Japanese dance ensemble excites audience
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:09
When people walked in for the Iwami Kagura performance, they could see the stage set up with a blue cloth like background.
Before entering, there was a table set out with different sheets of information pertaining to the dance among other things. People were given a program that gives a little bit of history about Iwami Kagura, a list of the dancers and musicians and a description of the performances.
"As a rite of reverence for the god Kotoshironushi-no-mikoto, who resides in the Miho Shrine in Shimane prefecture, this dance is a prayer for peace on earth, plentiful harvest, and prosperous business. It is said that the fishing pole purifies the heart, the long fishing line prolongs life and the fishhook captures divine treasures. The fukushin-men, or the mask of the god of good fortune, used in this dance is heart-warming and beaming; combined with the comical nature of the fishing scene, this piece will bring joy to your hearts."
Before the first performance began someone gave a little description about the dance, saying that it was about the god of good luck catching a lucky fish. The audience was encouraged to interact with the performers. They wanted to hear clapping and cheering when the audience saw something they thought was good.
When it was time the musicians walked onto the stage. It started with the flute piercing the air. The drums and cymbals followed soon after. Some of the people began to clap when the music got faster.
Then the god of luck, Ebisu, walked onto the stage waving a fan and carrying his fishing pole.
He began to dance in circles around the stage and went faster and faster as the music continued. Then it suddenly stopped. Ebisu spoke in Japanese and went about trying to fish. He struggled a little bit and pulled up a banner that said, "We Love USA"
While struggling and pulling up the banner, the people in the crowd started to clap and cheer.
Ebisu gave the banner to two people to hold up while he went offstage and down the center of the aisle. He tossed candies that had the pictures of Iwami Kagura characters on them.
After he returned to the stage and went about catching the lucky fish.
The musicians started to play again. Slow at first but faster when he was struggling to catch the fish. He went one way across the stage and then the other.
People began to clap at this. As the music got faster and faster so did the clapping. This time it wasn't just a few people but the entire crowd.
They clapped even more when he caught the lucky fish. After pulling it off the hook, he danced around the stage with it for a little while.
After the musicians had finished playing at the end of the show, they bowed and left the stage.
A second performance was held after a ten minute intermission.