Luau brings a (mostly) satisfying continuation of tradition

The 16th Annual Ho’opa’a Hawai’i Club Luau filled the McNeal Pavilion with enough Hawaiian music and dances on April 21 to make the 400 attendees feel the Aloha Spirit deep down in their pork- and coconut-filled bellies.

The luau’s theme was E Ola Mau Ke Aloha, or for non-island hoppers, “Long Live the Aloha Spirit.” The Southern Oregon University club put on their usual dazzling and (one can only guess) accurate interpretations of Hawaiian dances, whose themes ranged from hula-hipped descriptions of island journeys to dances expressing the generous spirit and traditions of Pacific Islanders.

Despite the usual long line outside, the sunshine put the crowd into the Aloha spirit as they waited to gain entry for dances that were impressive, executed by participants who were engaging.

As long as one did not come for the food (high school cafeterias serve better dishes daily) or the onstage “banter” (the same inappropriate, distasteful script that we’ve heard verbatim for years), the luau can be considered an ongoing success.

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