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SeaWorld San Diego set to debut new Shamu killer whale show

May 09, 2011|By Brady MacDonald | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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SeaWorld San Diego is set to launch a new killer whale show May 27 following the death last year of an animal trainer in Orlando, Fla., that forced a complete reworking of the marine park's signature Shamu attraction.

Photos: 'One Ocean' killer whale show at Sea World San Diego

The conservation-themed "One Ocean" show will feature dancing fountains, underwater imagery and orcas performing in unison against a new backdrop of giant LCD screens surrounding a tie-dye colored whale fluke.

High-powered fountains moving in sync to the musical score will squirt water into the 7 million gallon pool from the first few rows of the 5,500-seat Shamu Stadium. In one show sequence, the whales play amid the arcing fountains.

The original score includes three new songs, including the upbeat "One Song" and "We're One" as well as the more emotive "Side by Side."

"One Ocean," which made its debut in April at SeaWorld Orlando, replaces the "Believe" show that ran for five years at the San Diego park.

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In the new show, trainers no longer perform maneuvers such as the iconic "rocket hop," in which a whale propels a trainer out of the water. Working exclusively from the stage, trainers kiss, hug and dance with the whales from the waterside.

SeaWorld pulled all trainers out of its orca pools after the February 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld Orlando trainer who was killed by a 6-ton orca named Tilikum.

"One Ocean" also opens June 10 at SeaWorld San Antonio.

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