Many people who visit Kauai feel themselves being tugged by the questioning tide of cultural immersion. There is something to be said for letting yourself be fully engaged in experiences that are at the very heartbeat of the region. Aulii Luau offers attendees an unaffected, oceanfront luau experience, sure to be intimate, breathtaking, and authentic.
Where does Aulii Luau come From
Aulii Luau was founded by Mi Nei Oliver-Matins. In order to maintain the inherent importance of family performance in traditional Hawaiian culture, Mi Nei’s family makes up the soul of Urahutia Productions (the company behind any luau demonstration). The collective of the company includes her husband, parents, children, siblings, nephews, and nieces. A true family initiative. They make it their aspiration to bring guests into the multi-generational stories and histories that make up their ohana (family) and culture.
Guests can expect an authentic performance true to the raw value of Polynesian dance. Kauai isn’t nicknamed Hawaii’s “island of discovery” for nothing. Aulii Luau seeks to bring everyone into the fold of meanings innate in traditional dance, music, food, and costume.
The course of the performance has the following progression:
- It starts with the journey of the Ma’ohi people. The dance chronicles the migration of the Ma’ohi into the region viewers now find themselves watching the display, Kauai.
- The dancers then take their performance into the realm of mythology where the story of Pele (Goddess of fire) and Lohiau (prince of Kauai) is presented in the intricate style of an ‘oli chant.
- As an ode to the scene that surrounds guests, dancers then perform the Halele’a.
- Viewers are then carried back to the present when hula dancers take the stage to perform what many people will recognize as a modern display of hula dancing.
- The next dance is called the Ka Pali ‘Oahi O Makana, where guests are presented with a fire display meant to symbolize the sacred ‘oahi ceremony once performed on the Makana mountain.
- The ‘Aotearoa is a dance that many guests will feel in their core. The unmistakable sound of a whirling poi ball set ablaze mixed with the penetrating mantra of the Haka will leave the audience with little wonder as to why this dance was once used to intimidate enemies.
- Without diminishing the energy built by the previous 6 performances, dancers next perform a dance traditional to Samoa. Guests will see why Samoa was rightly coined “The Heart of Polynesia.”
- The sobering intensity of the next dance is a beautiful contrast the lightheartedness of the previous one. The flaming swords make the Siva Afi easily recognizable amidst the line-up of performances.
- Urahutia finishes off the night in the most appropriate of places, the Kahiki. This dance’s intention is to return people to the birthplace of Polynesian people, Tahiti. The soul of the culture is unfurled with a display of drumming hips and grace which lays bare the pinnacle power inherent in the pride of every Polynesian person.
As a way of complimenting the already wholly satisfying performances, the Aulii Luau also offers a delectable menu for guests to enjoy while watching the dances. From poke to kalua pig to lomi lomi salad, guests are treated to the uniquely rich tastes of island food. No cultural facet is left unexplored.
As a way of preservation and rumination, Aulii Luau steeps the luau with the virtuous core of hula and Polynesian tradition. There is a genuineness that explores stories passed from one generation to the next, with a goal to preserve their true meaning and narrative without the affected displays of modernism.
The luau takes place on Poipu Beach, where guests find themselves in the very setting that likely drew them to the islands in the first place. The expansive ocean views are crested by a setting sun, unobstructed by anything other than a cool breeze sent sailing by the force of the ocean’s waves are entirely unique to Aulii Luau. The setting allows guests to breathe in the essence of Hawaii while watching Urahutia make a visual reality of Polynesian tradition.
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