Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Japanese Sakura

We're going to be otherwise occupied next Sunday and won't be able to attend the big Sakura Sunday event in Fairmount Park. So, when we had the opportunity to see the Taiko drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University at Swarthmore this Sunday evening we took advantage of it.

Their show is so colorful and is full of energy. This year (picture is from last) there was quite a bit of humour as they did a piece with humourous Japanese wooden masks. They chose a young boy from the audience to participate and when his part was over snapped a polaroid to give him as a souvenir. There were only 2 pieces that may have been the same as last year's show everything else was new, including the costumes. They did two pieces with women dressed as geishas and the komonos on the other women were gorgeous. One of the dances we really enjoyed featured a kind of horse costume for 8 of the dancers. It told the story of a young foal who couldn't keep up with the bigger horses and became discouraged. Her rider (?) comes and gives her courage to try. By the end of the dance she is having a wonderful time.

The man who introduced the troupe told us that before the performance they had swept the entire auditorium. At the end of the performance they formed a receiving line at the exit of the theater. As we thanked them and congratulated them for their performance, they thanked us for coming. I think this is all part of the hospitality for which the Japanese are renowned.

On Monday morning we learned about Haiku and Erin copied her favorite into her literature notebook and illustrated it. On her own accord at the library Monday afternoon she checked out a book from the Royal Diary (historical fiction) series about a Japanese princess, Kazunomiya.

If you can't make it to a Cherry Blossom Festival you can see an archived performance from last year at the Kennedy Center or watch their performance this year live on the web on Thursday and Friday nights. There have been other Japanese music performances over the last week, click here to search for some.
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