“Spirit of Hula” by Leilani Petranek

“Hula is a world we must respectfully enter – where dance, spirit, and nature’s love are united, and where dance is so deeply connected to the daily life,” wrote Elizabeth Zana.

“Hula is the language of the heart. The heartbeat of the people of Hawai‘i,” wrote King David Kalakaua.

“Spirit of Hula: Mana o Hula” (2004) by Leilani Petranek is a small, inspirational book that expresses the spirituality, beauty, and interconnectedness of hula through eloquent words and enchanting art. It celebrates the sacredness of dance and the power of women and creation.

There are captivating paintings, drawings and photography, like the golden spirituality of three hula dancers with bowed heads in artist Warren Rapozo’s “Silent Preparation”; the graceful silhouette of a hula dancer on a sloping rock against an otherworldly moon in photographer Alan Houghton’s “Moon Dancer of Hawaii”; and the focused concentration of a hula dancer in vivid red, adorned with green ferns, against a rocky beach in Esteban’s “Hanakapi‘ai Dancer.”

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