LIHU‘E — Prior to the premier of her multi-media production “SEKAI,” Soul Fire Productions co-owner Kaia Shine promised her audience a sensual feast.
She and her cast of 28 performers, supported by dozens of behind-the-scenes crew members, kept their word, wooing the crowd with a mesmerizing, high-energy, spiritually-guided journey resembling a toned-down Cirque Du Soleil show set inside an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Planet Earth.”
“SEKAI” kicked off Feb. 17 and 18 at a sold-out Kilohana Plantation in Puhi, with more than 1,000 in attendance over the two days.
“We were thrilled,” Skylar Mallas, co-owner of Soul Fire, said. “It went better than I imagined, and I was so thankful the audience received it so well … Everybody was just ecstatic.”
“Absolutely amazing,” Shine added. “A real touching, profound experience that seemed to reach a lot of people. (I’m) super grateful the Kaua‘i community came out and supported us.”
Inspired by a dream Shine had two years ago, “SEKAI” “follows the story of a young girl, the Chosen One, who has a mystic vision to travel to a far away land to plant a sacred seed, thus enabling a new consciousness to be born,” according to a release. “Her voyage takes us through mystical lands and unknown worlds as she is shown the way by elemental guides that support her along her quest.”
The storyline, written by Thalyn Nikolau, focuses on the dying of an old paradigm and shifting the human consciousness coming into 2013.
“It’s not your average theater piece,” Nikolau said. “I have the distinct feeling that this show happened because the catharsis needed to happen on some level. That set all the inspiration pieces in motion so this show would be created at this time on Kaua‘i.”
The hour-and-a-half performance is broken up into 15 acts, which feature a myriad of art forms, including Taiko drumming, fire spinning and dance, an LED black light performance, aerial silks, acrobatics and belly and modern dance. There are geishas, senseis, spirits and goddesses of water, earth, wind and fire, all adorned in elaborate costuming and shadowed by unique set designs and visual projections.
It is clear that Soul Fire Productions has reached new heights with “SEKAI,” which sucks its audience in from the get-go and leaves the entire room begging for more.
“It has a message that really wants to be out in the world,” Mallas said. “People need to be touched by this show.”
In a post on the “SEKAI” Facebook page, Production Manager Angela Babcock wrote that she could “hardly express in words the depth of emotion that has birthed itself from the experiences” during the premier.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, each and every one who put tireless, countless hours into making this event happen,” she wrote. “Not a detail was missed. Such a breathtaking, stunning, mind-blowing event, and one that will not be forgotten soon … We are holding the dream that this is just the beginning of many more shows to come.”
Although the cast and crew has taken time to step back and “decompress” following the premier, Mallas said “SEKAI” is “definitely something we are trying to travel with.”
“I think we’re all available and open to whatever the next step is,” she said. “What would be really great is if we could make it a regular thing on the island.”
Shine agreed, saying she has received nothing but positive feedback, with some people even breaking down in tears. Looking forward, Shine said several organizations have already expressed interest in sponsoring the production.
“It’s just the beginning,” she said. “We’ve just planted the seed … Once we have a budget, look out!”
Nikolau described the premier as “a victory for Kaua‘i” and said “SEKAI” touches the heart in ways other theater performances don’t.
“This is something you aren’t able to get everywhere,” he said. “We did a really good job, I feel, of wielding the surgeon instruments, the heart specialist instruments … to pop Kaua‘i open. That’s priceless.”
For more information about Soul Fire Productions visit www.soulfireproductions.com.
• Chris D’Angelo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 241) or firstname.lastname@example.org.