No Ko’u Mama – For My Mama

The last time my parents, ko’u na makua came to a show of mine, was almost ten years ago. I performed a solo show at the Smithsonian for a heritage festival. My husband and my children also came to see the performance. I performed a Hawaiian segment, had a short break for costume changes, and ended with a Tahitian segment.

It’s been some time, and the gigging has been intermittent with life changes. Many of my shows have been private engagements or my mother has not been up to the drive. My stepfather is no longer with us. That show at the Smithsonian was his very last one. It’s very sad. I remember him coming to orchestra concerts, plays, and they even saw me perform in Baltimore when I toured with the Caravan Stage in 2003.

This past summer, I had the privilege of dancing with my daughter. She’s a teenager now and she’s had a lifelong acquaintance with many of my performances. She’s accompanied me, along with my son, her little brother to countless occasions. Some were private bookings and some were open to the public. It was an enchanting time when they kids were young. They got to experience the life of the performer/dance artist from backstage.

It occurred to me, that I may not have another occasion to perform for my mother. Whether that means, I might not have one available or my mother won’t be available, I’m not sure. But as many dancers have said before, “dance like it’s the last time.” With the times being the way they are, I wanted to show my mother my love of the Polynesian arts one more time. This time, it was controlled by me, as we performed from our family deck.

My daughter was recovering from a needed surgery for her wisdom teeth removal. Even so, she was a trooper and we accomplished a full luau ambiance special for mom. My son took on his roll again as the sound man. Mom got to experience everything first hand with very front row seats. Also, my husband has not had the opportunity to see us perform together. It meant so much to me that both my husband and my mother got to experience our dancing together.

From Hawaii to New Zealand to Tahiti, here are some photos from that day.

Hula Kahiko “O Lanakila”
My mom is taught the “Hukilau” with my daughter
The whole family in the picture
Even one of the dogs is part of the show. That’s Tango in the corner! Poor Lani’s teeth hurt from her wisdom teeth removal. What a soldier!

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