This Year of the Horse, 2014, is a remarkable year for anniversaries of all sorts. Besides being the 50th Anniversary of the University of Hawai‘i Community College system, it is the 40th year anniversary of the birth of modern dance in the state of Hawai‘i. Forty years ago, in 1974, there was a burgeoning of the arts on the Big Island, which coincided with the beginning of the Volcano Arts Center and the creative inspiration that the Volcano environment provided for artists. Bringing this closer to our campus community, it is also the 40th anniversary of the birth of the Dance Program at UH Hilo and the 22nd anniversary of its offspring — the Dance Program at Hawai‘i Community College.
In honor of these milestones, a special photo exhibit entitled: “Dance 40/22: Dancing at the Source, Dancing on the Edge” will be on display at the UHH Campus Center Gallery from September 15 – October 10, 2014, capturing some of the iconic images from those early dance days.
The exhibit is a tribute to the founder of modern dance in the state of Hawai`i as well as founder of the Dance Program at UH-Hilo, Earnest T. Morgan (1947-1992). He and Trina Nahm-Mijo, founder of the Dance Program at Hawai‘i Community College, started the first modern dance company in the state of Hawai’i called “Dance o Hawai‘i” as well as coordinated summer dance retreats in the creative environment of Volcano for many years.
In celebrating the longevity of these dance programs, we celebrate the importance of the art form as it connects humans to their source, their environment, and the spirit of innovation which is the driving force of contemporary dance; “Dancing at the Source, Dancing on the Edge.” In these days of shrinking funding for the arts and a public stampede towards technology, it is important to remember the beauty and the power expressed though the human body as a part of Nature.