Denby Fawcett: Where Are the Dancers From the Most Famous Hula Movie?
The most famous hula movie in Hawaii is not a movie at all but a “trailer” featuring torch-bearing hula dancers appearing on the screens in all Consolidated Theatres before every feature-length film.
For the last 22 years, Consolidated has run the “Hawaii” trailer more than a thousand times a day on its 96 screens. The film’s legendary producer Jon de Mello believes it is the longest running movie trailer ever made.
As a member of a halau (dance troupe) myself, I am always moved by the sincerity in the dancers’ faces.
My kumu hula, Keu Ostrem told us the most important feature of a hula dancer is not the hands but the face. Everyone can memorize hand and feet movements but only when a song or chant inhabits a dancer’s very being will it show in her face. The faces of the dancers in the trailer seem captivated in the moment as they move forcefully through the chant.