Grantee: Robert Cazimero
Kumu hula Robert Cazimero (Native Hawaiian) will choreograph a performance based on the epic tale of the goddess Pele with the support of a Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship from NACF.
Robert Cazimero is the kumu hula of Hālau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, who has taught next generations of male dancers for over 40 years. Cazimero has dedicated his celebrated career to the revitalization and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian music and dance.
He began his career in music and was recognized by 25 Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards, a Grammy nomination and being selected as a USA Ford Fellow for Music in 2008. In the field of dance, Cazimero has placed first 16 times in the international King Kamehameha Hula Competition and has been awarded seven first place awards at the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival. He has performed and choreographed performances that have toured cities across the U.S. and around the globe, and has served as a consultant for documentary films.
In 2011, Cazimero founded the Wahea Foundation to promote the preservation and protection of Native Hawaiian culture as expressed through hula. “Hula is recognized as a dance art form, beyond that it is also integrated into many aspects of our culture from growing and gathering materials for lei and other dance adornments to music, our language and environmental consciousness,” said the artist.
Support from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation will allow Cazimero to choreograph Ka ‘Aha Kilu Le’ale’a I Ka’akopua at the prestigious Festival Na Hiwahiwa o Hawaii 2015 event in Japan from September 19 – 22, 2015.