Kealoha, the first Poet Laureate of Hawai`i and founder of HawaiiSlam has just premiered his newest, biggest, and most ambitious work in a theatre event in Honolulu on September 26, 2015.
The Story of Everything is a creation story (in epic poem format) that traces our origins from the big bang to now, using science, poetry, storytelling, visual art, music, ‘oli [chant], and dance, including aerial work (hoop). That’s right, 13.7 billion years told in a 90 minute multi-media stage show!
“The Story of Everything”
is an original creation story based on multiple knowledge systems. It explores the question “Where do we come from?” Through this work, made possible through the support of a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Community Inspiration Award, the poet dramatizes the history of human origin, drawing from sources as diverse and yet interconnected as the Big Bang Theory, physics, biology, and the Kumulipo [Hawaiian creation story], while using tongue-in-cheek modern cultural references such as disco, Michael Jackson, and the 70s hippie movement to make complicated and expansive concepts accessible to audiences.
It explores how various cultural elements and scientific disciplines can be used to approach the large questions about existence that have challenged humans from the beginning of time. Starting with the Big Bang, the work tracks the earth's existence and development to today's questions about the earth's sustainability. Simultaneously, Kealoha’s performance traces the beginning of life from simple forms that evolve into complex relationships, and ends with a provocation: “Where do we go from here? What’s next?”
The performance includes a 15 minute intermission. Following the show, the artists stay on stage for a talk-back with audience members interested in exploring the subject further.
The premiere features visual art projections by Solomon Enos, live music by Taimane Gardner and the Quadraphonix, ‘oli [chant] presented by Kaui Kanaka`ole, and dancing by Jamie Nakama, Jonathan Clarke Sypert, and Lorenzo Acosta in collaboration with Wailana Simcock. This production is co-directed by Cristian "See" Ellauri and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
TOUR PERFORMANCES: Kealoha is modifying the show for touring, for a cast of 2-5 people and multi-media elements including projections.
He has also performed this six-part epic poem as a solo full-evening show, which is also available for touring.
The work is created with generous funding from The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) is a national nonprofit that supports American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures nationwide with the support of innovative arts patrons, partner foundations, arts organizations and Native Nations. The NACF is able to support “The Story of Everything” and other work in Hawai`i through generous support from the Leonard & Rose Freeman Family Fund of the Hawai`i Community Foundation and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
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