Live, Breathe, Hula offers a glimpse into the artistry of Mark Keali‘i Ho‘omalu, a well-known kumu hula (hula instructor) who moved from Hawai‘i to the San Francisco Bay Area over 30 years ago. In 2003, he established a hula school in Oakland, California called the Academy of Hawaiian Arts.
Ho‘omalu is infamous for his distinct chanting voice and the unique musicality of his hula, expressions of his desire to transcend tradition. This 25-minute film captures Ho‘omalu’s non-stop drive to perpetuate the art of Hawaiian music and dance, even when thousands of miles from his homeland. It follows Ho‘omalu from his Oakland hula school back to O’ahu, where he preps over 400 local dancers for a performance at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl halftime show in December 2013.
Live, Breathe, Hula documents an artist’s obsession with his craft, and explores the concepts of tradition and innovation within the hula diaspora, in Hawai‘i and beyond.