Keiki Mahalo Cirque du Soleil for coming to Hawai‘iNovember 13, 2008
In appreciation for bringing their artistry to Hawai‘i, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the children of Kawaiaha‘o School gave the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco a warm mahalo – Hawaiian style.
After the performance on Thursday evening, the children and Mayor joined cast members on stage. Bearing lei, the keiki first offered an oli mahalo in which they chanted their gratitude for the show choosing to come to Hawai‘i. After the oli, the children presented each of the 50 cast members with lei and honi (the traditional touching of the noses to share the breath of life). Mayor Hannemann presented singer Nicola Dawn (representing the entire cast) with a pū‘olo or bundle of sweet potato and Hawaiian salt wrapped in ti leaves. This gift symbolizes the fullness of life with staples from the mountains and the sea.
“We are thrilled our keiki have the opportunity to experience one of the world’s best shows here in Hawai‘i nei,” shared Kawaiaha‘o program director Wailani Robins. “Because Cirque du Soleil shared with us the joy of seeing beyond the ordinary, we wanted to share with them one of Hawaii’s greatest gifts – the aloha spirit.”
Hawaii’s appreciation was summed up by Mayor Hannemann. “I would like to thank Cirque du Soleil for bringing such a first rate production to Honolulu. The cast and crew have left audiences awe-struck.” The Mayor added, “I believe Honolulu has once again shown it is a truly great city when it comes to supporting the arts. A vibrant arts sector shows the true heart of a city, and I hope this bodes well for Cirque du Soleil returning to Honolulu with other extraordinary productions.”