Not since King Kalākaua visited New Bedford 137 years ago with his royal entourage has the city celebrated Hawaiian culture as it will again at the Whaling Museum, Thursday, July 21. “Aloha! A Day in Hawaii” begins with children’s crafts from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery.
Glee clubs in Hawaii will be featured in a new film, “One Voice: Our Journey Begins With Song,” showing at 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater. “One Voice” tells the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest in Hawaii, a glee club competition, through the eyes of the student song directors as they prepare to compete in a glee club celebration of the revitalization of the Hawaiian language. In the stories and lives of these contemporary high school glee club students, the audience will experience Hawaiian culture as it has survived, flourished and grown through the universal power of music and song.
The ensemble, Napua O Polynesia, will offer a hula workshop at 5:00 p.m. on the museum plaza, which will include an overview of the cultural and historical significance of this dance tradition, including hula classes for all ages. Join in the fun, try on a grass skirt or lei and learn the traditional dance of the islands.
A dance performance at 6:00 p.m. will feature dancers, vocalists, ukuleles and drummers. Napua O Polynesia means “Flowers of Polynesia.” The Rhode Island based dance troupe was founded 20 years ago by artistic director, Carolyn Castro. The troupe performs Kahiko (ancient) and modern hula presented by both associate & advanced dancers.
Throughout the day leis will be awarded to any student who can pronounce the great Hawaiian king’s full name correctly and without stumbling: His Royal Majesty King David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua.
“Aloha!” programs in the Jacobs Family Gallery, Museum Theater and plaza are free. Admission to museum galleries after 5:00 p.m. is “buy one get one free.” The galleries are open until 8:00 p.m. on July 21. “Aloha!” coincides with Joe Jesus’ Fifties Night Downtown, which attracts thousands to the annual car show and concert being held throughout the central business district.
Presented by the museum’s education department, “Aloha!” is funded in part through a grant from the Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), administered by the United States Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement.