Sisters Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele (b Keaukaha, HI, 14 Sept 1937), writer, teacher, and producer, and Nalani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele (b Hawaii, 19 March 1946), choreographer and teacher, are the daughters of Edith Kanaka‘ole, famed chanter and kumu hula (master teacher) of Hilo, Hawaii. After Edith’s death in 1979, they inherited her hula school, Halau o Kekuhi, and became respected elders and teachers in their own right. The sisters continue the legacy of their mother by preserving ancient practices while incorporating innovations into their hula presentations. They codirected and coproduced the hula drama, Holo Mai Pele, the epic tale of the goddess of fire, Pele, and Hi‘iaka, the patron goddess of hula dancers. The production blends traditional hula and oli (chant) with narration and modern stagecraft into a theatrical performance. Pualani and Nalani have created other experimental hula performances that utilize new or non-Hawaiian influences, while maintaining a strong classical hula tradition....
Paula J. Bishop
[Eugene Louis Facciuto]
(b Steubenville, OH, March 20, 1925; d New York, April 7, 2015). American jazz dance innovator and teacher. Coached by his brother, he developed an act with singing, dancing, and acrobatic tricks that made him a frequent winner of talent shows and that led to his first jobs as vaudeville emcee and band singer. After military service in World War II, he went to Hollywood seeking a career in movie musicals, but his plans were disrupted when a car accident left him partially paralyzed. He developed a series of exercises that enabled him to recover from his injuries and to begin studying ballet and tap dance. Despite initial limitations, he had an eight-year career in which he appeared in more than forty musical films, working with many leading choreographers and dancers of the late 1940s and early 1950s. His importance lies not in his performing career, however, but in the exercise routine he created for his rehabilitation, which became the first complete technique for learning jazz dance. In ...