After two straight nights of dancing with my main squeeze at the Pacific Beach and at the Palladium celebrating IBDI 50th Anniversary, Sunday was a blessing for a day of rest. So today the cycle continues and so does the blogging of IBDI Anniversary Showtime featuring professional dancers from Japan. It was a totally marvelous showcase of the International Standards and the International Latin Dances....an event of this magnitude, I felt that I needed to call in the calvary to assist me in the blogging. Remember that "dynamic small package" that kept the program running smoothly like a well greased wheel? That was the EmCee Kay Yahiku and she consented to share her thoughts and creative script of the whole showcase with me and my Weblog. She kept the program going with a lot of encouragement and enthusiasm that kept the spirits at a high voltage level. I'm very glad that she is sharing her copious notes with "The Dance Connection". So please read on and enjoy Kay's bio of the dance performers from Japan.....
(Kay's notes are BOLD and my comments are ITALIC) Left click on photo to zoom in.
Part I - Two Pro-Am numbers:
1) Keiko Kawamata and Marie Miura - Waltz
The Waltz was performed by two lady dancers from Japan and I thought they stole the spotlight with their elegant performance of this popular dance.
2) Shinobu Matsuura with our own Grace Nohara in a Viennese Waltz/Fox Trot Medley, choreographed by Shinobu, to the tune "Sakura, Sakura", featuring the "Koto", a traiditonal Japanese stringed musical instrument, the national instrument of Japan. Players of the Koto use 3 picks, placed on the thumb, index finger and middle finger to pluck songs on the 13 strings.
The V. Waltz/Foxtrot Medley was certainly a big treat for dancers here in Hawaii because it showcased our own IBDI dancer and Vice Prez Grace Nohara performing with a visiting professional dancer. Clad in the traditional Japanese formal kimono, it was performed magnificantly with style and grace.
There was a short break to get everyone off their seats and dancing. Our table was one of few that was preselected to start the "Snowball Dance". It was a good break and it brought nearly everyone unto the dance floor.
Part II - Professional Show:
1) Paso Doble - Keisuke Okamoto & Ami Tsukakosh
All-Japan Amateur Latin-American Finalists, from Nagoya, Japan. Dancing together for 2 years. Tonight they'll be doing 3 latin numbers, however, they do all 10 international style dances. After they return to Japan, they plan to turn pro, probably in October.
This attractive young couple burst on the dance floor with the fury of a fierce bull. Their interpretation of the matador and the cape was amazing and filled with crisp moves and rich with excitement.
2) Slow Fox Trot - Shinobu Matsuura & Yumiko Matsuoka
This couple has been coming to Hawaii since 1995. Until 2008, they competed in the Hawaii Star Ball. The song was "The Longest Day", from the World War II movie of the same name, which featured John Wayne.
I don't remember seeing the movie starring John Wayne but none-the-less the interpretation of an American service man complete with military uniform revealed the passion between a Japanese woman and a soldier in a well orchestrated Slow Foxtrot and very well performed.
3) Rumba - Keisuke and Ami. They're both 24 years old and have been dancing together for 2 years. The rumba is Keisuke's favorite dance.
The Rumba being Keisuke's favorite was evident in this performance and I could count that it is Ami's pet dance, too. Sensational, sultry, and sensuous.
4) Waltz - Shinobu and Yumiko to the theme of the movie, "The Godfather"
This performance of the Waltz was a softer side of this two professional dancers. It was a flowing number executed with beautiful moves.
5) Illumination - Rumba and Samba medley by Keiko Kawamata and Misako Ueno.
The room was pitch dark for this "Illumination" performance of the Rumba/Samba Medley. The only illumination came from the performers who were lighted like a Christmas tree. It was hard to appreciate the dancing because of the nearly darkness. But "Illumination" performance have become a steady addition to dance contests on the tube that we may very well see more in future showcases. Keiko and Masako received a lot of "ooos and ahhhhs" and loud applauses for this performance.
6) Samba - Keisuke and Ami
Considered as one of the most dynamic Latin dances, Keisuke and Ami exploded on the dance floor like thunder and lightning. True to the style and tempo of the dance, this couple brought excitement in choreography and rhythm....and a true meaning to "DYNAMIC LATIN".
7) Standard Medley by Shinobu and Yumiko featuring 3 Japanese instruments: the Shamisen which resembles a banjo, the drum or Taiko and the harp or Koto.
This performance was a strong and excellent choice to end SHOWTIME PART 2. It displayed the excellence of two professionals dancers....their strengths, skills, techniques, and showmanship in the International Standards.
Professional Showcase Performers. (missing: Grace Nohara and Marie Miura)
Matsuura Sensei took the microphone and Kay Yahiku translated. Among other things, he stated that he's been coming to Hawaii for the last 16 years and been here at least 20 times. But Friday night [at the Pacific Beach Hotel] would remain the highlight. He thanked the audience.
General dancing continued till 11:30PM and an exciting and entertaining evening to celebrate IBDI 50th Year came to an end but will be long remembered. Domo arigato to Kay Yahiku, and Sayonara fo' now!