The applause of 1,000 BYU–Hawaii students erupted in the Polynesian Cultural Center as dancers took the stage for the world-renowned “Hā Breath of Life” night show performance.
While students usually only have one opportunity to attend the night show as part of BYUH’s new student orientation event, PCC performers went the extra mile and performed a second night show to safely accommodate all students who wished to attend.
Kavaia Nakauciri, a freshman from Laie majoring in business management, is a performer at the night show. He said it was the student audience that lifted the performers' spirits and helped them perform a second show despite exhaustion.
“The students were applauding and cheering us on during each section, even while dancing, which gave all the performers the energy and strength to continue after using most of our efforts during the first show.
“I truly felt the show we performed for the students was the greatest [we’ve had] in a long while,” he shared.
Johann Kong, a freshman from Tahiti majoring in political science, attended one of the performances as part of freshman orientation. He described the performance in one word: “Amazing.”
Eden Uyehara, a senior from Laie and a performer at the night show, said she was especially aware of how many students in the audience were Pacific Islanders. “I knew I had to give the best of my abilities to represent each of their islands and cultures,” she explained.
The Tahitian performance was especially meaningful to Kong, who said, “This performance made me feel like I was home because of the song ‘Te Here,’ meaning ‘The Love’ in Tahitian. I thought a lot about my family when I heard it because I used to listen to this song back home with my family,” he added.
Uyehara said the true and unseen heroes of the show are the backstage crew members who are in charge of wardrobe, lights, sound and managing the performance. “We only performed. Without each of them, this show would never be ‘Hā Breath of Life.’”