5 reasons PCC’s Ha: Breath of Life is worth seeing

Posted: December 8, 2009 by Nathan Kam in Family & Friends, Hawaiian Islands, Oahu, On The Job, Random Raves & Rants
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The Kam family had the pleasure of seeing the Polynesian Cultural Center’s new show “Ha: Breath of Life” a few weeks ago as a guest of the center and really enjoyed it. It’s a colorful production the entire family can enjoy with a touching storyline and action packed performances from start to end with exciting dancing, great music, and beautiful costumes.

PCC is a client of the firm I work at and it’s been hosting agency staff and special guests from around town to experience the night show and spread the word. As a kamaaina (Hawaii resident), I’ll confess that going to a luau and a Polynesian show isn’t the first thing on our weekend “to do” list. I’d be willing to bet that’s probably the case with many locals. However, as a public relations executive in the tourism industry, it’s important for me to play “tourist” and experience as much of what these islands have to offer.

So we made the 30+ mile journey from Central Oahu to Laie with the thought in the back of my mind that “this better be worth it.” And I’m glad we did because it certainly was.

Here’s my 5 reasons I feel it’s worth heading north to see this beautiful production called Ha: Breath of Life:

#1: GOOD USE OF TECHNOLOGY – The feature animation projected onto different parts of the theater to transition each section of the show was a nice touch. It modernized the show without taking away from its authenticity and provided a visual narration of the story that was taking place on stage. It was a good way to move from the exciting dances, back to the storyline, then back to the dancing.

#2: BEAUTIFUL COSTUMES AND DANCING – One of the most impressive things about the show is the detailed costuming representing each Polynesian culture. Talk about colorful and attention getting. Combined with the traditional dances makes for an incredible visual presence on stage. Aside from looking down at my iPhone to tweet every now and then about what we were seeing, my eyes were glued to the stage the entire time.

#3: THE STORYLINE IS NOT CHEESY! – Whenever I attend a show like this, I’m always weary of cheesy storylines that make you want to gag. Thankfully, Ha: Breath of Life came nowhere near cheesy on my radar. In fact the story of Mana is an engaging one that really keeps the show interesting, through emotional highs and lows, as he goes from being a boy to becoming a man. But the way the Polynesian Cultural Center website describes it is much better:

This is every man’s story, told through the life of a Polynesian man named Mana. Journey along with young Mana as he is born out of the turmoil of a capsized canoe, washed upon the shores of life to find his way. He and his parents find refuge in Tonga and learn the importance of community. Little Mana celebrates his early years of life in Hawaii with the customary birthday luau marking his survival in the world. We next see Mana as a young boy in Aotearoa, or Maori New Zealand, where he is growing and becoming a young man. As he comes upon a beautiful maiden named Lani in Samoa, he learns about falling in love and earning the acceptance of her family. With love comes marriage and soon Mana and Lani are taking their vows in the romantic setting of Tahiti. War touches their lives in Fiji and Mana is saddened by the death of his father. The story begins again with the celebration of life as Mana and Lani welcome their new baby into the world.

#4: THE FIRE DANCE – I’ve never seen anything like it before. A bunch of dudes wearing ti leaf skirts and dancing over a pit of hot fire. And not just dancing over it, but actually sitting on it as well. This fire dance was one of my favorite parts of the night. Not only was it memorable, but it had me scratching my head as a man thinking “that must be harsh on the…errrr…private parts.” I’m still not quite sure how they did it, but it certainly was awesome! Kids…and adults…do not try this at home.

#5: THE SHOW IS A GREAT VALUE! – To see the show only is just $45 for adults and $35 for children making this arguably the one of the best deals on the island for Polynesian entertainment. And 90 minutes of it for that matter. And kamaaina (Hawaii residents) have an even better deal to see the show for just $25 (plus buffet dinner) for a limited time to get out there and go see it. Of course, if you’re going to make the trip to PCC you’ll want to make time to explore the rest of the park too and possibly grab a bite before the show, so check out all of the Center’s different packages to make the most of your day.

Overall, this is definitely a show even locals will enjoy! If you happen to get out there to see it, I’d be interested to hear what you thought about the experience. Aloha!

-NGK

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Comments
  1. benny says:

    I had just finished watching this show and i can remember watching it and almost bringing a tear to my eye just cause it made me so proud of being a polynesian watching it. The show is so inspirational and so worth it

  2. Great review! Was back home on Oahu for my daughters wedding in 2008. The other golfing couple that traveled with us had never been to Hawaii so we took them to experience PCC. They enjoyed every minute of it as did my husband and I. After reading your review, I hope to see this show when I return later this year again! Mahalo!

  3. Susan says:

    My fiance’s family lives on Oahu in Kapolei. His future brother in law is one of the fire knife dancers at Germaine. Have you ever been there?

    I love Hawaii and can not wait to go back next year for my fiance’s sister’s wedding! I might have to check it out next time we are there!

  4. Damon says:

    I think PCC is one of the biggest treasures that Oahu has and the direct benefit much of the funds go to by supporting the education of students of Pacific Island Nations make it that much better.

    I wish Big Island had something similar.

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