I don't need much of an excuse to wear a kimono so when my good friend Hong mention this event, I thought why not!
I have only seen Japanese Dance on YouTube and on TV but never in real life so this seem like an ideal time to learn some culture. In addition, I will be meeting a national living treasure from Japan so extra bonus.
So after both of us got changed at Kings Place toilets (using our in depth knowledge of toilet kitsuke) we waited at Hall 2. We got there at 15.00 because Hong got an email from the Japan Foundation to say that they were overbooked. Well we were not going to stand up for the whole performance so we got there early.
There were three performances by three performers, the first performance was Shichifukujin performed by Nishikawa Senzo X in Su-odori. Which meant he was wearing a montsuki and hakama and used only the sensu as prop. Would you believe he is 82 years old!
The second performance was Urashima performed by Nishikawa Minosuke, who is the son of Senzo. I think this was done in Koten Buyo and involved costume change mid dance.
And the final performance was Tenaraiko performed by Onoe Yukari. She was from another school of dance and this was performed in Sosaku Byuo. No costume change but there was more movement in her dance as opposed to the first two.
After the three performance, Minosuke came on stage (after removing his costume and make up) to intrepret some dance movements. He then invited three groups of five volunteers to try some of the dance moves. Hong and I volunteered for the third group and we tried to mimic a samurai. I was rubbish but for a few minutes humiliation we both got to keep the sensu!
Then came the question and answer session. I didn't really have anything to ask but someone in the audience felt the need to voice her review of the three dances (hmm what part of question and answer does review come under???). In a nutshell, she didn't like the third one because it did not convey the performer's emotions enough as she was moving her body too much.
So the event was over and since the performers were going to be hanging around the bar of Kings Place. We decided that since we were not going to use the sensu for dance purposes we might has well get them signed by the performers. You never know!
And here they are (left, Onoe Yukari ; middle, Nishikawa Minosuke ; right, Nishikawa Senzo X)
What a fun day and the sensu was a major bonus!