Cirque du Soleil Announces Its First Hawai‘i Show - CircusTalk

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Cirque du Soleil Announces Its First Hawai‘i Show

Cirque du Soleil Hawai‘i Debut: Led by Native Hawaiian Creatives, a Unique Blend of Tradition and Wonder Takes Shape at OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel

In an unprecedented fusion of culture and performance, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group (“Cirque du Soleil”) has proudly announced a groundbreaking new resident production that marks a historical milestone for live entertainment in Hawai‘i. For the first time ever, the internationally acclaimed ensemble will bring an awe-inspiring show to the shores of Waikīkī on a permanent basis, delivering an unparalleled experience at the OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel debuting in late 2024. This landmark show will introduce Cirque du Soleil’s mesmerizing artistry to Hawai‘i through the guidance and vision of a distinguished group of Native Hawaiian creatives.

Under the visionary leadership of Co-Creator and Director Neil Dorward (The Illusionists, Circus 1903) and Simon Painter (The Works Entertainment), the team features prominent entertainment industry luminaries, directors and designers, coupled with accomplished Native Hawaiian artists and scholars who are poised to weave a tapestry of Indigenous stories together with the world-class, captivating entertainment that is Cirque du Soleil. At the heart of this innovative production is a trio of Native Hawaiian creatives, who have made indelible contributions to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian culture and indigenous knowledge.

  • Aaron J. Salā (Cultural Creative Producer), a globally-recognized visionary with a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, has amassed accolades across the Pacific and beyond for his work with the likes of Yo-yo Ma and Disney for the Hawaiian language rendition of Moana. A director of countless international cultural festivals and ceremonies, Dr. Salā is known for incredibly raw and unparalleled cultural experiences, elevating Pasifika culture on a global scale.
  • Manaola Yap (Costume Design Consultant), an internationally-celebrated Hawaiian luxury lifestyle fashion designer and hula practitioner, Manaola is the first Native Hawaiian to present Hawaiian culture and couture in a runway collection at New York Fashion Week 2017. His continued efforts to push the envelope regarding contemporary usage of traditional Native Hawaiian design has landed red carpet looks and collaborations with Saks Fifth Avenue and RED Valentino.
  • Kumu Hula Hiwa Vaughan (Choreographer), a revered, award-winning and internationally reknown kumu hula (expert and teacher in the art of hula), is one of five women to hold two of hula’s most coveted titles: 1985 Miss Keiki Hula and 1995 Merrie Monarch Miss Aloha Hula. With over a decade of experience, Kumu Hiwa completes the distinguished team with her masterful, award-winning hula choreography.

“This remarkable team imbues this first Hawai‘i-based Cirque du Soleil show with a foundation of cultural knowledge through the timeless stories that connect us back through the generations,” says Dr. Aaron Salā, cultural creative director. “It is a privilege to collaborate with my incredibly-talented colleagues, showcasing the exceptional skill and aesthetic of kānaka maoli, local Hawai‘i and Pasifika talent. Storytelling has served instrumentally in the preservation of our culture, and I am deeply honored to uplift native voices in tandem with the stellar artistry of Cirque du Soleil.”

This collaboration is not just a performance but a bridge between cultures, showcasing the beauty and complexity of Hawaiian traditions to a global audience. The production also includes several prestigious creative team members with over ten decades of collective international performing arts and technical experience serving in roles spanning stage direction, set and lighting, sound and audio, composition, hair and makeup, and of course, acrobatic performance and equipment design. The crew includes:

  • Richard Peakman – Associate Stage Director
  • Susanna Macaulay – Associate Creation Director
  • John S. Barnett – Director of Production
  • Ravi Chandwani and Ryan Dilley – Production Design
  • Simon Guilbault – Set Designer
  • Hugo Mercier-Bossemy – Lighting Designer
  • Evan Duffy – Composer
  • Tamlyn Wright – Props Designer
  • Yianni Epivatinos – Sound Designer and Head of Audio
  • Philippe Auberton – Acrobatic Performance Designer
  • Ewen Seagel – Acrobatic Equipment Designer
  • Heidi Doucet – Makeup Designer
  • Vanessa Ashley – Hair Designer

Cirque du Soleil and OUTRIGGER Resorts & Hotels invite travelers to witness this mesmerizing fusion of art, culture, and acrobatics, promising an unforgettable experience that will leave audiences in awe. More details about the Cirque du Soleil show located at the OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel including title, ticket sales and debut date will be released in the spring of 2024. For more information about the partnership between OUTRIGGER Hospitality Group and Cirque du Soleil, please visit

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