My grandmother was Hawaiian. She moved on 7 years ago in June, and I miss her terribly. My father was born and mostly raised in the Islands (still around and surprising me at every turn- happily). Grandma danced Hula, not just one pretty dance, but many that tell stories and celebrate the ancestry. Dad learned, and now you have to get a lot of beer into him before he will show you (he’s still got the moves though ). And now, friends, yours truly is trying to carry on that noble calling. If only I could get my top half to coordinate with my bottom half. Never underestimate the muscle and skills of a Hula dancer, people. My legs Hurt. My knees have been asking what the punishment is for, and this after the easy stuff. My teacher wants me to learn Tahitian dance also, and that is Much more complicated- like the laid back Hula on methamphetamines. And Much more painful for my knees. So I’ve had to bow out of that (happily…). It has been interesting, if slightly painful. My favorite dances are not the love songs, or the just for fun songs. They are the Kahikos. These are the ancient Hawaiian chants that tell the stories of the Gods and the people unwary enough to get in their way.. heehee.. right up my alley. The one I know is about a Tahitian woman whose husband deserted her so she returns to the island and finds herself in a sacred valley. Without seeking permission or offering a prayer to the local Gods, she picks and eats the fruit in the valley. In return the Gods chase her and drive her mad. Her husband repents and finds her, and brings her back to reality with love and tenderness. The movements are strong, direct and fluid. The story is clear. And I don’t have to smile while I’m doing it, which is a nice change from “SMILE at your Audience!!”
There are moments when I’m practicing that I wonder if my grandma did the same dance. Are the Kahikos that consistent? The chants are ancient, but are the movements? Have to check. The idea of that, a line of women back thru time performing the same moves to the same words and telling the same story appeals to me. Time is a construct of the human mind. Time and Space are essentially the same thing. When I do that dance am I in the same place with those women, just for that moment? Forget machines, THIS is time travel.