Music. It elicits emotions within us that bring us back to a time in our lives that things seemed much better. It isn’t that things were much better, but that as time passes we begin to understand things. It only seems like things old are new again, but they aren’t…
It is not news that more than lots else, I love music. It is supposed to be this way, because I am a dancer. There is no music that I cannot choreograph any number to, specifically Hula, and yes, even Hula (of the Kahiko sort) to, of all things, Heavy Metal music. When you have that ability to create from your own measure of being, the things that make your heart and soul sing and dance, you know that you have something that is more valuable than gold.
Having gold is nice, but having the talent and drive to create the gold is much nicer (and way, way awesome)
I will get to my point regarding this part that tells you, like lots of other people tell you that in this lifetime, it is a must that we each and all do what we are placed here to do – that one thing that we do best.
In my world and as a worker in the light, it is communicating with others on every level, through whatever means possible, yes, including hula, because Hula is the one thing, the one dance, that the dancer tells the story of the song through the dance, telling the story with the hands.
Hula has, just like working with DV Survivors has become, always been that thing that I have called my bread and butter. It was the first paying job I had (and loved), to dance in a show in front of an audience. It was the one thing that always, even to this day, I still do, not only for pay, but for the pureness of the Aloha that I receive from the Universe when I am dancing, regardless if my audience is a crowd of people, or the full moon and stars every four weeks.
It is my gold, and is so because of many different reasons.
Yet, not one of those reasons is because I get paid to do it.
I get paid for it in more than only tangible ways. I have always loved this dance, and it has always been my very closest friend, the very Medicine that I have always administered to my ailing heart and soul throughout the years. I used to do it for the attention, the glory, the right to say that I could do it very well and that I am going to do it my way and no one in their right mind was going to tell me otherwise.
That was then (old reason) and this is now (new reason) (medicine for the soul).
While Hula and its very most basic forms have not changed, what has changed is the medium through which this particular art form has been administered, meaning that it is not the dance, but rather the teacher, like the Maestro with his music, which has evolved, just like the many reasons for each dancer and each musician will prove to us, again and again, how true this one thing is.
Hula…and how it proves that everything that is “old” to us has become essentially “new”
This article is not about how much I love this dance, but about, instead, how it is the oldest thing in my life that is not me and, as well, how those who work in the weird sometimes miss the mark on the things that we do with and for those who come to us for our help or our teachings.
In terms of Hula and the 42 years that I have danced, the one thing that is the truth is that indeed, the dance of my people is not something new, not something that has not been lampooned and turned into what it is not by Hollywood over the decades. The ancients revered dance and music, because, just like these modern times will show, so, too, does the rest of the race of humans on the planet.
Music and dance are humanity’s icons for remembering who we each and all are, all the way down to the very bones of our souls.
Hawai’ians…most of us have old, ancient souls, like all peoples of indigenous origin have. We know things that lots of other people do not know. In my line of work, it works out in the most awesome way that even I, as a sometimes frivolous-in-the-imagination Pisces could manage to think was possible.
Turning Hula into more than what it used to only be for me, at least, makes me a much better Shaman, better, more attuned to the Universe in terms of my place in this lifetime as Kahuna Wahine.
In these modern times we find that lots of people have interest in my culture and our ways. The truth is that our culture and our ways are not fads and neither is it anything new in terms of people wanting to know more about the mystical things in ancient Hawai’ian culture.
Hula is part of that mystical thing about us, part of our charm, and is way, way more than only what lots of people want to believe – that it is a hula girl’s means for getting men to pay attention to her…really? (Ummm…NOT…it is not that way at all, so I am speaking on behalf of ALL of who dance this dance and love it as much as I do to PLEASE STOP THINKING THAT WAY ‘CAUSE IT IS NOT THE TRUTH…thank you…this has been a public service announcement from the Universe…!)
It is the very oldest thing about us that, as time rolls on by, even as the dance itself does not change, those of us who love it, perform it, teach it, embrace it will never not see it as the one constant in our lives, because that is just how we Kanaka roll with it.
It does not change, but we do, and that is the way that this one thing evolves, much like any other ancient tradition can and will change as long as the light worker utilizing it embraces that change as well.
If I can embrace it, specifically when talking in terms of this one dance, that means that anyone can embrace the weirdness of their own indigenous means and turn it into the most ancient new thing in their lives.
There are people who, just like me, have turned the world of iconic things in the collective lives of indigenous peoples on its head.
Where I thought I might shock the hell out of people by creating numbers to songs like Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People,” on the other side of that is how I made what was old, new again, at least in terms of having a good example to provide for you all.
Hula. It is one of those things that, like music, the artist has their own specific energy about them when they create what they will create with their medium.
In my case, I am the medium (in more ways than one), the music is the catalyst which shares space within me with the reason why I dance. These are all the very most basic ingredients in terms of creating things, namely things old into things new.
Where it was that at one time I would choreograph only to Hawai’ian music, because I teach it as medicine to people who are NOT Hawai’ian, I have had to adapt newer styles of music that is NOT Hawai’ian, tunes from Marilyn Manson, and in the case of DV Survivors and Medicine Dance Hula, Christina Aguilera’s rendition of “Beautiful.”
We find, through this example, that indeed, everything old may well become new again, even as that which is ancient remains ancient.
Dancers have choreographed their numbers in this manner for many generations, and turning my own Hulas into art, and then eventually into medicine, gives you a good example of how it is that things evolve over time.
At one time Hula was a thing that I did to show off because no one else in my social group who wasn’t related to me knew how to do it.
Then it became sort of an education for me and in teaching in my own halau when I helped my cousin’s wife for a couple of years with the creation and building up of her halau.
From there, and because I had lived so far away from where I am now, I created and built my own halau, because of what I had learned in my time with my cousin’s old lady.
When my own halau was no longer in existence, it saddened me because until that point, I only thought in terms of that halau being what defined me. It was not until I was actually forced by my own hand, so that I could save my own life instead of trying to save someone who cannot be saved, that it dawned on me that using it as medicine was what it needed and is what it has become outside of it still being entertainment.
As I have already stated – Hula is an ancient art. It involves LOTS of ritual type stuff, such as preparing the plants that are needed that hula performers wear when we perform, and blessing the building, the halau, in which we will teach or perform or give homage and aloha to the ‘Aumakua.
The ritualistic type stuff that we do when gathering those things is what remains the same, even as the dance, which is older than God, literally, evolves and becomes what it becomes to whoever it becomes whatever it becomes for. (…haha…did you get all of that?)
It is just like music. Music is also another thing that can be thought of as both ancient as well as life saving, because so many people depend on it as a means by which they allow their soul to fly out into the Universe, making it so that the entirety of the heavens has been able to hear the many voices in unison singing to the glory that is the Spirit within each and every one of us.
Music, like ritual dance, has been a part of humanity from the dawn of man. It is something that we have never not had at our disposal and to our benefit. Music and dance have gone hand in hand together like peas and carrots (thank you Forrest, Forrest Gump). It makes a whole lot of sense that the two things that mankind has either vilified or glorified are also the two very things that EVERY human on this planet has in common – the ability which some have to belt out a tune, while the ability that others like myself have to stay in time with the music through our dance.
Music lifts the soul to heights that the body cannot imagine. Dance gives the body the expression of that music, that tone, those sounds.
When the two come together and give the physical rendition of the soul’s release through sound and movement, what is being done and hopefully witnessed is as ancient as the Universe itself.
That the music is accompanied by newer instruments like electric guitars, keyboards, computerized and digital harmonics and the like, is one thing, but that sound and movement are as old as everything is is what makes it one of the most ancient things known to mankind, as is ANY KIND of dance, from ANY KIND of community of humans, from anywhere on the planet.
That I can choreograph a hula to virtually ANY style or genre of music is one thing, but that I know that I am what makes this ancient art form become medicine, which, too, is very ancient, is completely another, way way cooler thing to know.
Light workers should invest some of their valuable time into researching their own ancient roots.
I say so because that really is where each and every one of us who is a worker in the light actually get our gifts from, our sixth sense – from the ‘Aumakua who came before us.
It is too easy for us all to adopt what is anyone else’s methods of teaching, anyone else’s methods of healing, and anyone else’s ways of dealing with and working through Spirit. The hard work that sets us each apart from those who do not create their own means of understanding, let alone creating understanding in others is shown in how successful we are in terms of being effective in our workings that we do with others, regardless if we are paid by means of cash or barter or energy that is light and needed.
If we can reach back into our own ancient pasts, to those places where we each originated from in an indigenous manner, we will find out that when we apply those things after we have turned them into whatever it is that they will not only become for us but also for those with whom we work so closely, we will see there that we have created not only another means by which to help others heal themselves, but mostly, we will have a unique tool that can only be utilized by us as it was created, through that which was handed down to us, by us and with our particular energy signature.
Just like no one’s music sounds like Zeppelin’s and never will, that which we recreate and is ancient becomes part of who we are and what we do.
So, study your own culture’s ancient ways, folks…it won’t hurt and will give you something that no one else has.
Click on Kumu Charles (the old hula guy at the top of this writing) to visit my pal Randy Jay Braun’s Website
Click on the crazy lady with the stick and the ‘ipu heke to visit my website, Just Rox