Teaching visit by Hanayagi Tomo-sensei

In order to keep our ties to our head schools in Japan strong, HDAHF is privileged to host teachers from Japan on a regular basis. This year, Hanayagi Tomo-sensei offered private dance lessons, not only to our two students studying to take their natori tests, but also to the other students and natori of HDAHF. On Saturday, she also taught two group lessons, one to the children and one to the adults, on perfecting some of the basic movements of the Hanayagi school seen in many dances. Tomo-sensei’s attention to details, clear explanations, and precise movements were both informative and inspirational, for which we can only say, domo arigato-gozaimashita! And to all the students and natori who studied with her, otsukaresama!

Bryson, Tomo-sensei, Stacie

Maizome 2011

On Saturday, March 12, 2011, the Hanayagi Dancing Academy— Hawaii Foundation put on is annual maizome, or recital, continuing a tradition that started when the school was first establish by Hanayagi Mitsuaki in 1947. Dancers and shamisen players, students and natori alike put on fabulous performances of the skills they have learned over the past year. The event was held at the Mission Memorial Auditorium in Honolulu, Hawaii and consisted of 20 dances and 4 shamisen pieces. This year, Akemi Hata and Teruo Goda received their Hisamatsu natori names: Hisamatsu Akemi and Hisamatsu Teruo. Kenji Burke was awarded a sophomore certificate for shamisen. A total of 26 performers took the stage and many other parents and natori helped out behind the scenes to make this year’s maizome a resounding success! Otsukare!       More pictures here.

Yuuyake Koyake

Oretachi no Hana

Maizome 2010

HDAHF’s annual Maizome was again held at the Mission Memorial Auditorium in Honolulu on January 30, 2010. Maizome is the first performance of the new year and students, along with a few of the teachers, show off the skills they have learned over the last year.

The Shamisen Experience

On Saturday, August 22, Hanayagi Dancing Academy – Hawaii Foundation was honored to present ‘The Shamisen Experience,’ featuring Grand Master Kineya Sakichi VII along with top artists from the Kineya School of Nagauta and Shamisen Japan and HDAHF students. Most pieces were classical but there was also a special Hawaiian-Japanese fusion piece in honor of “our host culture.”

The shamisen is a traditional Japanese three-string instrument with a slender, un-fretted neck and a rounded rectangular body covered with skin to amplify the sound of the strings. Its three strings though traditionally made of silk are most often now made of nylon. The lowest string passes over a small hump at the ‘nut’ end creating a characteristic buzz known as sawari, much like the jawari sound of a sitar. One coaxes music from the shamisen with a large weighted plectrum called a bachi. More photos here.