Kumu Andrea Luchese

Andrea Luchese, MA

Kumu Andrea

Kumu Andrea studied under Kumu Hula Raylene Ha’alele’a Kawaiae`a from 2003 until her passing in 2012. She worked closely with Kumu Raylene on her journey of becoming a kumu hula and still considers Kumu Raylene to be her primary guiding presence and support. Kumu Raylene's generosity of spirit in sharing her cultural traditions, knowledge, wisdom and boundless aloha provided the foundation of support that allowed Andrea to mature on her path and grow the halau Ka Pi'o O Ke Ānuenue, which she founded in 2007. After Kumu Raylene's passing, Andrea was given 'uniki rites by Kumu Sybil Ku'uipo Pruett. She continued her studies with Kumu Keala Ching to deepen her knowledge and skills, and was given her traditional 'uniki ceremony and graduation under Kumu Keala's tutelage in 2013 and again in 2014. This in-depth training helped to expand her understanding of traditional hula protocol, gave her a stronger foundation in 'Olelo Hawai'i, and supported her in beginning to compose original mele for hula kahiko. Andrea's love of hula and Hawaiian culture is her life's passion and continues to inform and inspire her spiritual journey.

Other hula teachers with whom Andrea has studied include Malia Nelson and Barbara Chung.  From 2006—2009, Andrea was a member of the professional hula troupe Hula O Kahawai, dancing at public and private events throughout the northwest, including Midsummer’s Dream Festival, the North Coast Seafood Festival, Ashland 4th of July Parade, Kalama Days of Discovery, Ashland’s Independent Film Festival, and Celebration of the Human Spirit, among others.

Cultural and classical dance have been a significant part of Andrea’s development as a dancer.  She received her Bharata Natyam (Indian classical dance) training under the tutelage of world-renowned exponents V.P. and Shanta Dhananjayan of Bharata Kalanjali in Madras, India, as well as with Katherine Kunhiraman of Kalanjali Dances of India.  She has performed Bharata Natyam  in the U.S. and abroad, and has danced as a guest artist with musicians Dave Stringer, Rasa (Kim Waters and Hans Christian), Thomas Barquee, Snatam Kaur Khalsa, Peter van Gelder and Uttam Chakra, as well as for Mata Amritananda Mayi at the MA Center in California and Amritapuri in Kerala, India.

Andrea began teaching dance in 1991, as a teacher of other styles besides hula, including Indian Classical, movement meditation, creative movement and modern dance.  In the early stages of the halau's development, she continued to direct Ananda Natya School of Indian Dance and Dance Company, which she founded in 2003.  The school offered classes in Indian dance for young dancers and adults until its final student recital in May 2010. She has also taught as an Adjunct Faculty at Southern Oregon University, has been a performing artist for the Southern Oregon Education Service District School Artist Program and has provided residency programs at local schools.  As a choreographer, Andrea has composed numerous works in both hula and Bharata Natyam.

Andrea’s diverse dance training also includes classical ballet, modern dance, improvisational movement, and therapeutic dance modalities.  Originally trained at the Miami Conservatory, she was a member of the Miami Ballet Company from 1982 to 1985 and later a dancer in the Suzee Grilley Dance Ensemble from 2000—2003.  She holds a Masters degree in Integral Dance with an emphasis in Dance and Spirituality from Prescott College in Arizona and has published articles in numerous periodicals. 

View Andrea's Curriculum Vitae.