tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC December 18, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PST
hello, and welcome to asian pacific america. i'm robert honda your host for the program here on nbc bay area and kozy tv. we start by showcasing a classical tiny dance in music. the performing arts company back in the bay area. it's that time of year for the japanese-american community and others who appreciate race cakes to pounding the holiday mochi. the tasty treat and trat digs behind it. after the community calendar, we have a return visit from one of the most popular guests. interview and performance with
yoyo joe will be our final trick today. we are always happy to welcome back the performing arts company which puts on a stunning show about chinese history. joining me, another former dancer and dance instructor with the academy of the arts california. mike, welcome. >> thank you, robert. >> people who aren't familiar with it, what is this performing arts and how did it get started? >> okay. so it is a professional performance company. which is big in the united states actually. and then it started in 2006, about ten years ago. so shen pz yun aims to advice the culture and using a dance style called classical chinese dance. so every year doing the international they bring the audience on the journey through
5,000 years of chinese history and culture. >> we talked about this before, but when you see some of the video, and it's pretty stunning stuff, what kind of performances will people see when you talk about that? >> always a question that you ask, you know, why would i go watch it? and so usually i would describe it using three words. one is beautiful, traditional, and then inspiring. as we see in the footage or in the costumes are real beautiful. it uses their vibrant and bright colors and everything like the costumes and the backdrop, images. and the settings are really beautiful. so that individual, the stunning visuals with the dance movement and the elegant music. the audience can really appreciate and experience the performance in this and the beautiful form. >> it really is kind of a visual
experience. when even just looking at the footage now reminds me of how visually stunning that it is. so many of the stories though are about chinese culture. chinese tales and things like that. how do westerners relate to it and how can you make them relate to it? >> well, as we know, shen yun was a revised in culture. many of us know that duller the cultural revolution in china and the 1960s. the chinese government suppressed that kind of a traditional culture. so -- and a lot of things have been lost. so shen yun wants to bring backseat the rich culture and telling stories of historical characters and what they stand for. for example, one year they had a general and then that stands for loyalty. and also there's a misallegiance
and i'm not sure if you heard about the monkey king. and then goes -- these stories reflect braveness and courage and righteousness. so i think that the audience will understand the performance for the universal language of dance music. >> it's interesting because it's not a matter of enplightening audiences who aren't aware. a lot of chinese aren't aware of the aspect of their history and they get to see it in the show. >> we have a lot of chinese audience that in a lot of performance even in china, but in watching shen yun, this is something they've never seen before, it's so pure and free to express all kinds of ideologies, about that they wouldn't performly see in china because of the profession. >> and not just the stories and the entertainment value. also when you're watching the talent skill. >> uh-huh. >> the singers and dancers. give us an idea.
you were with the company and what kind of training goes into it? how dedicated do they have to be? >> very dedicated. as i medical examinered before, and it is a complete training system. they're much like ballet, but a totally different style, of course. people train from like early morning up until like late at night. maybe like seven, eight hours. and then they have all kinds of flipping and tumbling. the movement very expressive. so it is a rig courthouse entrying that you see the results of. >> yeah, like most skilled people that make it look easy. >> exactly. >> real quickly. new show if they come. every year, shen yun has a completely different show. so even. you've seen it once, you haven't seen it all. >> a lot of people went last year, they can go again.
>> well, shen yun is at the san francisco war memorial opera house december 31st to january 8th. and then at the san jose center for the performing arts january 14th through the 15 ppt for more go to nbcbayarea.com. well coming up, tis the season for mochi, that's next. - hi, it's me. [imitates fanfare]
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welcome back. my family used to eat japanese rice cakes or mochi on holidays and special occasions. we loved it so much we made up a lot of special occasions to have some. definitely it is a must around these holidays for many japanese american families and those who appreciate japanese culture and food. provide a little more insight into the history and the making of mochi. producer joe from the studio and our colleague mike enway put together this segment for asian pacific america.
>> it may look like an empty diner out front, but in the back, ricky and bobby are hard at work. before most of san francisco even has their morning coffee. since 1906, ben has been serving fresh japanese rice kax known as mochi to the san francisco community. it's their con fengs that wins affection. >> for the 110 operation started by our grandfather back in 1906, and continued on to our -- my dad, and his mom. for many years, and now is me and my brother for a third generation kind of took over. 110 years. >> bobby and his brother ricky took us back to the kitchen for a peek at their morning routine. >> we both arrive, sweet rice,
and the followingng morni we load up the rice in wooden containers, we have it steamed. approximately 30 to 40 minutes to cook. and after it's cooked, we have it put in you are a mochi machine. for a not a long time, three or four minutes. and after it forms into a one big ball, and pull it out from a machine to our table. and then from there, it's formed into better mochi. whether it be looking like this or mochi which is for our customers and put it into a come ul. >> while ben makes it all year round, it's traditionally
enjoyed over new year's where they assemble this named for shape and size, resembling that or mirrors. stack the one on top of another. use as decoration during new year's. another new year tradition is mochi cookie or making. it serves as a younger with a i to teach them about culture or physically bring cookies together zpp for our community, it's a way to bring people together. right before the holidays and it's a wonderful way to commune kalt our culture. and way to cook together too. for us, it's really a way to celebrate the end of the year as well. and it's typically label the colder. but that's the way to solve any winter cold that you might be experiencing. >> while many have adopted an automated machine to do the hard mochi pounding. it's traditionally pounded by hand, in a big stone concrete or
wooden mortar. one or often multiple people use large wooden mallets as another person slashes water on the rice so it doesn't stick. while the technology may have changed over time. the significance remains the same. >> wonderful experience but the community, having a lot of fun and having a great day. not only for our community. >> with this act of pounding the sticky rice, it helps the community and the generations stick together. >> again, our thanks to mike for their work on that feature. i hope they get to enjoy the results of some of that labor. next, one of our favorite acts returns. national champion yo yo joe coming up and down, sideways, and every direction you can think of.
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well before we sit dun and talk with our next guest, here's a look at holiday events. the holiday benefit concert supports the japanese culture on community center of northern california. the biggest selling female hawaiian group in the world is returning to the jccmc at san francisco japantown today at 4:00 p.m. nbc bay area's proud to sponsor three ice rinks this oold season. the safeway holiday ice rink at san francisco union square which we featured recently. downtown at the sucker of palms in downtown san jose as well as walnut creek on ice at civic park. all three locations are open now through january 16th. one of my favorite traditions, christmas in the park in downtown san jose is open now through new year's day. check out the lights, the food, and of course, santa claus. and our next event is ready to go right now. with me is joseph harris, also
known as yo kbrrks o joe. multiple national champion and now we get to see his mind boggling performance soon. first we wanted to talk with him, welcome back, good to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> give me an idea of what you're doing these days. terms as a career as a yoy champion. >> i actually just retired after approximately 18 years of competition. i have won the national yoyo contest for the fifth time in my division, the double handed division, and now i'm just enthusiast. >> give some other people a chance. >> sure. >> are you, you know, last time we talked, you were helping younger people who were getting into it. i was going to tell you that i saw a number of youngsters over by san jose state. i assume they recall students and they were doing a yoyo, i asked them about it. they had seen your video on youtube, but also too they were talking about how they grew up with yoyos and suddenly it was
like it went out and came back in. where you seeing that again? a lot of going people getting into the yoyo. >> able lot more younger generation shl generation are getting into it. i started in the late '90s. everybody got into it and then it kind of phased out, then people start slowly getting back in. and that's where some of those college students are probably getting sbak in too. >> exactly. and all asian and pacific islander youngsters, and i think they were appreciative of the yoy in the context as well. not only the fancy stuff here. but there is an asian and pacific islander kind of connection to the yoyo. >> there's been no real trace of where the origin has come from. grease, china, they all have like pictures of what looks like a yoyo. it wasn't a toy like we know it as today. big, big, big debate about that. like.
>> like might have been a weapon or form of a weapon at some time. >> exactly. and now most people as you know, it's a toy. >> most of the ones i was watching, my son and daughter olivia after your last show. they were getting pretty good. but does it take a particular kind of -- almost athletic skill to get to your level? >> i would say with yoyoing, it's yes and no, art form and sport form. it's a hybrid of both. great creativity. you have to put in the sport side. you have to put in your hours, sweat, tears, and blood sometimes. >> and you need that hand-eye, certain types of skills z. we know this in baseball sometimes. somebody who's not as athletic but can hit the ball better. they have a certain kind of thing. what did you find out was your skill or skills that made you good and developed doing the yoyo? >> i realized pretty earl listen on, i had a knack through it through the hand/eye
coordination. i played video games. that helped primarily because i feel like after about six, seven months into yoyo, i could take up two which is not rare, but it's kind of like common. you don't pick it up until a few years in because you have to take up the dexterity of one instead two of. i felt pretty early that i could document two. >> looking at some of the video your shows and things like that, the reaction we have had in the studio. are you going to miss the competition? are you going to miss the showmanship and the performance part of this? >> there's a nice distinction being a professional yoyo player. competing aspect which i've retired from. performing aspect which people will call you to do shows and the thing i've been apart of. the performing kind of overlaps and they take over the competing aspect. so i don't worry and think about competing as much anymore. >> in fact, i think kristy and i was talk about to they will as
ice skate pg they went from competitive figger skating to the show ice skating, but it's just as rigorous. pouf practice just as much. but you get almost a great deal of artistic satisfaction. >> artistic satisfaction comes at a price. sometimes you'll get to show your tricks, but show some of your showmanship and personality through the performance aspect. >> all right. we're going to give you that chance. >> we will. when we come back, yoyo joe performs live. stay with us.
[ applause ] >> incredible as always. thank you very much. all right. well, that's it for our show. as we begin our next 100th episodes, you can get more information on our guests by visiting nbcbayarea.com. as well, find us on facebook and twitter. and we are going to go out with more on asian pacific america with yoyo joe. so, thanks for watching. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪