The 16th Annual Kū Mai Ka Hula, Maui’s only adult hula competition, takes place live at the the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Sept. 8-9, 2023.
The event starts with a special panel discussion with noted haiku mele, Hoʻoulu i Nā Mele, on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the McCoy Studio Theater.
Tickets for both events go on sale, online only, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. at MauiArts.org.
This year’s Kū Mai Ka Hula competition features award-winning hālau from around Hawai‘i, the continental US and Asia. Competitors will be judged by renowned kumu hula, from around the pae ʻāina of Hawaiʻi, to include Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima, Kumu Hula Ulalia Woodside, Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona, and Kumu Hula Cody Pueo Pata.
Hoʻoulu i Nā Mele — Thursday, Sept. 7, 7:30 pm, McCoy Studio Theater
The 2023 Kū Mai Ka Hula competition weekend begins with a panel discussion with esteemed haku mele which includes Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona, Kumu Hula Pueo Pata, and Zachary Alakaʻi Lum & Anela Uʻilani Tanigawa-Lum, composers of mele Hawaiʻi, and facilitated by Maui’s own Kumu Hula Hōkūlani Holt. This special presentation will explore the various inspiration or personal muses that are essential to each when composing music as well as to those kumu hula who choreograph those mele.
Also included in the evening are special performances by participating Maui Kumu Hula and their hālau that include Pāū O Hiiaka, Hālau Kekuaokalāʻauʻalaʻiliahi, and Hālau Kamaluokaleihulu.
Kū Mai Ka Hula – Friday & Saturday, Castle Theater
- Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m., Solo Competition and Awards Ceremony
- Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., Group Competition and Awards Ceremony
On Friday evening, male and female dancers vie for the title of Mr. and Ms. Hula Maui in kahiko & ʻauana styles. Wahine and kane dancers compete for first place in kahiko and ‘auana styles.
Saturday is the group competition where hālau from all around the state, the continental US and Asia vie for the honors in different divisions including wāhine and kāne group as well as the kūpuna group. There will be a pre-show performance in the Yokouchi Pavilion on both Friday (4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.).
Additionally, attendees can browse and shop displays of made-in-Hawaiʻi products from an array of crafters and artisans before and throughout the Friday and Saturday performances. A full selection of food and beverages will be available for purchase in the Yokouchi Pavilion Courtyard.
No outside food or beverages allowed including bottled water.
Pre-show entertainment will take place on Friday, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Yokouchi Pavilion.
On Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the pre-show performance will feature the students and staff of Ke Kula ʻo Piʻilani.
Kū Mai Ka Hula is presented by Maui Arts & Cultural Center in association with Kauahea Inc, a nonprofit organization founded by Hōkūlani Holt to support Hawaiian arts and culture. She is also Director, Ka Hikina O Ka Lā, Hawai‘i Papa o ke Ao, University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
Kū Mai Ka Hula remains an opportunity for both residents and visitors who enjoy hula to come together and celebrate. This competition highlights those hālau who have been successful in competitions so that the best come to Maui.
TICKETS: Kū Mai Ka Hula tickets are $25 per day for adults; half-price for kids 12 & under (plus applicable fees). Two-day tickets are available for $45 and must be purchased together (plus applicable fees). Tickets go on sale online only Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m.
MACC members receive a 10% discount. Group and UHMC student rush tickets also available through the MACC Box Office. The MACC Box Office is not currently open for window sales but is available for ticketing inquiries only Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by phone at 808-242-SHOW (7469) or email email@example.com.