HA Breath of Life


“HA Breath of Life” is the show you will see if you attend a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  We took my brother and his fiance to the show in January. 

We purchased the most economical tickets for the buffet and show.  The buffet was nothing to write home about.  Perhaps the more expensive buffet is since there are 2 separate dining areas.  But in all fairness we did arrive at the tail end of dinner and they were starting to pack up by the time we got there. 

The seating for the show is stadium style and the arena is pretty large.  Our seats were good and off to the right of the stage.  The chairs do no allow for much elbow room so be prepared for that. 

For those who don’t know the PCC is mostly staffed by students of Brigham and Young University which is a Mormon college.  A lot of the students do a work-study program and are able to assist in offsetting their own tuition.  I think it’s great that the university and the PCC are dedicated to keeping the culture and history alive and they do a great job of that.  I wrote and earlier post on the PCC itself.  My brother did point out that there is an interesting dynamic though.  It seems like a little bit of a conflict of interest for the BYU students to be presenting a show about what amounts to a pagan religion with multiple gods etc.  But if you look at it strictly from a historical preservation standpoint it doesn’t seem to be as much of a conflict. 

The show itself has an easy to follow story line with a lot of good dancing and illustrates its story quite effectively.  I thought that this show was one of the better ones I have seen.  We’ve seen about 4 or 5 different Polynesian dance/luau performances now and this was stood above the rest for a few reasons.  The largest reason, in my book, was the easy to follow story.  Other shows that we have seen start out with a story but that story is lost in the dance and fanfare that is Polynesian culture.  The other shows that we have seen have shown elaborate costumes and headdresses and HA keeps that to a minimum.  I think I got more of a taste of Polynesian culture from HA than from the others as well.  The Polynesian people are very loving and family focused.  They love their children openly and freely and the children do the same with the parents.  In this day in age when families are spread across the country and/or the world it’s a refreshing change.  Because of this strong family bond many people never leave their homes.  It shows a direct correlation between history and the values that have been held dear throughout the generations. 

In addition to showing some wonderful messages of family unity, acceptance and love it also demonstrates the art of Hula and the Haka.  The dancing is skilled, well choreographed and well orchestrated by all.  The dancing centers around the story but does not overpower it as with the other shows we have seen.  In HA the dancing takes a back seat to the storyline.  As with all Hawaiian shows we have seen there is the traditional flaming torches at the end that are twirled and tossed by a skilled master.  This part of the show is traditional because the audience likes it and was no better or worse than any of the others we have seen.  Frankly I am more interested in the story of the show anyway.  The fire twirling is just thrown in at the end after the story has concluded for audience satisfaction. 

So without giving away the storyline I would say that “HA Breath of Life” is definitely worth seeing.  We will probably attend this show again with our kids before we leave the island.

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