Saturday, May 14, 2011

The 2011 World Fireknife Competition

I'm always amazed that we keep discovering new things here. You would think that on an island this size, we would have seen pretty much everything there is to see. We've been out to the Polynesian Cultural Center four times over the last couple of years, but we'd never seen the Ha - Breath of Life show. I'd heard it was very good, but for some reason we hadn't seen it.

Well, last night was the second night of the 2011 World Fireknife Competition, and the top three competitors were going to be competing during the intermission of the Ha - Breath of Life show. Because we have annual passes to PCC we were able to go for free (always a plus).

They do not allow videos or photography during the show, but I found a commercial of sorts on YouTube which I have embedded here for your viewing pleasure:

The show was amazing! It featured all the various dance styles we usually see at a luau but also wove a story through it. It had the romance of a love story, the warm-fuzzies of a family story, the excitement of a tribal war, the humor of watching someone learn to walk through fire without setting their grass skirt on fire, and the drama of life and death. The scenery was gorgeous and dramatic and the music had us shimmying in our seats. I can't believe we didn't go see this before now!

During intermission, they brought out the top three finalists of the World Fireknife Competition. I believe they said that there had been twenty-one competitors originally. The top three were performing last night, and again tonight, and one will be chosen as the winner. Of the three remaining competitors one was from American Samoa, one was from Orlando, Florida, and one was a local fellow from Laie. These fellows were amazing! They would take the fire and stroke it across their chests and legs. They would hold the stick with their feet, with the flames touching their feet. They each twirled two fireknives at a time, and one of them added a third!

I did take some videos, but because of the low light, my videos are not terribly clear. So once again, thanks to YouTube, I found a video of last year's winner for you to see how phenomenal these men are. He even touches the flames to his tongue, and then uses the flames on his tongue to light the other end of his fireknife.

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