For a week, I haven’t been posting anything – and for a good reason. I joined Adamson University’s Bunka Koryu Kai for the guest performance at Nihongo Fiesta. The last time I actually performed on stage was ages ago (not counting the talent portion in last October’s pageant, even so, Oct2011 was ages ago). I just couldn’t miss this wonderful opportunity to learn about Japanese culture through dancing when Misa (BKK alumni) needed more dancers.
To enter the premises of ADU, I used my Korean Class ID from ADU’s Center for Language Learning even though my class ended last week and today’s actually our graduation :) sneaky eh?
Anyway, here’s the fruit of our labor: Sendai Suzume Odori
Sendai Suzume Odori is a folk dance that Sendai Sparrow Dance Company reconstructed from a traditional entertainment of sparrow Dance that had been lost for a long time. The original Sparrow Dance is derived from the dance improvised by the stonemasons at the feast for the construction of Sendai Castle of famous monarch Masamune Date about 400 years ago.
Because the movement of the masons dance was alike the appearances of skipping sparrow on the ground ，and also the Date ‘s emblem described sparrow ,so it was named ” Sparrow Dance ” ,and got to be danced at a variety of festivals. (source)
We choreographed our steps based on the videos from performances in Sendai, Japan. It makes me sad that the area where this dance originated was struck by the March 2011 quake and tsunami *prayers for the lost souls* Every time I think of those people whose lives instantly vanished, the people who gave their lives to save many, the elderly and children who were left alone by their beloveds… As I type this, I just can’t help but cry. I saw a recent documentary on the Light Up Nippon (YouTube) project and makes me cry all the more the way the people there face the challenges of moving forward despite the grave losses.
While we practiced this dance, I had the urge to do this well in honor of the lost lives and to make the people from Japan Foundation glad that they chose this organization to perform for their event. In my mind, this should be performed well because this is their culture, and we shouldn’t just play around with it. We should respect it if we want our culture to be respected as well.
View more Sendai Suzume Odori photos here.