HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Inspired by the need for continued hope and healing for victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, a host of Hawaii-based artists are joining forces with Japan's Keiko Fujii Dance Company to raise funds at a benefit concert titled "Being II - Hawaii Style" at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 18 at Honolulu's Hawaii Theatre.
"Being II - Hawaii Style" brings together an eclectic and highly-talented mix of artists including Kanoe Cazimero, Ron Ching, Takamasa Yamamura, Liza Simon and Kenny Endo, as well as the Keiko Fujii Dance Company. Tickets are $30, plus a $3 theatre restoration fee, and are on sale now at the Hawaii Theatre Box office: (808) 528-0506. To learn more, click HERE! All proceeds will benefit Rainbow for Japan Kids.
Less than two years since the earthquake and tsunami, director-choreographer Keiko Fujii of the Keiko Fujii Dance Company was moved to continue the healing process for victims of the Tôhoku disaster through the unique cultural ties that bind Japan and Hawaii.
"'Being II - Hawaii Style' is a chance for everyone to share an evening of music and dance and transcend the feeling of hopelessness that we feel in the wake of natural disasters," said Fujii. "Weeks have turned into months and the images of Tôhoku remain seared into the minds of caring Hawaii residents. Although economic times are tough in Hawaii as everywhere, Hawaii's people embrace the opportunity to give when they see that giving really matters and their money - even in small amounts-makes a huge difference. Yet, our goal is not simply to raise money. It is to demonstrate an outpouring of support to ensure the victims know they are not alone. There is no price-tag on the value of empathy and its power to counter despair."
In October 2011, the Company presented a similar production, "Being II," at Japan's Ashiya Luna Hall with many survivors in the audience. Motivated by the distinctive relationship between the people of Japan and Hawaii, Fujii is bringing "Being II - Hawaii Style" to Honolulu. Joining the Company in this historic initiative are many beloved local artists; artists such as taiko drummer Kenny Endo, hula dancer Kanoe Cazimero, and singer Takamasa Yamamura.
Fujii hopes to welcome several Tôhoku survivors to the Hawaii Theatre to share in this uplifting night of taiko, hula, music, song and dance.
As of early September, more than 34,000 people remain homeless as a result of the disaster and many of them are jobless without the hope of employment. It is estimated that more than 19,000 people lost their lives on March 11, 2011, including several thousand who are still counted as missing. In addition, more than 27,000 people were injured.
"Naturally caused catastrophes make so many headlines these days that we often feel helpless to do anything," continued Fujii. "'Being II - Hawaii Style' highlights a way of giving, receiving and gathering. It will not erase tragedy. It will not raise enough money to make a major reversal of fate possible for the survivors. But, if it can lower the barriers of isolation that surround a devastated population, then it will be doing what is most needed - and that is the raising of hope for healing to continue."
Keiko Fujii, a popular figure in her native Osaka, is director, choreographer and a prominent dancer for the Keiko Fujii Dance Company, which has performed at home in Japan as well as abroad in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. She is also head of Studio K in Osaka, which provides training in ballet, modern, and jazz dance since 1983.
Keiko returns to Hawaii frequently to perform, choreograph and teach workshops. She is especially noted for her ability to fuse elements of modern and jazz dance with Japanese cultural themes. She has been a guest artist of the University of Hawaii Department of Theatre and Dance and has conducted workshops in modern and jazz dance with the University of Hawaii Outreach program.
Keiko Fujii Dance Company will perform four dance pieces choreographed by Keiko Fujii featuring images that show the grandeur of nature and the people in Tôhoku, Japan before March 11, 2012, the disaster, and how the survivors have been struggling for the recovery in the devastated town till the present.