(redirected from Hula Dance)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


traditional Hawaiian dance usually performed standing with symbolically descriptive arm and hand movements and gracefully sensual undulations of the hips; it is also done in a sitting position. Hawaiian myth ascribes hula's invention to Hi'iaka, sister of the volcano goddess Pele, and its safekeeping to the goddess Laka. Originally part of religious ceremonies, it was danced by groups of specially trained women who illustrated the various accompanying texts (mele), which were chanted by men. Instruments were limited to percussion–sharkskin drums, gourds, stone castanets, and bamboo rattles. Missionaries, who arrived in Hawaii in 1820, labeled the dance heathen and succeeded in having it banned. Nonetheless, it continued to be clandestinely taught and danced. Hula was again encouraged during the reign (1874–91) of David Kalakaua, Hawaii's last king; in this period it was expanded in text, song, movement, and costume. Although it was again subject to official disapproval after American annexation (1898), the hula was revived in a commercialized form in the 20th cent. Chant accompaniment yielded to music, drums and gourds to ukelele and guitar. The sensual swivel of the hips was accentuated, and the dance became a tourist staple and a feature of Hollywood productions. In the 1970s, however, a Hawaiian cultural renaissance revived interest in traditional hula.


See D. B. Barrèere et al., Hula: Historical Perspectives (1980, repr. 1997), R. Laes and R. Goldsmith, The Art of Hula (1996), N. B. Emerson, Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula (1999), and A. Seiden, The Art of Hula (1999); documentary films, dir. by R. Mugge, Hawaiian Rainbow (1987) and Kumu Hula: Keepers of a Culture (1989).


, hula-hula
a Hawaiian dance performed by a woman
References in periodicals archive ?
Clad in dresses dotted with yellow flowers, the 15-member team cheered Obama for the presidential race with a hula dance in a departing ceremony in front of the Obama City Hall in Fukui Prefecture as about 100 citizens applauded.
Grandads getting up on ladders to hang icicle lights from their guttering, shops full of snowmen playing the saxophone - there are even artificial Christmas trees doing hula hula dances.
Carla Glembe's The Story Of Hula is a picturebook with a narrative audio CD all about the meaning and expression of the Hawaiian hula dance.
At Northallerton's Hambleton Leisure Centre there is an arts and sports themed Winter Olympics, hula dance and Mayhem Madness.
Featuring more nuances than a hula dance, Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave has the intrepid heroine jetting over to Hawaii as a research assistant for Dr.
She used to hula dance with other women, even visiting the rehabilitation center where she now lives.
Mueller's interest in Hawaiian music has led to an interest in hula dance and other aspects of Hawaiian culture.
Theelman displayed no signs of her illness, keeping perfect time with her fellow dancers and then changing into a Hawaiian-print dress to present the graceful hula dance, ``Lovely Hula Hands.
Visitors can learn the hula dance, how to play the ukulele or how to make a lei.
It's not just a hoochie-koo thing with coconut shells and grass skirts," Matoba said, describing the traditional Hawaiian hula dance.
And for entertainment, one of their contemporaries, Dorothy Dirr, did a modified hula dance.
She's bonded with many new friends at her daily Aloha Keiki Camp at Paradise Cove in Malibu, where she's also learned body surfing, safety skills in ocean waters and hula dances.