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Apr 05, 2017

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation / LT partnership culminates in hōʻike at Hawaii Theatre

The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and the Liliʻuokalani Trust in February launched Ka ʻOpua Haʻa I Ka Malie, an innovative dance program designed to offer Hawaiian youth a 10-day immersion into a diverse mix of dance techniques. Program participants showcased what they learned on their last day of the program on Friday evening at Hawaii Theatre.

The performers dazzled the audience as they took the stage on Friday evening, putting on a stellar performance, sharing what they learned in ballet/modern, West African dance, jazz/hip hop, and percussion; and honoring their Hawaiian cultural traditions with an oli and hula for Queen Liliʻuokalani. 


Participants consisted of 50 middle school trust kamaliʻi (beneficiaries), ages 11-14 years, from across the islands. No prior dance experience was required for the AileyCamp program.

The two-week intensive offered kamaliʻi the opportunity to explore artistic excellence, and their own creative expression through dance, with nationally recognized Ailey Arts In Education (AIE) teaching artists. Nasha Thomas, National Director of AileyCamp/Spokesperson & Master Teacher for AIE, described the goal of the residency: “We strive to give these young people a platform to have a voice, to express themselves. How do you take your dreams and create something? ... Students learn that it takes focus, concentration, commitment and work.” Dance classes were held each day at the Ballet Hawaii studios.

Honoring Queen Liliʻuokalani’s passion for the arts, Liliʻuokalani Trust believes in building opportunities for our Hawaiian children to explore their creative potential while building self-efficacy and strengthening their Native Hawaiian identity. With performing arts as a pathway, we envision our thriving Hawaiian children, inspired and confident to positively express themselves and realize their full potential.

The following 11-minute video documents the journey of these courageous 50 kamaliʻi who participated in our first Dance Explorations Program.  Enjoy!


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