Bon dance inspired a life of art


POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009

In casting about for our vampire, we tapped Dazz Toguchi, who'll be in a costume of a different kind on Nov. 1, performing a concert of music and dance at Hawaii Theatre in celebration of his CD release.

The 26-year-old is versed in the traditional song and dance of Okinawa and Japan, a love that started in the sixth grade when he took part in bon dance festivities during the Pan-Pacific Matsuri at Ala Moana Beach Park.

“;I didn't know what I was doing. I would just follow the old ladies,”; he said.

Although the community nature of the bon dances requires no difficult dance steps, he kept going to other bon dances where observers told him he was “;a pretty good dancer,”; and suggested he take formal lessons.

“;I guess they can tell who has rhythm or not, and over time it grew on me and I wanted to challenge myself with stage or traditional dance.”;





        CD release concert:

» Place: Hawaii Theatre


» When: 3 p.m. Sunday; doors open at 2 p.m.


» Tickets: $50, $25 for students and children; $100 VIP tickets include 12:30 p.m. cocktail party


» Call: 551-6054


He studied at the Nakasone Dance Academy, but continued to challenge himself by taking up singing lessons at Oshiro Music Studio and added some hip-hop for his concert.

“;That's been a big challenge because when you do a certain type of dance, your body gets made to that dance,”; he said.

“;Hip-hop is rugged, upbeat and bouncy. It's so different from Japanese and Okinawan dance where you have to be fluid so it looks as if you're floating. It requires a lot of control of your body and breathing because the way you breathe affects your gestures.”;

Learning the makeup techniques for the Japanese/Okinawan stage was another challenge that required waxing the skin, using eye tape to achieve a strong slant to the eye, applying foundation and layers of white, kabuki-style makeup, then applying layers of white makeup to hands and legs.

Because of the performance makeup, he couldn't have asked for a better date for his concert.

“;Right now it's OK because it's so close to Halloween, but when I have performances smack down in March or April, people have to wonder, 'Did he miss it or is he too early?' “;