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May 19, 2022 @ 8:00 pm $20

New sounds in Hawaiian music
Waipuna image by Kai Markell

Polynesian Dancers of Michigan

Watch the Livestream on The Ark’s Facebook Live page

Please Note: Proof of Vaccination is required for admission. By purchasing a ticket you agree that you and your guests will comply with all laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and health and safety guidance adopted by the State of Michigan, the County of Washtenaw and The Ark, including any guidelines in place at the time of the show. Attendees who do not comply will be asked to leave. Policies will be updated as circumstances and requirements change in our community. Please review The Ark’s current COVID-related information before attending a show.


The Hawaiian word “waipuna” translates as “spring water,” an essential resource for supporting life, the very definition of wealth. Just like the refreshing spring water that continually bubbles forth from the ground, the Hawaiian music group Waipuna, which burst upon the music scene in 2008, has sustained a steady pulse of creative energy. With dramatic musical arrangements and progressive instrumentation, Waipunaʻs one-of-a-kind sound combines the traditional teachings of their mentors and expands the boundaries and expectations of todayʻs Hawaiian music.   The group consists of founding members Kale Hannahs and Matt Sproat, as well as David Kamakahi, who joined the group in 2011. The eclectic collaboration of these three uniquely talented individuals allows the group to successfully cross over between (as well as combine) various genres of music with ease. Waipunaʻs music has been widely appreciated and enjoyed not only by the people of Hawaiʻi, but also a wide spectrum of audiences around the world.  They have provided inspirational accompaniment for hula dancers, touched hearts through their poetry and earned seven Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards (Hawaiʻiʻs version of the Grammy Awards) for their first four albums. “A kahe mau ka wai ola o ke ao nei…” – And thus, the living water flows on.

Joining Waipuna are Hoaloha Polynesian Dance Group headed by Melanee Hirvela and Halau Ku’ukamali’i Kuikanani headed by Pamela Gibson.

Hoaloha Polynesian Dance Group is a Michigan based group which started over 15 years ago with hula sisters sharing a passion for Hawaiian dance and seeking to learn traditional dances of Hawaii and the other Pacific Islands. The group has grown since then with students from 6 years old to adult. Today they perform beautiful dances of the Polynesian Islands with the focus on Hawaiian hula. Melanee Hirvela is the dance instructor and artistic director of the group. She currently trains as a ho’opa’a (chanter) with Dr. Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman at Great Lakes Hula Academy. Dr. Amy Stillman teaches courses on American Studies, ethnomusicology, and hula at the University of Michigan. Melanee’s haumana (students) also receive guidance on hula from Dr. Amy Stillman as of spring 2019.  The group‘s goal is to share aloha by performing in communities across Michigan. Hoaloha dancers energize events in Michigan by sharing stories of the people of the Polynesian Islands through music and dance. They hope that their audience will have a better understanding and greater appreciation of the beauty of the Polynesian culture.

Halau Ku’ukamali’i Kuikanani is a Polynesian performing arts group and dance school based in Novi, Michigan.  They are under the direction of Kumu Hula Kau’i Dalire from Kaneohe, Hawaii, who won the prestigious title of Miss Aloha Hula in 1992 at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival.  Their performance group, known as the Polynesian Dancers of Michigan, travels throughout the Midwest performing at a wide variety of events.  Together in partnership with the newly founded 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Polynesian Arts Advocacy Council of Michigan, their mission is to perpetuate and preserve the cultures of Polynesia through education, outreach, and performance.  Find out more about them at and


May 19 2022
Doors Open:
7:30 PM
Show Starts:
8:00 pm
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The Ark
316 S. Main
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 United States
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(734) 761-1818
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