The Festival of Japan -Drums + Dance-

Yuzu played Japanese Min’yo (folk songs) in The Festival of Japan – Drums + Dance –, presented by The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, on June 17th/18th at Abrons Arts Center in Manhattan.

This show was the 30th anniversary of Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York. The special guest Sukeroku Taiko, joined all the way from Tokyo, is one of the leading team of Taiko Drums music scene in Japan.

Collaboration of Music and Dance

Here are some of the programs Yuzu joined with her shamisen:

Mugiya Bushi (from Toyama)

Mugiya Bushi, old folk song from Toyama region (where Yuzu was born in Japan), describes the sorrow story of fallen warriors in ancient Japan. Yuzu played shamisen and sang along with the dance of samurai ghosts. It was probably the first live music performance of this song in New York.

Tsugaru Shamisen solo (from Aomori) 〜 Otemoyan (from Kumamoto) 〜 Daikoku Mai (from Akita)

For solo performance, Yuzu played a medley of three folk songs.

Tsugaru Shamisen solo, or Tsugaru Jongara Bushi, is the most popular shamisen music in Japan now. It is a kind of improvisational music and young players are developing new techniques every day.

Otemoyan was composed about 150 years ago in Kumamoto, and mainly performed by the geisha girls there. This is a funny song about a young lady who longs for freedom in love.

Daikoku Mai is a new year’s celebration song from Akita. The lyrics describe all kinds of lucky things in japan.

Nanbu Tawaratsumi Uta (from Aomori) collaborated with Sukeroku Taiko

This is a celebration song from Northern part of Japan. Yuzu played this song with the two female taiko drums players from Sukeroku Taiko, Natsuko and Hikari.

Hanagasa Ondo (from Yamagata)

One of the most popular Bon Dance music in Japan. The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York dances it in Japan Day Parade NY, Japan Village Summer Festival, and many other Japanese festivals in the U.S.

It was an honor to be a part of such a wonderful opportunity to share authentic Japanese performing arts in New York Ciry!

For more info

Official Website: The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York


Article on Shukan NY Seikatsu (Japanese newspaper in New York)

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