FolkFire July/August 1996 Issue Articles

  • Cajuns to Invade Hermann
  • 5th Annual Porch Music Fete
  • The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue Program and Origin
  • FolkFire Election Results
  • FolkFire Needs Donor Support
  • FolkFireHome

  • Cajuns to Invade Hermann

    Get ready for the sixth annual “Cajun Concert on the Hill” when Blackie Forestier, who was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 1993, will arrive, along with about 40 members of his fan club. The group will perform the “Cajun Contra Danse”, the Cajun two-step and waltz at Stone Hill Winery in Hermann on July 12 from 6:00-10:00 pm and on July 13 & 14 from 1:00-6:00 pm. Jambalaya, red beans and rice and cold wine will be available at the Pavilion. Tickets will be available at the door for $8. Don’t miss this wonderful dance and music event!

    5th Annual Porch Music Fete

    The Cahokia Old Time Music Festival is taking place at the Courthouse in Cahokia, Illinois, on Sunday, July 28, from Noon to Dusk. This is a wonderful musical rendezvous for acoustic musicians of all types. The focus of the event is traditional music from any time period in America where music was home-made--hence, "The Porch Music Festival." Old-timey country, folk, blues, ragtime and bluegrass musicians come together to jam and perform. A contra dance has been known to break out around 6:00 in the evening, or whenever it gets cool enough to dance.

    The event is sponsored by KDHX and by the Illinois Historic Preservation Society. There is no fee to attend, dance or play, but the organizers ask that you purchase your picnic and snacks at the concession stands on the grounds to help defray their costs.

    To sign up to play, contact Molly McKenzie at the Cahokia Courthouse and Jarrot Mansion State Historic Sites, 107 Elm Street, Cahokia, IL 62206, or call her at 618-332-1782.

    The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue Program and Origin
    by Linda Evans

    The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue is a professional performing dance troupe dedicated to honoring the Polynesian islands through dance and music. The group whose members vary from Hawaiian to Samoan, Spanish, Italian, Philippino, and many other mixtures of origin, as it is in the islands today, have been doing luau shows in the Midwest for over 3 ˝ years. Kona, who is the Master of Ceremonies is 100% Hawaiian and a direct descendant of the last queen of the monarchy of Hawaii, Queen Leiliokaloni. Kona is her great-great-grandson and lends a great deal of authenticity to the group. The backgriound and experience of the rest of the musicians, plus the talent and character of the dancers make the group successful in reaching its goals.

    The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue covers at least four islands of the Polynesian South Pacific during their shows that last a half hour to an hour or more. They present dances and music from Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, New Zealand (Maori) using taped music; guitar, ukelele and drums. Each island or culture requires a specific style of costume, certain motions of the hands and hips and type of musical sound. So far, the other islands which are not included are Fiji, Tonga, and the Marquesas, or Easter Islands. They plan to include some of these dances and music in the future. Men play a big part in these cultures, sometimes dancing like a fierce warrior as in New Zealand, or doing fire and knife dancing or slap dancing as done in Samoa, and other times doing ancient chants from Hawaii or compliment the female dancer as in Tahiti. Sometimes the Revue invites male dancers, Sua and Charles K. from other cities for larger shows. All of the island cultures use feathers, shells, grass, flowers, leaves, seeds or nuts and b right, bold, beautiful printed cloth worn as Pareaus, lava lavas, ias, and decorate their heads with heis, hakus or tall head dresses. In certain dances the artist will use Lapa Lapa sticks (Samoan), Piuli sticks (Hawaii), Uli Uli’s (Hawaii), Lava rocks (Hawaii), Ipus (Hawaii), Poi Balls (New Zealand), Iis (Tahiti) and, of course, the log drum, called Toere or Pahu drum. The Pahu drum is usually tall, covered with animal skin and is used to give the beat of the dance. The drum can be slow as in the ancient chants of Hawaii that incorporate the Ipu Heke and Ipu gourd, or fast as in an otea in Tahiti. The Puniu coconut drums, Illili rattle and Lali drums are also used depending on the choice of tempo or instrument desired. Some of the hip or feet movements used in nearly all dances are called amis, uwehe kaholo, hella, and kalakua after King Kalakua who revived the dances of Hawaii after the missionaries had discouraged their use for many years. Of couorse, it's important to watch the hands too because they tel l the story in all island dances.

    The Hawaiian Polynesian Revue encourages everyone to learn more about Polynesian men, women and children in their Saturday morning classes at Dimensions Dance Studio in Olivette, taught by Marian Harris of Kauai, and has plans to do a weekend seminar in the fall of this year, inviting a master teacher to St. Louis from Tahiti to teach anyone interested in the that style of dance. We are always searching for anyone interested in keeping these cultures active in the Midwest, Polynesian descent or not.

    So in the spirit of “MANA” and love of the islands, we say to you, our hearts and door are open to all.

    For more information, call Linda (“Atea”) Evans, founder of HPR, artistic director and manager at 921-1817.

    FolkFire Election Results

    As a result of the recent FolkFire election, all of our nominees were re-elected. Congratulations to Lynn DeVries, Dan Klarmann, Andrew Limanni, David Pendergrass and Mark Silverstein for remaining members of the Board of Directors for the next year. In addition, the Board would like to welcome its newest Board member, Nancy Simmons and thank her for joining us.

    We are also saddened by the fact that Martha Edwards has decided not to continue as a FolkFire Board member. Martha has contributed not only her time and energy to FolkFire for quite some time now, but has offered her unique style and grace to our group. She will be missed.

    FolkFire Needs Donor Support

    FolkFire, a completely volunteer, not-for-profit organization has been more than usually not-for-profit lately. (The reason we've dropped back to only 16 pages, instead of the usual 24.) This means that we must cut the amount of information we provide to you in order to accommodate the shorter length.

    If you find our publication of use or interest, please show your appreciation with a nominal $5.00 subscription, a $10.00 contribution, a $50.00 patronage, or any other amount. Member groups for whom we publicize are especially invited to help us with contributions or ads. We also eagerly accept volunteer help, especially in marketing and reporting.