Friday, April 21, 2017

Lisa Ono

Lisa Ono was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1962 but moved with her family to Tokyo at the age of 10. From that time on she spent half of every year in Japan, and half in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her father had business interests in both countries. She learned to speak, read and write in Japanese and became a Brazilian popular music ambassador in Japan. Lisa began singing and playing the guitar at age 15, and her debut as a professional Bossa Nova singer was in 1979 when she was 17.

"Social Dancers know that when they dance to their own rhythm,
life taps its toes to their beat."

Her natural voice, rhythmic guitar playing, and her charming smile led her to a huge success and popularized Bossa Nova in Japan. She has performed with many top musicians in Brazil. She learned English in addition to the Portuguese and Japanese and performed enthusiastically in New York City. Her first album, Catupiry, was released in 1989. She has not stopped recording since then, releasing one disc a year, mostly in Portuguese since it is her preferred tongue. She soon became famous in Japan after appearing in several TV commercials. In 1991 her album Nanã won the "Grand Prix Gold Disk Award for Jazz" in Japan. The 1999 album Dream sold more than two hundred thousand copies in Japan, and since then she has established a determined position in the Japanese Bossa Nova community.

"Girl From Ipanema" by Lisa Ono

Not much is known about her personal life. She had several relationships in Japan and in Brazil. She was 40 years old when she married Satoshi Ishikawa in 2002 and they had two children. Continuing her exploration of new material, in the summer of 2001, Lisa released Bossa Hula Nova, which as the title name implies, includes some new and classic Hawaiian songs done in a bossa nova style. My personal favorite which I have in a song video is Fly Me To The Moon, in that beautiful Bossa Nova style and a terrific band for back up and she sings it in English.

"For Social Dancers, dance is not an option, it's who we are."

Monday, April 17, 2017


There are so many different tangos that it is difficult to choose just one. The Argentine Tango danced today is not the same one that took Europe by storm a century ago. But for some it is so personal it is almost like a religion. And to complicate things further there are several Argentine Tangos in Argentina. Which one should you try? Don't ask me, I sure as hell don't know.

"Music may be something that helps us escape and be
totally free from anything, then we can dance."

The American Tango is easy to learn and has a nice rhythm to it. The exhibitions of the American Tango by most Professionals are just spectacular and considered real exhibitions, They are very much appreciated by most Tango aficionados. They phase over very nicely into Cabaret dancing. My favorite to this day remains the Finnish Tango even if I don't know that much about it. The Finnish Tango has been spreading to Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Western Russia. and in this century it is called the Nordic Tango.

"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel

Many say it is closer to the original Argentine Tango than any other. Would be interesting to see it in Hawaii. Most of the other Tangos are based on one of these Tangos. For instance, Filipino Tango is based on American but has a lot of Argentine Milonga in it. The British (International) is a far cry from the original Argentine Tango. But the British consider it the "correct" way to dance the tango. What the hell do Argentine people know about dancing tango?

"For Tangueros, tango is not in the feet - it is in the heart" 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. He had about 2000 men and were outnumbered two to one by what had been considered one of the best military forces in the world.

"Dancing with the feet is one thing - dancing with the heart is another."

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades. In Hawaii it is party, party, party and celebrated on all the islands.

"Sabor A Mi" por Luis Miguel

El Jarabe Tapatío: better known internationally as "The Mexican Hat Dance", is a popular Mexican dance, popular throughout Latin America, specially in Cuba, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. It is typically a folk dance for show and has come to symbolize Latin America both domestically and internationally.

"Social dancers know that the only dancer they should compare
themselves with is the one they used to be."

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Latin Music and Dance

Social dancing is an expression of your soul. You don't need to know complicated steps to dance. You don't have to sashay across the room or spin your partner with finesse. If you enjoy moving to music, you will be able to find your feet. Dance to the rhythm of your heart, and you will feel happy, guaranteed. It doesn't matter whether you like jazz, waltz, jive or rumba. What matters is that your (literally) heart loves moving to music.

"We are all humans and God's children. It is our choice how we
conduct our lives and choose to live the commandments
according to the dictates of our own conscience."

Dancing is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise. But dancing also helps the release of endorphins, the so-called happiness hormone. Even if the only time you can dance is when no one's watching (possibly the best time of all), these writings in blogs can inspire you to let yourself feel the freedom of dance whether in your living room or on the dance floor. Now, if we could get a little feedback from the readers, WOW!

Driverless Vehicles are coming. Public trials have already begun for this ambitious plan to outfit a sprawling UK city into an autonomous wonderland. The cute little LUTZ Pathfinder vehicles have been like taxis on city streets. There is an on-demand, publicly run system of 30 to 40 driverless two seater pod cars, which allow residents to travel between any two points in the city’s downtown without navigating or reacting to obstacles themselves. The system should be fully up and running by end of the year. Needless to say the Rail Disaster is obsolete, right now.

"Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though
EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer.
And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Latin Scene

In this century the Marichis are well known in the Pacific region. Although the roots of the Mariachi go back hundreds of years, there are no Bachs or Beethovens in its early history because Mariachi music was the music of country people and they danced it. Until the 1930's Mariachi groups were local and semi-professional. They were almost entirely unknown outside their own regions.

"Dance may be an art form and the body an instrument.
Learn to play the instrument and master the art form."

During WWII. they became very popular in the Southwest USA and in concert they developed a following of listeners. After the War, they expanded around the world. New groups established themselves in the US and were composed entirely of American citizens. They even allowed women into what had been reserved for men only. Honolulu is overdue for a good local Mariachi group.

"Hay, Jalisco No Te Rajes" por Jorge Negrete

On Oahu, Bachata and Salsa are leading the way in Latin Dance, but close behind are the permanent dances like Rumba, Cha Cha Cha and Samba. They will be danced by the more experienced dancers well into the next century. Most of the ones coming in will be long gone and new ones will be coming in. We will see the Latin waltz with it's unique moves come in soon. Rock Step and a Chassé? Try dancing the next Viennese Waltz using the Samba Chassé, - EASY.

We all determine for ourselves what is right and what is not right for our own lives and how we live God's commandments. We are not judges and we should never judge anyone for the decisions they make unless they are causing harm to another individual.

"Dance may be like wine; it matures with every performance."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Latin Dances

By Frank Mendoza, Kahuku:

Latin dances are Latin dances - what is so difficult about that? Yes, many people think in that fashion. But Tango in Argentina has nine different styles of Tango much of it to the same kind of music. And every one of the other ballroom dances on this Island has over 600 documented steps or patterns. A professional dancer can hope to do half of them comfortably and with enough "practice" they can do very well. The new fad dance with the funny name and weird movements is not it for the experience Latin Dancer.

“We have many good dance leaders on Oahu and they are influential
because they live and inspire other people's dance future.”

Among the required basics are the Even Step, the Rock Step and the Chassé. Very, very basic Indian movements from several millenniums back. The even step is not just one movement. The lead can go forward and backwards, partner follows. He can go to the left and to the right and anything in between if he wishes. He can turn slowly to the left and he can turn slowly to the right. He can let go and do all this in the "shine" position too. Just make sure that you know that the main thing is the main thing, enjoying the Movement to one's favorite music, - now that's dancing.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Jimmy Borges

The Syllabus in both the International and the American has about 50 in their total of Bronze, Silver and Gold divisions. A social dancer has enough with 25 - 30 of the most basic moves and I do not know if any of them have ever been written down. The enjoyment of the social dance couple is in moving to their favorite music. Throwing the lady over his shoulder or standing her on her head is definitely not it.

The couples in Latin frequently part and go into the "shine" and each can do their own thing. When the come back together and do the basic to the music, it can be gratifying. The lead is the director and he can get fancy now and then if he wishes. But the star of the show is the follow. He leads her into an underarm and he does the basic. But she usually look terrific in just turning while he is holding her hand. Most of the ladies on Oahu do very well and look beautiful.

From my sister Eleanor, California, Bible quotes.
 Micah 4:4
“But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall
make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Bossa Nova is a genre of Brazilian music, which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. Today it is one of the most beautiful and best-known Brazilian music genres in the world but almost unknown in Hawaii. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" But the exact origin of the term "bossa nova" remained unclear for many decades, according to some authors.

"The natives believed that they had learned their music
from the birds in the Brazilian Forest."

Musically it is a lyrical fusion of the Indian samba beat and jazz and acquired a large following from the start initially among young musicians and college students.  The authorship of the term "bossa nova" is attributed to the then-young journalist Moyses Fuks, who was promoting the event. Bossa nova is most commonly performed on the nylon-string classical guitar, played with the fingers rather than with a pick.

Its purest form could be considered unaccompanied guitar with vocals, as created, pioneered, and exemplified by João Gilberto. Even in larger, jazz-like arrangements for groups, there is almost always a guitar that plays the underlying rhythm. Gilberto basically took one of the several rhythmic layers from a samba ensemble, specifically the tamborim, and applied it to the picking hand. According to Brazilian musician Paulo Betencourt, João Gilberto, is known for his eccentricity and was always obsessed by the idea of finding a new way of playing the guitar,

My favorite remains, "Fly Me To The Moon" in Bossa Nova on Guitar but the beautiful rhythms allows other instruments to sound fine too.

Received some very beautiful biblical quotes from my sister Eleanor in California
and I post the first one here.

Isaiah 9:7
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the
throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with
judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever more.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”