Kahilu Theatre plays its own role in festival with Japanese-themed performances

WAIMEA — During the annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, the theater will open its doors to the community and visitors with free performances, displays, classes and a Japanese tea ceremony demonstration.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m, Saturday Annu Shoko Shionoya will host a lobby concert of Japanese and international music featuring Japanese and local artists including vocalists Kau’ilani Trainer and Marius Stranger, and contemporary dancer Shizuno Nasu. Also performing will be spiritual lyre harp-artist Miyuki Ikessue from Tokyo, flutist Yumi Kikuchi and guitar/vocalist Gen Morita.

Shionoya teaches and performs piano on the Big Island, and is a graduate of Osaka College of Music and Berkeley College of Music.

Contemporary artworks by Susumu Sakaguchi from Volcano, along with a display of Japanese Ikebana Shinka Ikenobo by floral artist Chikako Powers of Waimea will be showcased that day.

For a lesson on how to make and fold origami, Jennifer Prater, Tasha Bond and Romane Barbier from Epic Origam will be at the theater to teach visitors from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. A variety of patterns starting with beginner level will be provided along with colorful paper to fold.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m., Shizuno Nasu and eight dancers from Japan will be perform on stage, along with vocal performances by Kau’ilani Trainer, Lisa Taylor, Marius Stranger, Emiko Kaneko and the Onno Choir, Miyuki Ikesue and Annu Shoko Shionoya on the piano.

Nasu was born in Osaka, Japan and began her classical ballet training at the age 3. Her quest to her own stylistic voice led her to study old Japanese mythological dances. She undertook a multi-year pilgrimage, performing in every prefecture in Japan, deepening within her the skill and spirit of mai, the dance. Beyond the influence of both the West and East, Shizuno continues to refine her unique mai, a dance attuned to the rhythms of Mother Nature.

In Hamakua Gallery between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., a Japanese tea ceremony will be led by Waimea native Emi Wakayama to share and demonstrate the finer point points of the tradition.

Throughout the day, a demonstration of Hanafuda games, a Japanese “flower card” game, will be offered.

Mauna Kea Tea will be available in Kahilu Bar from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. After extensive travel and study in tea production and culture, Taka and Kimberly Ino founded Mauna Kea Tea on the Big Island to devote their lives and raise family, following the way of nature. They will present and sell their organically grown selection teas to guests.

Info: 885-6868

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