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8: traditional japanese dance - the auroran sunset

Here at abelard.org, we take a lot of photographs. Many of them are pretty or interesting. This is the eighth in a regular “photograph with little or no explanation or comment” feature.

In July 2004 I went to see a small shamisen (Japanese lute) concert in Hayato, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The organisers also showed off a variety traditional Japanese dances.

Here are two photos of one of the solo dancers. She has on a gorgeous blue kimono[1] while doing a fan dance:

Japanese fan dancer in blue kimono. Image credit: the auroran sunset
[Taken in Japan on the 3rd July 2004.]

She is apparently seriously studying traditional dance somewhere up in northern Japan. Her brother (one of my students) and her mother were two of the main shamisen players in the concert. Altogether a rather talented family:

Japanese fan dancer in blue kimono. Image credit: the auroran sunset
[Taken in Japan on the 3rd July 2004.]

Fan dancing is probably the most well-known style of traditional Japanese dance, but they do dances with just about everything. Here are two pictures of a different girl dancing, clad in yellow kimono, with an umbrella:

Japanese umbrella dancer in yellow kimono. Image credit: the auroran sunset
[Taken in Japan on the 3rd July 2004.]

Japanese umbrella dancer in yellow kimono. Image credit: the auroran sunset
[Taken in Japan on the 3rd July 2004.]

This last picture shows the last dance of the show. It's aparently an old dance from the Hayato area, lots of bright colourful silly clothes and boisterous prancing around the stage: fun. ^_^

A traditional Kagoshima dance with lots of colour. Image credit: the auroran sunset
[Taken in Japan on the 3rd July 2004.]

endnote

1. A "kimono" is literally "something you wear". The word refers to the traditional Japanese full-length dress; there are also plainer kimono for men. You don't tend to see kimono very often nowadays; although the summer version - "yukata" - is still often worn at summer festivals.

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