Kalikopuanoheaokalani Aiu
2024 Grant Recipient

ʻili is a multimedia collaborative project integrating several artists/practitioners' modalities of creative and spiritual expression that will result in two live performances. The performance work centers Native Hawaiian and Filipino indigenous methodologies and concepts that will be reflected in the thematic content as well as the process and final forms of the work.

Kalikopuanoheaokalani Aiu is a māhū/bakla dancer, choreographer, writer, multi-media artist, and community organizer raised on Turtle Island and currently residing near Pūowaina, Oʻahu. Aiu graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor in English, completing an honors thesis on dance performance & practice as research. Shortly after graduating, they co-founded and previously led Ka Hui Hoʻokino Hālāwai (KHHH), a māhū-centered arts and events hui. Currently, they are surfacing a movement(s)-based, MVPFAFF and third-gender hui, Nā Maka ʻEkolu (NM3), dedicated to healers and storyweavers on the lifelong community journey to protect and restore stolen land and waters.

A poet through dance and multi-media, Aiu’s work engages concepts of desire, gender, ancestral memory, community care, ability, ʻāina-based practices and land protection, kaona, embodiment, wai, spirituality, and navigating sensation as valuable information. His creative and healing practices have returned him to physical land protection and intentional art-making for and about land and its dialogue with the body.

In recent years, Aiu danced in ʻāina-based short films, and participated in community-building for LGBTQIA, MVPFAFF, and queer folks in Hawaiʻi with the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation’s Māhūi. Additionally, he continues to co-host Māhū Mix social dance events and co-lead ceremonies and workshops for māhū in Hawaiʻi.