Company director John Renken Kahaʻialiʻi Topolinski comes from a lineage of royal dancers. It wasn’t until he finished college and returned to Oʻahu that he started to study hula with Auntie Māʻiki Aiu Lake in 1973, and he continues to teach hula in Waipahu. The Ahia Beckley chant excerpted here speaks of a paddle and a prow; of hala trees moving back and forth, and the undulating lehua blossoms; the persistence of a spear and a stream source. The hula sticks used by these dancers are known as kalaʻau, creating a steady rhythmic beat to accompany the chant and dance. Seen in its Pillow debut, the company shared this program with Halau Hula O Hoakalei and American Indian Dance Theater.