Show celebrates history, spirit of Polynesia

Dancers perform during the 14th Spring Ho'ike at Atherton Theatre at Delta College in Stockton, Calif., on April 29. PHOTO BY GARY REYES

Delta College’s campus hosted the 14th annual spring Ho’ike show presented by the Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani dance company in the Atherton Auditorium on April 29.

Dancers perform during the 14th Spring Ho’ike at Atherton Theatre at Delta College in Stockton, Calif., on April 29. PHOTO BY GARY REYES

This event celebrates the history of Polynesia with the spirit of aloha though dancing, music and storytelling.

“Our show makes an impact on API (Asian Pacific Islander) students by providing entertainment, education, and a sense of home for many students of the Pacific Islands. Since most of our students are from the mainland – many being native Californians, it gives API students a sense of identity and belonging, knowing that the diverse students in our ‘Halau’ are also a part of the local Delta College and Stockton community,” said George Pedregosa, Director of Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani.

Each round of dancing had different cultural costumes performed by all ages.

Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani is known for having diversity in routines, from the youth performers to the older generation dancers.

“Our dancers are a reflection of the diversity of the campus and local community,” said Pedregosa.
There was a pattern of themes, mainly flowers and cool breezes blowing symbolizing relaxation.

“Things that we all long for especially here on the mainland where people seem to be in a rush to get from here to there,” said host Kristen Barcenas.

Delta College student Tallon Pedregosa has been dancing for 14 years.

Last year Pedregosa became the Ori Tahiti Nui World Cup Champion.

“My parents own the company so most of the time they rely on me to dance, choreograph and provide music. It’s an amazing time when you’re on the stage. It’s like an adrenaline rush but now it’s more natural. ”

The spring Ho’ike brings a cultural awareness to Delta College as it presents its passion for celebrating history though dance and much more.

“‘Holo Mai Pele” and “Kaua I Hamakua I Ke Kai Opae ‘Ula” are both ancient hula chants.

“‘Holo Mai’ … speaks of Pele’s travel from Tahiti to Hawaii bringing along with her a clan of gods. She settles in the eastern most district of the eastern most island (the big island or Hawaii) forever making this her home.”

Kaua I Hamakua… is a Kamehameha chant( written for the great king Kamehameha). It is a procreation chant and is mostly used to end your ancient hula segment.

The other modern Hawaiian songs or “Auana’s” that we performed, usually spoke of a fragrant flower, or a soft gentle breeze … all in reference to a loved one.”

Many families and friends hope for more of these events in the future.

“Delta definitely should do more cultural events. All cultural events benefits everybody,” said Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani program promoter Danny Rabena.

For those interested in learning the Art of Hula and Tahitian Dancing call (209) 981-5060.