Michael Pili Pang and Halau Hula Ka Noe‘au
The Halau: We at Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau have built our reputation on the philosophy and creed that the “Art of Hula” expresses all we see, hear, smell taste, touch and feel. We are guided by the belief the best foundation in creating something new is a thorough understanding of the past. The best environment in which to succeed is one which encourages discipline, commitment and creativity.
The world is changing all around us. To continue to thrive as a business and cultural organization, we must look ahead, understand the trends and forces shaping our organization in the future and move swiftly to prepare for what’s to come. We must get ready for tomorrow today. That’s what MU‘OLAULANI is all about. It creates a long-term destination for our cultural activities and provides us with a “garden” in which to live work and play.
Our vision serves as the framework for our roadmap and guides every aspect of our business by describing what we need to accomplish in order to continue achieving sustainable, quality growth: create a great place where people are inspired to be the best they can be; bring to the world a portfolio of quality hula performances that both satisfy people’s desires and needs and enhance their understanding of hula; nurture a winning network of cultural practitioners, artisans, and local businesses to mutually create enduring value; be a responsible organization which makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities; maximize long-term return to stakeholders while being mindful of our immediate, as well as overall responsibilities; and be a highly effective, lean, and fast moving organization.
Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang founded Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau in 1986. Today, there are two schools: one in Waimea and one in Honolulu; with graduate kumu hula from the hālau teaching classes in Waimea, Honoka‘a, Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa, and at Chicago, Illinois.
The goals of Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau have been to promote and sustain the inherent cultural and artistic values of Hawaiian dance. To further this goal a performing company was formed and concerts, workshops and lectures on hula were created. Since 1994, they have performed throughout North America, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
Born in Honolulu, Michael Pili Pang began dancing hula as a youngster, later studying under Maiki Aiu Lake and Mae Kamamalu Klein. He opened Hālau Hula Ka Noʻeau in 1986 on the Big Island, adding a second hālau in Honolulu in 2002.
Shortly before graduating as the first person to earn an MFA in dance for work in hula, Pang was invited to become a senior staff member in Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s administration. As executive director in the Office of Culture and the Arts, he has created granting programs, built the arts administration (a staff of five, all practicing artists), fostered partnerships and collaborated on cultural and capacity-building programs.
“Dance of deceptive simplicity and song and drumming of formidable complexity… a flow of increasing rhythmic detail and staccato push.”
–Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
“The company members’ love for the art form and their warmth permeated throughout the performance so genuinely.”
–St. Cloud State University arts advisor Toshiko Schwerdtfeger
“Pang approaches Hawaiian dance as an artistic, creative and educational endeavor, not simply as entertainment … The members of the ensemble take their work very seriously, and their public performances are varied, polished and exciting.”
–William Feltz, coordinator of the East-West Center’s Arts Program