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Cirque du Soleil’s Hawai‘i Debut: Led by Native Hawaiian Creatives, at OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel


Download the OUTRIGGER x Cirque du Soleil Hawai‘i Creative Team Face Sheet HERE

HONOLULU – In an unprecedented fusion of culture and performance, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment
Group 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

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.

● Dr. 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 Designer), 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 renown 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

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. Building on four decades of pushing the
boundaries of the imagination, the Company brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms, such as
multimedia productions, immersive experiences, and special events. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group celebrates 40 years
of defying reality, defining entertainment, and illuminating the world through art and creativity. Since its creation in 1984, more
than 400 million people have been inspired on 6 continents and 86 countries. The Canadian company now employs more than
4,000 employees, including 1,200 artists from 80 different nationalities. For more information about Cirque du Soleil
Entertainment Group, please visit

For more than 75 years, OUTRIGGER has charted a journey of discovery – expanding from Hawai‘i to premier resort destinations including Fiji, Mauritius, Thailand and the Maldives. The privately held hospitality company invites guests to ‘Come Be Here’ with authentic Signature Experiences and the Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program – a member of the award-winning Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). OUTRIGGER’s multi-branded portfolio includes OUTRIGGER® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by OUTRIGGER®, Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger®, Kapalua Villas Maui and Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui while also managing select properties from top international hotel brands including Embassy Suites by Hilton®. Find out more at or visit @OUTRIGGERResorts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Click HERE for a PDF of this News Release.