The venue is right on the waterfront in Lahaina and includes a traditional lei greeting. Here's Ryan modeling his lei.
The tables are in rings around the stage. The closest ring has low tables and you sit on pillows on the ground and the next two rings have traditional tables and chairs. We were in the third ring so I would have liked us to be a little closer, but really, there's not a bad seat in the house.
While it doesn't have the spectacular fire dancers or the dances from other Polynesian cultures (Tahiti, Samoa, etc.), the venue and service are outstanding and the hulas were some of the most beautiful and well performed that I have ever seen.
We learned that the drum was first brought to Hawaii by a prince of Tahiti and was initially considered to be such a sacred item that it was placed in a shrine and could only be approached by a priest.
Here's a short video showing part of that story.
Several of the dances were based on legends surrounding Pele, the volcano goddess of Hawaii. In this video, a dancer representing Pele herself tells part of the story. If you listen closely to the chant, you will hear the name of Pele mentioned.
I was most impressed by a more modern hula dance that was done about lovers on Old Puhio Beach on Oahu - it was truly one of the most spectacular hulas I've ever seen. I was so busy enjoying it that I forgot to hit "play" on the camera to get a recording LOL!
The rest of our evening included wonderful drinks and food including traditiona luau staples such a roast pig (from a traditaion imu or oven pit) and poi (a paste made from the taro root).
That was our evening at the luau!
Stay tuned to see what happened when we took a day cruise to the island of Lana'i!