The event is sponsored by KDHX and by the Illinois Historic Preservation Society. There is no fee to attend, dance or play, but the organizers ask that you purchase your picnic and snacks at the concession stands on the grounds to help defray their costs.
To sign up to play, contact Molly McKenzie at the Cahokia Courthouse and Jarrot Mansion State Historic Sites, 107 Elm Street, Cahokia, IL 62206, or call her at 618-332-1782.
The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue covers at least four islands of the Polynesian South Pacific during their shows that last a half hour to an hour or more. They present dances and music from Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand (Maori) using taped music; guitar, ukelele and drums. Each island or culture requires a specific style of costume, certain motions of the hands and hips and type of musical sound. So far, the other islands which are not included are Fiji, Tonga, and the Marquesas, or Easter Islands. They plan to include some of these dances and music in the future. Men play a big part in these cultures, sometimes dancing like a fierce warrior as in New Zealand, or doing fire and knife dancing or slap dancing as done in Samoa, and other times doing ancient chants from Hawaii or compliment the female dancer as in Tahiti. Sometimes the Revue invites male dancers, Sua and Charles K. from other cities for larger shows. All of the island cultures use feathers, shells, grass, flowers, leaves, seeds or nuts and b right, bold, beautiful printed cloth worn as Pareaus, lava lavas, ias, and decorate their heads with heis, hakus or tall head dresses. In certain dances the artist will use Lapa Lapa sticks (Samoan), Piuli sticks (Hawaii), Uli Uli’s (Hawaii), Lava rocks (Hawaii), Ipus (Hawaii), Poi Balls (New Zealand), Iis (Tahiti) and, of course, the log drum, called Toere or Pahu drum. The Pahu drum is usually tall, covered with animal skin and is used to give the beat of the dance. The drum can be slow as in the ancient chants of Hawaii that incorporate the Ipu Heke and Ipu gourd, or fast as in an otea in Tahiti. The Puniu coconut drums, Illili rattle and Lali drums are also used depending on the choice of tempo or instrument desired. Some of the hip or feet movements used in nearly all dances are called amis, uwehe kaholo, hella, and kalakua after King Kalakua who revived the dances of Hawaii after the missionaries had discouraged their use for many years. Of couorse, it's important to watch the hands too because they tel l the story in all island dances.
The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue encourages everyone to learn more about Polynesian men, women and children in their Saturday morning classes at Dimensions Dance Studio in Olivette, taught by Marian Harris of Kauai, and has plans to do a weekend seminar in the fall of this year, inviting a master teacher to St. Louis from Tahiti to teach anyone interested in the that style of dance. We are always searching for anyone interested in keeping these cultures active in the Midwest, Polynesian descent or not.
So in the spirit of “MANA” and love of the islands, we say to you, our hearts and door are open to all.
For more information, call Linda (“Atea”) Evans, founder of HPR, artistic director and manager at 921-1817.
We are also saddened by the fact that Martha Edwards has decided not to continue as a FolkFire Board member. Martha has contributed not only her time and energy to FolkFire for quite some time now, but has offered her unique style and grace to our group. She will be missed.
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