Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, June 10, 1999

Kikue Kaneshiro will perform a classical Okinawan
dance solo at Dance Fest 1999.

Dance Fest honors
masters of movement

For 45 years, Kikue Kaneshiro has been passing on the intricacies of Okinawan dance, teaching generations of students the movements, traditions and good humor that accompany this unique art form.

The Hawaii State Dance Council recognizes those years of dedication on Friday and Saturday at Dance Fest Hawaii 1999. Kaneshiro will be among seven honored for their contributions to the mixed plate that is dance in Hawaii.

Also taking their bows will be Gregg Lizenbery for excellence in performance; Cynthia Albers, Sandra Chatterjee, Trina Nahm-Mijo and Peter Rockford Espiritu for choreography; and the late Mabel Yamada, a bon-dance teacher, honored along with Kaneshiro for contributions to cultural preservation.

Joyce Shimabukuro and her daughter typify the generational spirit of Kaneshiro's studio, set up in the dance master's brother's Kapalama home.

Shimabukuro began studying with Kaneshiro at age 10; her own daughter began at 3. "It was unheard of that children started at that age, but as long as they could follow along she could teach them," Shimabukuro says.

"She still captivates the children. They still love her."

She says the 80-something sensei, who continues to dance and maintain an active teaching schedule, greeted news of the Dance Council's honor with a low-key, "No need."

"She was always one to not want to be in the limelight."

The Dance Fest will feature performances by all the honorees. The event will be held at 8 p.m. both nights at Leeward Community College. Tickets are $12-$15. Call 538-1980.


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