Do It! Parker Quartet, ‘Kulanihakoi,’ Hard Rock and Tahitian dance

Mar. 9, 2012 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
—Courtesy photo

—Courtesy photo

Quartet up to challenge in isle performance

The Parker Quartet was formed in 2002 by musicians training at the New England Conservatory of Music. Three years later, violinists Daniel Chong and Karen Kim, violist Jessica Bodner and cellist Kee-Hyun Kim were praised by The New York Times for “incisive phrasing” and a sound with “unusual presence, depth and warmth.”

A batch of awards ensued. And with only their second recording, of Gyorgy Ligeti’s string quartets, they won the 2011 Grammy for chamber music.

The group also gained notoriety for its broad repertoire, which ranges from classics to jazz, folk and world music, and for performing in venues like bars and clubs. It even was named the “resident string quartet” at a bar in Brooklyn. The quartet has since moved on to residencies in Minnesota.

Their program here has a momentous concept: Mozart’s last quartet, Debussy’s only quartet and a quartet by 96-year-old French composer Henri Dutilleux that is his only one so far, though he’s reportedly planning another.

“Each of these pieces explores the textures that a string quartet can create in a unique way,” the group said via email. “There is an amazing clarity and sophisticated simplicity to the Mozart; in the Dutilleux, one is carried into a mystical, abstract and cosmic world; and the Debussy is incredibly dramatic and alluring. The sound world of each of these pieces is very distinct, but they’re tied together by the fact that they all extract an incredibly luminous sound from the string quartet.”

Where: Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania St.
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Cost: $45
Info: 532-8768 or visit

—Courtesy photo

—Courtesy photo

Drama communicates importance of water through hula and chant

“Kulanihakoi — Living Waters” is a drama drawn from Hawaiian myths to portray the many facets of water and its relationship to the ocean, land and sky.

Sustainability is a traditional concept in Hawaiian culture, so hula was a natural medium to communicate the importance of water.

The hula and chant were composed by Na Kinimakalehua, made up of kumu hula Hokulani Holt Padilla, Kealii Reichel and Pali Ahue, along with kumu hula Ulalia Woodside, Kauhilonohonua Padilla and Robert Keano Kaupu IV.

More than 20 dancers and musicians perform hula and oli. The production also includes spectacular lighting effects to mimic objects in nature, including a waterfall.

“It traces the journey of two semidivine beings (fraternal twins Manawainui and Hauola) as they travel throughout the island of Maui back in old times where they learn the use of water and their powers,” said Joe Patti of Leeward Community College Theatre. “They bring too much rain to one place, and it causes devastation or it robs moisture from another side of the island.”

“Kulanihakoi” premiered at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in October and will tour nationally. Plans are under way for it to tour internationally, as well.

Before the performance there will be a sustainability fair at LCC, featuring Hawaiian food, musical entertainment, painting and information about Hawaiian culture and sustainable water use.

Where: Leeward Community College Theatre, 96-045 Ala Ike St., Pearl City
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $23-$30, $18-$25 in advance
Info: LCC Box Office, 455-0385; 944-2697 or

—Courtesy photo

—Courtesy photo

Rock bands battle hard at Hard Rock Cafe finals

It’s getting down to hard knocks in Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu’s battle of bands, which holds its finals Saturday night. Three local bands will face off in a contest that could ultimately land the winner on stage opening for Bruce Springsteen.

The three finalists — Paradise X, 82Fifty and Sing the Body (pictured)— are all rock bands, but in different variations of dynamics and style. “It’s all rock but it’s nothing too heavy,” said Jill Gilboy, sales manager for Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu.

The contest started with nine bands competing in groups of three, with local experts picking finalists. The winner chosen Saturday will represent Hawaii against 86 other bands selected at Hard Rock Cafes around the world. Fans can advance their favorites to the top 10 by voting on Facebook.

Gilboy acknowledges that Hawaii’s relatively small population puts it at a competitive disadvantage, so it’s going to be up to fans to help the winner advance.

“We’re hoping that one of our bands will make it to the top 10, which they have done in the past two years,” Gilboy said, referring to the Deadbeats and Friends of Adam.

Local winners receive $500 and get a lot of exposure on social media, she said. Fans of a group also will get a prize, since each supporter on Facebook gets a free MP3 download from the band.

The final 10 will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges and music industry professionals, with the top winner performing at the 2012 Hard Rock Calling music festival at Hyde Park in London in July, headlined by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Where: Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu, 280 Beachwalk Ave.
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free
Info: 955-7383 or

—Courtesy photo

—Courtesy photo

Heiva I Honolulu brings best Tahitian dancers

Celebrate a decade of Tahitian dance in Hawaii with Heiva I Honolulu.

The islands’ best solo dancers and junior and senior groups will compete in energized performances of the hip-shaking otea, the slower ahupurota, and aparima, akin to the Hawaiian modern hula of auana.

Cultural organization Tahiti Nui International is presenting Heiva I Honolulu.

“Tahitian dance, much like hula, has a lot of other facets to it, and what we’re trying to do is broaden how the dance is interpreted,” said Tahiti Nui’s Mana Mo’o. “For instance, one of the three new categories we’re introducing this year is Original Aparima, where we’re asking our five competing senior groups to write their own songs, to take the Tahitian language and apply and choreograph a new song. In getting them more involved in the culture, we hope it’ll create a whole new genre of Tahitian dance.”

Two other new categories, Ute and Best Couple, highlight choral singing of a more humorous type and male-female duo dances within a group performance. Top solo dancers will also vie for Overall Tane and Overall Vahine titles.

“We have incredible talent here in Hawaii,” Mo’o said. “This year all the big Tahitian senior groups will compete, all of them professional performers.”

Mrs. Hawaii 2011 Lara Leiman Fonoimoana — herself a previous contestant — will emcee, and vendors presenting Polynesian arts and crafts, and foods of French Polynesia will be on hand.

Where: Waikiki Shell
When: 10 a.m. Thursday to March 17
Cost: $10-$15 ($5 discount for groups of five or more), children 3 and under free
Info: 732-7342 or

—Gary Chun

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