Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dragons and Drums - Hollywood ArtsPark

DSC_3061One of the great things about making so many friends in entertainment business this past year is I never need to check the newspapers for events. They just pop up in my Facebook. Way too many for my limited free time these days. There has been one group I have been wanting to see for over a year. The Ronin Taiko Drummers. I have either been too busy or they have been performing too far away. When I got the word they were performing 10 minutes from my house, I rearranged my entire schedule to attend.

You would think now that I am a nearly noticed blogger, I could score a few free tickets to events. Yeah - not quite. But no need. The Ronin Taiko Drummers were the opening and closing act of Dragons and Drums at the Hollywood ArtsPark celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The performance included Chinese Lion Dancers and Samoan Fire Dancers. Ronin Taiko was joined by the students of the Wadaiko Academy. And everyone scored free tickets. That's right, Hollywood put this high energy event on free of charge.

DSC_3097 My photos are not all that great but the show was fantastic and easily the best attended event I have seen yet at the ArtsPark. The huge stage was filled wall to wall all night, lighting and sound were perfect, and the show started right on time. Just after the drumming began, there was not a patch of grass to be found in the amphitheater. Some folks brought chairs but many just had blankets or sat right on the grass.

Besides one of the best shows I've seen in a while, one thing really caught my attention. The amount of children in the audience. At one point, the Chinese Lion Dancers took the stage and children came streaming down from the hillside to get a closer look. When was the last time you saw that in Florida and not been in Disney. Then they headed back to their parents and grand parents. This was truly a family show for all ages. The type of event I would go to, way back when I was a kid, with my family and seeming lost to time in this modern, grownups only world. Congratulations to Hollywood for bringing back true family entertainment and making it cool enough for all ages to enjoy.


This was the first year for Dragons and Drums. After an hour and a half, the audience called out for one more dance, and no one left till they turned off the stage lights. Looks like Hollywood may have hit upon yet another signature, annual event.


  1. Yes, it was a nice show & especially for free! Sorry we didn't get to catch up much last night, we'll have to get together again.

  2. What a great write up! Mahalo and Do Jeh!

    Mama Keiki "Hula" Yee C Yuet Gwai Stacy Weigle
    Den Mama for the Lion Dancers with Joe Keit Kung Fu

    Hope you can join in more family-fun activities at Joe Keit Kung Fu's Grand Opening Celebration!!!

  3. I would like to share some fan mail I received today:


    I loved your article!! Thank you for recognizing and appreciating the very mission of Ohana Arts which is, "bringing Aloha to S Florida"

    Ohana means "family" and that's why every event we produce puts family first. Even our own family all participate in our shows and every artist we work with becomes part of our Ohana.

    For three years in a row, 2 years ago, we produced "A Hawaiian Holliday" performance at the Arts Park. We hope to make Dragons and Drums an annual event. As Hollywood residents ourselves, we are excited as we continue working with the Arts Park.

    Mahalo nui loa,

    Sandi Stevens
    Director of Ohana Arts Inc

  4. Wow Thank you so much for acknowledging the very creators and brains to this work of art that our community, also known as Ohana(meaning family)was able to enjoy this weekend. The company called Ohana Arts did a fabulous job at bringing all of these talents and organizing such a jaw dropping event just like the other ones they have created in the past years in the very heart of our community at the Arts Park!! We love you Ohana Arts!!!
    youtube channel: OhanaArtsInc
    Check them out!

  5. Downunder, Chinese restaurants are booked out for Chinese New Year to see the Lion Dance. So you're one up on me - I've never actually seen one in the street!!! Sounds like a great day out!!

  6. This event is coming up again on May 17, 2014. Thanks for the great write up last year!