Homeward Bound...21 Day Count Down to Hawai'i

21 Days countdown...and the days tick tick tick in my head. 

So much to do before I leave for this trip, but I am looking forward to it!

This trip is BIG to me. It is not 20+ hours of travel and waiting that I'm talking about! This will be the FIRST time that I present current work back in the islands...but no pressure or anything haha. I am curious how that will go. This trip is about celebrating my latest development of my work--and truly myself-- by sharing with the community back home. This is not Maui, but O'ahu comes close enough.

My work delves into themes, stories and references from my childhood in Hawai'i, and my movement style does have a hula influence, which I combine with my contemporary style of dance called "Urban Cultural Dance". 

I will be presenting at the World Dance Alliance- Americas Conference, which will be held at UH Mānoa. A fitting place indeed for all of the things that are going on in the islands. (If you've been checking out the news with these people/land movements then you know what I'm talking about.) If you are on O'ahu, PLEASE come by to watch and/or participate in the workshop that I am offering! Would love to have your support.

The title of the performance I will be presenting is, " A Perspective From an Island Girl..." and that is exactly what it is. It is confronting the multi-faceted life of an island girl coming from Hawai'i, and how diversity and the cultural hierarchies within Hawaii's landscape have molded her. I reveal her thoughts, her struggles and her growth. The piece will be 10 minutes in length--a short tidbit to what I think will become a longer performance. It will be raw, real and full of words.

I will also be offering a Master Workshop called, "Urban Cultural Dance--Planting New Seeds into Hawaii's Dance Expression". The title shares where I am coming from with this course. I am not trying to be a kumu hula (because I am not) but I am sharing the path I came from, by starting with an influence with the traditional form of the hula, and continuing further towards a style that has developed from introductions to other cultural styles. I am in no way trying to replace what is already there, as I completely respect the traditional practitioners of the hula kahiko and 'auana. I am glad they do what they do to keep these forms alive!  I am simply sewing new seeds of movement ideas, of what a contemporary artist with Hawai'i roots would look like. I am grateful for the traditional dance forms that I've learned, as they have taught me to be intentional in my movements and put meaning back into movement.

So these are my two babies that I will be bringing home to the land. As I am creating them in Germany, I will be interested to see how space and place affects them as we reunite with the 'āina, and perform on it. That is why this theme to this year's WDA-A Conference is so fitting!

So these are the research questions I will be asking myself once more AFTER this conference:

How is dance affected by spaces and places?

How are artists, educators and researchers engaged in using traditional and alternative spaces and places?

How might new engagements with spaces and places provide new opportunities for dance and dancers?

How does space and place affect expression in dance?

What changes emerge when dancing in new spaces and places?

I'm looking forward to writing my responses.

Until then,

Jaz