One of the most anticipated Southern Utah University performances, the Pacific Islander Student Association showcase, will be taking the stage at the Auditorium Theatre on March 16-18 at 6 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be accessed here.
For the past decade, SUU’s PISA club, formerly known as the Poly Club, has performed their annual showcase performance in March. Ever since the beginning of spring semester, students in the club have been practicing and attending rehearsals every evening for six days a week to learn and perfect their dances to put on a flawless performance.
Many faculty, staff and students all around campus, along with community members, get excited for the highly anticipated PISA performance, which represents six islands of Polynesia: Fiji, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Each section performs several musical numbers mixed with a variety of dances, hakas and some singing selections.
The theme for this year’s showcase is “Tales of Her Majesty.” The performances will be paying homage to the strong and independent queens, chiefesses and majesties who fought to protect their islands through song and dance. Each section will be sharing the story and impact of these women.
Kau’i Lung, a senior at SUU from Honolulu, Hawai’i, will be among the performers representing Hawai’i. She and other performers will honor Queen Lili‘uokalani, who was the last reigning queen before Hawai’i was overthrown and annexed, with a dance to Weldon Kekauoha’s version of “Queen’s Jubilee,” originally written by Queen Lili‘uokalani.
“Being able to dance this tribute to Queen Lili‘uokalani is an honor,” Lung said. “I’m glad that PISA provides this opportunity for Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians like myself to become culturally immersed in dance just like our ancestors and ‘kupuna’ — ‘elderly’ — before us. As a Native Hawaiian, this is my opportunity to learn and share my culture and the beautiful history.”
Article by: Kamele Lung
Photos by: Bria Hansen