By MARY ROGERS
Hawaii recently heated up with the Sixth Annual World Fire Knife Dance Competition at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
The preliminaries began on May 8 and concluded on May 16 with the crowning of this year’s champion.
The Fire Knife Dance Competition consists of men wrapped in short lavalava’s performing a dance often using their feet, back, mouth, hands, and other various body parts. The performances are fact paced and crowd pleasing.
Recently Chief Sielu Avea gave Utah a taste of the dance routines by performing a high-speed acrobatic routine in which he used his feet, hands, arms, and back to twirl a flaming knife. He also used his mouth in the routine to light both ends of a knife.
According to David Coles, Director of Marketing for PCC, the contestants are judged for their compulsory and technical moves, along with the creativity of their choreography, pacing, and interpretation.
“They are judged on bravery so to speak,” said Coles.
To add an element of excitement, the competitors aren’t allowed to use any oils or other artificial aids to prevent them from being burned. “Polynesian guys, according to them, have different skin,” said Coles.
The contest is a highlight at the PCC and is one of the most thrilling competitions held anywhere according to Special Events Manager, Ellen Gay Dela Rosa.
This years junior division winner is Jotham Slade of Kailua-Kona, who clinched the victory with a “single and double” routine.