The instructors at Hawaii State Ballet aspire to give their students the best possible training in all areas of dance. And they've achieved that goal many times over, thanks to the Junior Company, whose alumni have gone on to dance for the Joffrey Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet West.
The dedicated staff guides students from soft shoes to toe shoes, starting with imaginative classes for 3-year-olds. They also teach adult classes, and branch out from ballet to teach modern dance, Pilates, and advanced Hokey Pokey.
When a canoe enters the lagoon at Polynesian Cultural Center, its passengers transcend time, distance, and the need for a passport. The boat drifts to the shores of different exhibits, each of which represents a unique Polynesian region. At the Samoa section, for instance, visitors learn how to spark a fire and cook native cuisine. Nearby, the sounds of the haka?a lively war dance?ring through the Aotearoa area, while rhythmic drumming permeates the Fiji and Tonga exhibits. Those who stop by the miniature Tahiti can learn a traditional dance, and guests of the Hawaiian village observe skilled artists weaving leis.
For a cultural cap on an exploratory day, patrons can upgrade their general admission ticket and attend the nightly Ali'i Luau. A celebratory feast is laid out, including authentic Hawaiian cuisine and a whole pig roasted in an underground oven. Alternatively, guest can upgrade to even more evening entertainment, Ha: Breath of Life. During this show, more than 100 Polynesian performers dance, play music, and toss fire to tell an epic story. Dinner is not included with Ha: Breath of Life.
• For $28, you get one child's dinner-and-show package (up to a $57 value for ages 4–11; children younger than 4 enter for free). • For $44, you get one adult's dinner-and-show package (up to an $89 value). • For $69, you get one adult's deluxe dinner-and-show package (up to a $139 value).
Diamond Head looming in the distance, the pool deck shimmers resplendently with crimson-fringed dancers, sequined acrobats, and flames erupting from the mouths of fire-breathers. At 6:30 p.m., Polynesian dancers greet arriving audience members—who sit cabaret-style—and whirl to live music under the Waikiki Beach sky. Tableside magicians and balloon artists wow with up-close magic and inflatable, functioning anvils. Glowing amber in the setting sun, Vili the Warrior starts the show at 7 p.m. What follows is half luau, half circus: acrobatic duos twirl on aerial hoops and silks, contortionists twist and torque, and Polynesian and Tahitian dancers execute exotic moves to the beat of the drums. When the Samoan fire-knife dancer extinguishes his last flame, audiences are invited to meet the performers and have photos taken with them.
The Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation, a registered charitable organization, harnesses chuckles and world-class entertainers to benefit its scholarship fund for the Sacred Hearts Academy, the La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls, and Kalani High School Leo Clubs Community Service Programs, as well as other statewide community-service projects.