The Nihon Buyo Kai of California is pleased to announce “Virtual Autumn Japanese Classical Dance Performances” from October 17 to 23, 2021.
This 70-minute program will be hosted free of charge on the website, https://nihonbuyokai.org/virtual-dance-program/ and is presented by Nihon Buyo Kai, a charitable nonprofit organization established in 2012, whose mission is to present and promote Nihon buyo.
Due to the current climate of social distancing and safety precautions, the Nihon Buyo Kai Board of Directors decided that instead of in-person presentations in past years, they would feature four videos of past performances with dancers from Bando and Wakayagi Kai schools in Los Angeles.
The selections include four genres of Japanese traditional music and a variety of types of dances. Viewers can enjoy:
- Hinazuru Sambaso (Nagauta) by dancers Bando Hidesomi, Bando Hirosuzu, and Bando Hiromiya;
- Soshun (Yamatogaku) by dancers Bando Mitsuhiro and Bando Hidesomi;
- Seigaiha” (Kiyomoto) by dancers Wakayagi Hisame and Wakayagi Sumika; and
- Tsuri Onna (Tokiwazu) with dancers Bando Mitsuhiro; Bando Wakatsuye, Bando Hidesomi, and Bando Hiromasaya.
The seven board members of Nihon Buyo Kai are volunteers who are passionate about carrying on the legacy of the late Bando Mitsuhiro, their “Oshishosan,” from whom they studied before her passing in 2016, and whose dream was to promote Japanese dance throughout the U.S.
Please visit the organization’s website, https://nihonbuyokai.org, and enjoy the gallery of photos from past presentations and a tribute to past trailblazers of Nihon buyo, as well as its Facebook and Instagram pages.
But most importantly, please enjoy the “Virtual Autumn Japanese Classical Dance Performances” to be presented on the Nihon Buyo Kai website from October 17 to 23.
Virtual Autumn Japanese Classical Dance Performances
HINAZURU SAMBASO (Nagauta)
The “Sambaso” is a dance traditionally performed for celebratory occasions and is a prayer dance that conveys wishes for a bountiful harvest.
This particular version is thought to have been composed in about 1755 and is considered the oldest of the Sambaso dances in the nagauta (“long song”) genre of music.
The choreography for this dance suggests femininity and gentleness, whereas many Sambaso dances tend to be more masculine.
The dancers are in order of appearance:
Bando Hidesomi, Bando Hirosuzu, and Bando Hiromiya of the Bando Mitsuhiro Kai.
This dance was performed on January 4, 2009, at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre in Los Angeles, as part of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s New Year celebration called “Kotohajime ‘09 Hatsu Shibai (First Performance).”
The dance master Hanayagi Sogaku choreographed this dance and was inspired by a portrait drawn by Domoto Inzo, in Kyoto, Japan.
The portrait depicts a woman wearing a kimono with a Japanese apricot floral design holding an umbrella.
In the dance, two sisters express their feelings for their loved ones as the cherry trees shed their blossoms on a rainy, spring day.
The genre of the music is Yamatogaku, and while accompaniment is with shamisen and traditional percussion instruments, the music is considered a more modern style developed in 1933.
It is characterized by only female vocalists who incorporate Western styles featuring harmony, singing in round, and humming.
The dancers are Bando Mitsuhiro and Bando Hidesomi of the Bando Mitsuhiro Kai.
This was performed on October 2, 2004, at the Japan America Theatre on the 35th Anniversary of the Bando Mitsuhiro Kai.
This celebratory dance depicts the beauty of the four seasons that surround some of the most famous bodies of water in Japan.
The music of Seigaiha was composed to laud the debut performance of Headmaster Kiyomoto Enjyu V and is considered one of the masterpieces of the Kiyomoto School. Kiyomoto music is often an accompaniment to Kabuki and Japanese classical and traditional dance.
Male: Wakayagi Hisame
Female: Wakayagi Sumika
This dance was performed in March 2013 at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance for the 15th Anniversary Recital presented by the Wakahisa Kai.
TSURI ONNA (Tokiwazu)
The music for Tsuri Onna originated in the Kyogen theater (comedic satire, often an interlude between Kabuki dramas) and was adapted to the Tokiwazu style of music, which is the music often accompanying dances of the Kabuki theater.
The lyrics were written by Mokuami Kawatake, and the music was composed by Kosohikisa Kishizawa VI. The piece premiered as a celebratory piece to commemorate the reconciliation between the Tokiwazu and Kishizawa families.
This comical dance drama is about a bachelor daimyo (lord) who arrives at the Ebisu Shrine with his servant Tarokaja to pray for the blessings of a wife.
Later that night, he dreams that he is given a fishing rod. Knowing that the deity Ebisu is always depicted with a fishing rod and a fish under his arm, the daimyo and his servant surmise that the fishing rod was intended for him to fish for a wife.
The daimyo casts the line and draws in a beautiful young maiden. Tarokaja tries to do the same but reels in a very ugly woman. This dance is full of highlights such as the traditional ceremonial toast and the celebratory dance, and portrays human emotions—love, humor, and grief.
The dancers are from the Bando School:
Ugly Woman – Bando Mitsuhiro
Servant Tarokaja – Bando Hiromasaya,
Lord – Bando Wakatsuye,
Noblewoman – Bando Hidesomi
This was performed on June 11, 2006, at the Japan America Theatre at the Los Angeles Bando Ryu Charity Show Featuring Japanese Classical and Kabuki Dance.