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Hale Pulelehua
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Biography    Personal Detail    Hula Detail    Hula Conversations    Pele Stories & Compositions

Conversations on Own Halau:
 Click to hear Audio transcript Click to see Video clip
George Holokai
Honolulu, 2002
In this clip, Uncle George shares the history of his own halau, when and where it began, his teaching approach, and his students.
Length: 2:55

GEORGE HOLOKAI: Tommy's was Tom Hiona's Hula Studio. Then when Tommy left, and then it was Holokai's Hula Studio. Until uh, the latter part of the 50s ... and then I moved onto um ... South King Street. It was across the street from the Agriculture and Forestry Building. On uh, you know, Kap-Ke`eaumoku and um ... that agriculture building there. Was right across the street. There was the Aloha Radio Shop, there was another barber shop and a shoe shop, and then a pool hall next to me. [CHUCKLES] But there were lot of kumu hulas over here. On Ke`eaumoku Street was Mä`iki Aiu. Then was me, and then of course by the uh, Sears parking lot was Joseph Kaha`ulelio. And upstairs from the um, McCully um ... McCully uh, what ... No, it was the McCully uh ... Fabrics or whatever. Upstairs was Lena Machado. And then around the corner [CHUCKLES] was um ... uh, the Joshua's Magic Dance Studio. Yeah. So there was plenty of us around that area, yeah. So uh, Joseph Kaha`ulelio's dancers would come over maha`oi at the studio and talk story. And-and then uh-

NONA BEAMER: When you taught your classes, did you do basic and-

GEORGE HOLOKAI: Oh, yes, from the be-uh, from ... from the bottom and we work up. And then uh, what, uh, even if I had the new uh, students coming and things like that, I would start from the bottom. And the first dance I would uh, I would teach them was a Hapa Haole number. Just so they would uh, know the words and the motions and things. Then I work into a Hawaiian song.

MAILE LOO: Your students; are they teaching, any of them or ?

GEORGE HOLOKAI: Um, I have uh [CLEARS THROAT], one that used to teach uh, for-uh, at uh, Farrington High School for the adult education. Uh, was Karen's sister. Uh, Karen Keawehawai`i, the sister Jeanette. She used to teach uh-well, anyway, she asked me if it was possible. Uh, she was teaching for HGEA. And so she asked me if it was-uh, that I would-she was asked to teach at the adult education at uh, Farrington. And she says, Oh, George, she says, is it possible that uh, what ... you would let me teach? I said, Yeah, go right ahead. Go right ahead. I said, you can teach over there. So she's been teaching all the numbers that I've been teaching. And then I don't know whether she's still teaching wi-uh, with the classes or not. I don't know.

Future of Own Tradition:
 Click to hear Audio transcript Click to see Video clip
George Holokai
Honolulu, 2002
In this clip, Uncle George talks about the future of his hula tradition: the students that are teaching and carrying on the tradition, and his current hula activities.
Lenngth: 2:14

MAILE LOO: Your students, are they teaching, any of them or ...
GEORGE HOLOKAI: Um, I have uh [CLEARS THROAT], one that used to teach uh, for-uh, at uh, Farrington High School for the adult education. Uh, was Karen's sister. Uh, Karen Keawehawai`i, the sister Jeanette. She used to teach uh-well, anyway, she asked me if it was possible. Uh, she was teaching for HGEA. And so she asked me if it was-uh, that I would-she was asked to teach at the adult education at uh, Farrington. And she says, Oh, George, she says, is it possible that uh, what ... you would let me teach? I said, Yeah, go right ahead. Go right ahead. I said, you can teach over there. So she's been teaching all the numbers that I've been teaching. And then I don't know whether she's still teaching wi-uh, with the classes or not. I don't know. No, but I'm picky. [CHUCKLES] I'm picky who's gonna carry on or whatever, you know. 'Cause I don't want them do any kind ... what I mean, sloppy job or whatever. You know, but like Karen's sister, um, she-she'll carry on the way she-she was taught. And then I have another niece that uh, she's trying to carry on but ... sometimes I call her for help, you know. I forget the motions or whatever and she'll ca-I will call her and ([CHUCKLES]) I say, Oh, can you help me? She says, Oh, yeah. So for Genoa's um, for Genoa's uh, uh ... show at the Hawai`i Theater, I called my niece. I said, Oh, I said, you know, in case uh, we're dancing and I get tired, I just going stand and do the motion and you-you can carry on. [CHUCKLES] And I told-I told Kawika the same thing. He said, Don't you do that, he said, you dance. I said, No, but sometime I may get out of breath. I said, so I'm just going stand over there and do the motions and then have my niece carry on. He said, Don't do that. [CHUCKLES] But I carried on well. [LAUGHS]

Opinions of Hula Today:
 Click to hear Audio transcript Click to see Video clip
George Holokai
Honolulu, 2002
In this clip, Uncle George expresses his opinions on hula today.
Length: 1:44
NONA BEAMER: Well, what do you think about hula now, George?

GEORGE HOLOKAI: Oh, no, I don't care for it. They-they're doing too many-too many motions. You know, like uh, the old way. If you're talking about a flower, it's gonna be a flower. It's gonna be a uh, what, maybe uh, right and left käholo. But today, they got this, and oh, everything else. You know, they ... more like karate. ([LAUGHS]) You know, the hand all ... all over. There's no more the softness. Like they used to, you know. This is all-everything is just rushing. There's no uh ... grace to it. Nothing. It's a-uh, to me, it's a monkey-see-monkey-do. You look at it today. What I mean, everybody is just following each other. They see the one-one way of doing it, and they're gonna do it that way. It's their own creation, but they're gonna, you know ... add other things to it, instead of just soft. No, I-no, I always kept it the way I was taught, and I'm gonna keep it that way. Whereas the others, they're gonna try and add little extra beat-uh, footwork or whatever. No. I really don't know. It's more like um ... jazz. You know. And then even the songs today, there's no meaning. You know, like the old songs.

Opinions of Hula Competitions:
Clip currently under production.

Advice for Young Dancers:
Clip currently under production.
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