‘Poli‘ahu’ A Mix Of Cultures, Dance
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The latest production from Tau Dance Theater, Poli’ahu - Goddess of Mauna Kea, plays at 8 p.m. Friday on Leeward Community College Theatre’s stage.
Artistic director Peter Rockford Espiritu spent years researching the obscure legends of Hawaii’s snow goddess before bringing them together for a stage performance.
Poli’ahu depicts tales of the title goddess engaging in competitions with fiery Madame Pele. The story also follows Poli’ahu’s love life and encounters with epic characters as she and her three sisters journey to their home at Mauna A Wakea.
Tau Dance Theater is known for its “integration of disparate cultural elements,” interweaving traditional Hawaiian song, dance and chant traditions with contemporary forms like modern dance and ballet. Inspired by a flight over the Anaktuvuk Pass in Alaskan Eskimo territory, Espiritu also is presenting an assortment of indigenous artists in the show, including those from Yupik Eskimo, Siberian and Mongolian tribes.
Poli’ahu features the talents of about 30 performers and staff, including a Hawaiian translation by Puakea Nogelmier.
The show also displays some local Westside talent. In addition to Espiritu, who hails from Aiea, sound-scape designer John Signor is from Waipahu, and Misa Tupou, who plays Nananu’u, the husband of one of Polia’ahu’s sisters, is from Aiea.
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