October 24, 2018

Media contacts:

Kathleen Wong

Tel: 808-532-8748

Taylour Chang
Tel: 808-532-3033


Free screenings are part of special exhibition Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i: The King Kalākaua Era 

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I—ʻIolani Luahine (1915-1978) is considered to be one of the most legendary hula dancers of the 20th century. Her great aunt, Keahi Luahine, was a royal dancer from the 19th-century court of King Kalākaua. In partnership with Hula Preservation Society and in commemoration of the 40th year of Luahine's passing, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents the theatrical world premiere of the newly digitized Hula Hoʻolauleʻa, Traditional Dances of Hawaiʻi (dir. Francis Haar, 1961) featuring rare footage of kumu hula ʻIolani Luahine. 

The museum's program, ‘Iolani Luahine on Film, showcases Hula Hoʻolauleʻa, Traditional Dances of Hawaiʻi on the big screen on Nov. 3 and the theatrical premiere of ‘Iolani Luahine, Hawaiian Dancer (dir. Tip Davis, 1976) on Nov. 4. Both free screenings will take place at 4pm. RSVP required.

Five years ago, the museum partnered with Hula Preservation Society to start the digitization project of Hula Hoʻolauleʻa with the goal of honoring Luahine's legacy as the foremost practitioner of kahiko hula. Then, and now, she represents a link to the history and traditions of Hawaiʻi and the foundations of hula as she embodies a powerful, natural ability to tell stories through movement on every level. 

"ʻIolani Luahine's dedication to hula as an art form and cultural practice is to be revered, and the respect she garnered for her unique abilities and role in the preservation of ancient hula are inimitable," says Maile Loo, director of the Hula Preservation Society. "Hula Hoʻolauleʻa, Traditional Dances of Hawaiʻi represents an irreplaceable cultural documentation from the 20th century. It was important to utilize digital technologies to preserve the film, so future generations would know ʻIolani Luahine as a formidable Hawaiian woman and remarkable exponent of ancient hula."

The program is part of Ho‘oulu Hawai‘i: The King Kalākaua Era, which explores the creation and dissemination of a national identity through art, music, design, and ideas that commenced under King Kalākaua’s leadership . 

Hula Hoʻolauleʻa, Traditional Dances of Hawaiʻi
Saturday, November 3 at 4pm
Directed by Francis Haar. 1961. 21:52 
Don't miss the world premiere of the newly digitized Hula Hoʻolauleʻa, Traditional Dances of Hawaiʻi featuring rare footage of kumu hula ʻIolani Luahine. Join us for a talk-story session after the screening. Free admission.

ʻIolani Luahine, Hawaiian Dancer
Sunday, November 4 at 4pm 
Directed by Tip Davis. 1976. 27:50 
Experience the theatrical premiere of ʻIolani Luahine, Hawaiian Dancer followed by a talk-story session. Free admission. 


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Doris Duke Theatre information: The Doris Duke Theatre opens its doors on Kina‘u Street one half-hour before each film screening and concert.

Concession stand: In the lobby, visitors can purchase a variety of classic and local snacks along with hot and cold beverages.

About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art. Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai‘i. 


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


Honolulu Museum of Art: Tues–Sun 10 am–4:30pm; closed Monday.

Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: Tues–Sun 10am–4pm; closed Monday.

Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):

$20 general admission; $10 Hawai‘i residents and active duty military living in Hawai‘i; children 18 and under are free.

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