Wailana Simcock – Hawai‘i
Brian Alsola “Wailana” Simcock was born in the Philippines to a Pinay mother and a New Zealand father, was raised in O’ahu since age 5, and grew up swimming, surfing, and figure skating. He speaks fluent Tagalog and Hawaiian, and his work addresses issues of indigenous cultural identity, power and the history of colonialism in the Pacific.
As a dancer he has worked with cultural activist and choreographer Pearl Ubungen of Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians (PUDM), Steamroller and Kunstoff companies in San Francisco. He studied with Joe Goode, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Stephen Pelton, Barbara Dilley, and the aerial dance with Terry Sendgraff. After returning to Hawai‘i in 2000, he joined Iona Dance Theater, Tau Dance Theater, Giingko Maraschino, and the aerial dance troupe Samadhi Hawaii. He has also performed with the groundbreaking productions of ‘Ulalena (Maui) and Waikiki Nei (O’ahu).
Designing a unique multidisciplinary degree at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo titled Culture and Performance in Contemporary Hawai’i (2006), Simcock merged Hawaiian language, culture, and ethos with western theater arts. He continued this focus while working with the N2 Dance program (Maika and ‘Ānela Woods) in the Hawaiian immersion school Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u (K-12), and in Ka’umeke Kā’eo (K-9) in Keaukaha, Hawai’i Island where he taught creative movement classes in the Hawaiian language.
Wailana lived at Kalani Oceanside Retreat between 2000 – 2012 where he became Kalani’s Hawai‘i Culture and Performing Arts Director. He is the founding Artistic Director of Kalani Performing Arts Festival, founding Artistic Director with Wai Company, and continues to teach aerial and modern dance in Honolulu. Currently, Wailana is completing an MFA in Dance at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.