Kanto Buyou Rengoukai, The 11th Annual Kanto Traditional Buyou Dance Association’s Expo
One of the perks of working as a lowly human Speak and Spell in a public school is that you’re around a lot of highly educated people with close ties to their community and a desire to impart their knowledge and culture on others. We call them “teachers”. One of my boyfriend’s coworkers was eager to share this spring. The Dai 11 Kai Kanto Buyou Rengoukai didn’t mean much to me when he texted that the old lady teacher who sits near his desk had given him free tickets. But, the performances we witnessed were brilliant.
It was an all day event, starting early in the morning. Participants performed elegant fan dances to traditional, though sometimes remixed, music. Some performers performed alone, others in larger, synchronized groups. Stage hands in black formal wear knelt beside the performers to hand off props and arrange robes. I was immediately intimidated. Each perform had their own set pieces and/or dynamic lighting scheme. All of the performing kimono seemed to be original designs. Props included single fans, fan sets, umbrellas, and even swords. I snuck pictures as subtly as possible, but realized soon with people snacking beside me that I was probably save and not committing and serious faux pas. An Enka singer performed live with two of the dancers.
I hope I can go back next year.