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TAI JI MEETS HULA: Tao of Aloha Symposium
February 12, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$4 – $75
Sign Up Now! with Chungliang Al Huang, professional dancer & Mālia Helelā, Kumu Hula
How could these two practices – Tai Ji and Hula – arising out of very different worldviews, be related? Yet are they really so different? Surely these are two of the Earth’s most grounded movement practices. Connection with the world of nature is held in common with both. Chungliang discusses some of the basic principles of Tai Ji as a movement form connected from heaven to the earth, the natural elements. Kumu Hula Mālia Helelā from Still & Moving Center discuss parallels with Hula. Through guided forms of Tai Ji and hula dance, audience members are welcomed into dances of the elements with Master Huang and Kumu Mālia.
Kumu Malia Helela is an authentic Kumu Hula: a recognized hula teacher, officially having graduated after 17 years training from the long and esteemed Hawaiian hula lineage of Pulu’elo Park. Mālia has practiced Tai Chi with Still & Moving teacher Jerry Punzal and discovered many parallels to hula. Conversant in Hawaiian, Kumu Mālia frequently composes her own original oli (sacred chants) and mele (songs) that celebrate Hawai’i’s natural beauty. In keeping with her tradition, she is an observant and reverent student of nature and keeper of the land – the ‘āina – helping with her family to maintain a heiau in Kailua.
Chungliang Al Huang became friends with the famed mythologist Joseph Campbell when the two of them co-taught “Mythbody to Live By” seminars for more than a decade at the renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Throughout many summers of conducting Tai Ji seminars on the Hawaiian Islands, Chungliang began to compare Tai Ji philosophy with the movement motifs of Hula and learned Hula principles from Joseph’s wife Jean Erdman Campbell, a celebrated dancer and choreographer originally from Honolulu. He reciprocated by teaching Jean the Dance of Tai Ji’s Five Moving Forces of Nature when she was 80!
Chungliang’s talent for dance was discovered early in his life in America by Sammy Davis Jr. He gained recognition as a dancer performing with the original Rat Pack, performing with Bruce Lee on TV, and as a featured dancer in the film,Flower Drum Song; His own Al Huang Dance Company was featured in international Dance Festivals at Jacob’s Pillow, American, NYC Central Park, Taiwan and Singapore through the 1960-70s. In the early 80s, Huang co-created a concert series, The Tao of Bach: A Tai Chi Musical Offering with Paul Winter Concert which toured all major cathedrals in America, including St. John the Divine in NYC and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.. Mythologist Joseph Campbell shares, “Chungliang Al Huang’s t’ai chi dancing is ‘mythic images’ incarnate.” Chungliang has forged countless bonds between Tai Ji and performing and dance arts of all kinds.