Nā Leo Kūpono Productions humbly began with kanaka maoli, Rudy Dolfo. Rudy was born and raised on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. Rudy had been playing music in Waikiki professionally for over 30 years before he made the move to Arizona in 2007. Rudy now leads his very talented musicians in Arizona. He himself plays guitar, bass, ‘ukulele, percussion and keyboards.
His daughter, Nālani Kaho’onei, was also born and raised on O'ahu. She began her Hula training as a child in Kailua, HI with Kumu Hula Alice Puluelo Naipo Park. Nālani, too, performed at professional shows in Waikiki. She moved to Arizona in 2006 and soon began teaching. She has nearly 30 years of Polynesian dance experience. She is the Creative Director of Nā Leo Kūpono Productions and her student group, Hālau Ho'okahi I Ka Hula. Nālani choreographs the lively dances and designs exquisite coordinating costumes. She is an international-award-winning dancer and recently took first place in her division at the 2021 ‘Ori ‘Ori Tātou E Competition. Her full bio can be found here: https://www.hulainarizona.com/bio.html
In addition to Nālani’s award, the group has won many other awards, including:
🥇1st Place 6-12 Tamaroa ‘Ōte’a Solo - Heiva I San Francisco 2021
🥉 3rd Place 10-13 Tamaroa ‘Ōte’a Solo - Hura Tahiti 2021
🥇 1st Place 13-18 Advanced Taure’a ‘Ōte’a Solo - Heiva I San Francisco 2022
🥇1st Place 6-10 Tamaroa ‘Ōte’a Solo - ‘Ori ‘Ori Tātou E 2021
🥇 1st Place 6-12 Advanced Tamaroa ‘Ōte’a Solo - Heiva I San Francisco 2022
🥇 1st Place 19-24 General Tāne ‘Ōte’a Solo - Heiva I San Francisco 2022
🥇 1st Place Group ‘Aparima
Heiva I San Francisco 2022
(Additional Award: 🏆 Editor’s Cinematic Choice)
Nā Leo Kūpono Productions performs at professional events all over the valley, from weddings and birthdays to corporate events and grand openings. Nā Leo Kūpono also performs at various Festivals, especially with Hālau Ho'okahi I Ka Hula. The most popular Festival in the valley is the Arizona Aloha Festival at Tempe Town Lake. The groups have performed at this Festival every year since 2009 and look forward to performing again in the future. Here is the Festival website if you would like more information: http://www.azalohafest.org
Our goal, at Nā Leo Kūpono Productions, is to allow others the opportunity to further appreciate the traditions of our Polynesian ancestors. We aim to perpetuate the Polynesian cultures authentically and professionally. We strive to share our love and Aloha with all.