While we cannot safely gather together in person during the pandemic, we wanted to bring our program of aloha through hula to the families and kūpuna here in Hawaiʻi and beyond our shores so they can watch it in the security of their homes,” said Alika Jamile, executive director and president of MGF.
The program will showcase a mixture of both kahiko and ʻauana with hālau performing at various locations on the grounds of the Summer Palace. David Kalama (Kalama Productions) a veteran producer and senior media producer of the Merrie Monarch Festival for 27 years, is producing the show.
A highlight will be a special performance by MGF’s Malia Kau Award recipient Kumu Hula Leimomi Ho and Kealiʻikaʻapunihonua Keʻena Aʻo Hula.
The virtual festival will launch on MGF’s Facebook site on Monday, November 16, and on their YouTube channel with additional vignettes on Tuesday, December 1.
Other sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Nakila & Marti Steele Family Fund of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, The Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, The Queen’s Health Systems, PAʻI Foundation and Matson Navigation.
“We are deeply grateful to our loyal sponsors who are helping to make this broadcast possible,” said Jamile.
MGF continues to fundraise to pay for the production. To kōkua go to: www.moanaluagardensfoundation.org/donate and make a donation or become a member.