© 2019 by Nawahineokala'i Lanzilotti


Nawahineokalaʻi “Nawa” Lanzilotti is a sound artist and composer/performer based between New Delhi and Honolulu. Nawa’s work explores the possibilities of contemporary decolonial indigenous art with a focus on the body as an archive. Nawa collaborates with indigenous artists throughout India’s northeast and the Pacific. In 2017 she composed a cello & electronics score for the contemporary dance piece Folktale by Manipuri-based Nachom Arts Foundation (NAF); the score drew stylistically from Hawaiian ʻoli (chant) as well as American folk music and contemporary electronics. Folktale toured India in 2017 as winner of the Prakriti Foundation 2016 Contemporary Dance award. As a native Hawaiian Nawa draws from the intimate worldview and vocabulary of her traditional arts practice hula kahiko (under Hālau Hula o Maiki). Her current performance installation explores systems of embodied knowledge in oral traditions through a combination of fixed media (from recordings of movements and vocalisations of her hula kahiko) and live performance. She will present the performance for her MFA in Music/Sound at Bard College in the summer of 2019.


Nawa held a fellowship (2013-2015) with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to study Hindustani classical music on cello in New Delhi and now studies in Mumbai with Hindustani violinist Dr N Rajam. In India Nawa founded PULSE, an international music collective dedicated to experimental collaborations uniting music and movement in underrepresented communities. Nawa co-produced and co-directed “I am +: Dance Theater on HIV in India”; together with global NGO International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and frequent artistic partner Delhi Dance Theater to raise awareness about HIV and vaccine research. It premiered in New Delhi on May 18th, 2018, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, as a result of interviews and workshops with HIV research scientists and HIV+ community members. PULSE plans to continue these workshops that stimulate connection, expression, and hope through simple movement, sound, and storytelling activities.