Sia Tonga is a cultural expert from the PCC and explains more about the show.
The 14-person promo team will be performing on Wednesday, May 26 at 12:00 p.m. at the Olympic Legacy Fountain at The Gateway and on Thursday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley.
PCC dancers will be giving students at Hunter High School a treat on Thursday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. by giving them an exclusive performance and teaching some new moves to the football team, known for performing the Haka dance before each game.
In addition, excerpts from the show will be performed at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in its beautiful outdoor amphitheatre, against the backdrop of the mountains. The performance is free of charge and open to all.
“Hā, Breath of Life,” debuted to a standing ovation when premiered at the PCC in Hawaii, and since then has been receiving rave reviews from locals and visitors alike. The show takes audiences on an emotion-filled ride through the sights and sounds of Polynesia by telling the life story of a Polynesian man named Mana. While in Salt Lake City, the PCC dancers will be performing scenes from the show and regaling audiences with live music and an interactive component that gives audience members the chance to learn some of the cultural dance moves.
Hā: Breath of Life, a new 3 million dollar night show at the Polynesian Cultural Center, features more than 100 performers on a new, redesigned stage and incorporates original compositions and authentic costumes and songs. Hā takes you on an awe-inspiring journey of Polynesia and its diverse cultures.
Planning for Hā: Breath of Life began three years ago and highlights six Polynesian cultures – Hawai‘i, Tonga, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Fiji. Each of the cultural directors in the different villages at the Center played a key role in helping to identify the core values that best represent their respective cultures for highlighting in the show. They met with their teams at the grassroots level and developed the key concepts that were then incorporated in the final script and presentation.
Hā: Breath of Life tells every man’s story. From the apprehension of youth, to the stirrings of young love, and even the mourning of death, Hā takes the audience on an emotionally-filled ride through the colorful sights and sounds of Polynesia.
Hā: Breath of Life uses Polynesian style animation in a ground breaking way to reinforce the storyline and transition sections throughout the performance, allowing audience members of any age, nationality and background to follow the story.
Hā is based around the life of Mana and covers universal themes such as birth, transition from boyhood to manhood, young love, marriage, death, importance of family, ancestors and a sense of community that every individual can identify with.
The animation for Hā was created by Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah under the direction of animation professor, Ryan Woodard, who has worked on feature film projects including Space Jam, The Iron Giant, and Spiderman 2 and 3. Woodward is best known among the Polynesian people for his short animated film, The Turtle and the Shark, based on the Samoan legend of a man and a woman who were transformed into a shark and a turtle, to live together forever after they willingly sacrificed their lives.
Producer Dave Warner worked diligently with the entire cast and crew to ensure that all those who see Hā will walk away with an appreciation and understanding of what it feels like to be Polynesian, and yet be able to relate to the themes presented throughout the show.
Excerpts from Hā will be previewed in San Francisco on Monday, May 24th at Yerba Buena Gardens from 12:00-1:00pm and at Pier39 from 5:00-7:00pm.
Excerpts from Hā will be previewed in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 26th at The Gateway from 12:00-1:30pm and on Thursday, May 27th at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center from 7:00-8:30pm.
The Polynesian Cultural Center’s promo team will also be previewing the show to students at Hunter High School in Salt Lake City in an effort to give the spirit of Aloha back to the community.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is located on the scenic North Shore of O‘ahu about an hour’s drive from Waikiki. The Center is open from noon to 9:00 p.m. daily, except Sundays.
The Center has been Hawaii’s number one paid visitor attraction since 1977, according to annual state government surveys. The Center’s authentic Ali’i Luau is the most award-winning luau on the island. The Polynesian Cultural Center employs more than 1,200 people, including about 700 students from 70 countries and nearly every state. The Polynesian Cultural Center features eight Polynesian islands and exhibits in a beautifully landscaped, 42-acre setting representing Fiji, Hawai‘i, Maori New Zealand, the Marquesas, Samoa, Rapa Nui (Easter Island,) Tahiti and Tonga. A manmade freshwater lagoon winds throughout the Center and features a daily Canoe Pageant and canoe rides.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is dedicated to preserving and showcasing South Pacific cultures. As a non-profit cultural theme park, it was developed to provide educational opportunities to students at the adjoining BYU-Hawaii. Since the Center opened 47 years ago, over 33 million people have visited and over 17,000 students have financed their educations through their work at the Center.
For more information about the PCC, visit http://www.polynesia.com/