Saturday, August 28, 2010

On Pacific Island music (now - Pacific Island Dancers of Chino Hills)

As I mentioned in a post in my Empoprise-MU music blog, I first encountered Pacific Island music when I needed to select a theme song for my college radio show. Eventually I used M.K. Moke's "Moana Chimes" (after a period of using Roy Smeck's "Indiana March"), but I really hadn't run across much Pacific Island music since that time until I was invited to a Saturday evening luau.

At a senior citizen assisted living center.

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I figured that the center would serve some pineapple, and I figured that perhaps some of the 80-year old women could still hula, so I went there with an open mind.

As it turned out, they did serve pineapple, and a variety of other foods (no roasted pig with an apple in its mouth, though). And the dancing was NOT done by the residents. Instead, the entertainment was provided by three dancers (two female, one male) and one drummer from Pacific Island Dancers, a group based on the "island" of Chino Hills, California.

Their show (presented in the parking lot of the complex) was billed as a tour of the islands, starting and ending in Tahiti, with stops in Hawaii, Samoa, and New Zealand. Much of the dancing was done to pre-recorded music (with the drummer augmenting things on some songs), but the final dances were accompanied by the drummer alone.

They also had an audience participation segment. No, none of the residents participated, but they did get five family members to go up front and shake around a bit.

A fun time was had by all. In addition to performing at corporate events, Pacific Island Dancers also offers instruction for all age groups.

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