Kakaako Agora’s June Kaboom went out with a bang during its final weekend.
Friday night was Keia Dance Movement’s Past Boiling Over debut performance, which featured an interactive art project by local street artist Emsy, where audience members were invited to draw patterns that were cut and woven into a larger mandala that incorporated the audiences’ contributions. The afternoon opened with a live MPC/Kaoss Pad performance by Radius Etc. that was so smooth it felt like a DJ set. I had to go over and watch him do his thing because it was hard to believe he was doing it all live.
The night suddenly fell silent for a moment before Aiyez Nama performed a haunting acapella that totally reminded me of Bjork with broad, dynamic fluctuations that crept down to whisper levels. She was joined by free-jamming dancers snapping a rhythmic accompaniment that brought the performance to life. Spatial Sculptors performed an interactive theater game that retold experiences growing up in Hawaii, while the Feel Rite DJs filled in the cracks with disco tracks to keep the energy up. Taimane Gardner gave a riveting ukulele performance, with Jerome James on percussion, that won an encore from the crowd response. And finally Keia went on.
The three-movement piece started off with the dancers forming a volcano underwater, with other dancers playing the roles of earth, smoke, fire and water. As the music built up intensity, the volcano breached the surface and an island was formed. The second movement painted a softened reflection of people in war. It didn’t show any of the graphic realities of explosions, but instead focused on an almost idealized depiction of troop movements on the ground and bombers flying in formation. The last piece was about community building and almost read like an extended family gathering, with weird aunts and uncles arriving and telling stories of their pasts, ending in an awkward family portrait.
Saturday saw one of the most impressive fashion shows that I have been to. CURATE decor + design transformed the entire space into a giant walk-in closet suspended by a webbing that hung garment racks nearly 20 feet from the rafters. It looked like it could have been a permanent storefront and definitely created the mood that something special was happening.
I’ve been to fashion shows that seemed like scenes out of The Fifth Element or a Lady Gaga concert more than anything — not exactly stuff you could actually picture yourself wearing. But even the more experimental and forward looks here, like Reise Kochi’s leather harnesses and headwear, were sharply executed to command attention, yet not overpower a trip to the club, mall or movie date. I don’t know much about how the fashion industry works, but I feel like there was a great mix of boldness and practicality throughout the whole show that could translate into people wanting to wear these looks.
Sunday reeled in the future of Hawaii’s music scene with POW! WOW! School of Music, featuring performances of young scene slayers and songwriters.
All in all, the weekend was a great way to end a month of events with some good old-fashioned song, style and dance.