What is Nihonbuyo? All levels of experience are welcome, and all materials will be provided. Japanese classical dance was born about 1603, along with the first performances of Kabuki Theatre. In Japanese, it is also called Nihon buyō (日本舞踊) or nichibu (日舞). Even today, all Kabuki actors must first learn to dance. You can study this style of dance, too, even if you are not Japanese. In Japanese classical dance, the dancer interprets the poetry being sung in addition to dancing along with the music. For instance, if the words of the song say, “It was a very hot day,” the dancer might fan herself to show how hot it is, or if the words refer to a gentle breeze, the dancer’s movements themselves could become the cool breeze. Sometimes the dancer moves or stamps rhythmically to the music, too. A fan (osensu) helps interpret the poetry by representing many things and illustrating many moods. Fans can be used completely closed, with one rib open, or fully kimono can be either leotard or costume; even its sleeves are used as part of dance. Myriad small hand props, such as an umbrella (kasa) or hand towel (tenugui), enhance the poetic meaning and the beauty of the scene. There are many styles or schools of Japanese classical dance. The style of dance taught at (Resobox or Japanese Cultural Center) is the elegant Sōke Fujima style. About the Instructor HELEN MOSS (Fujima Nishiki-no 藤間錦乃) teaches and performs Japanese classical dance in the elegant Soke Fujima style. As a “spokesdancer,” she has given workshops and lecture demonstrations to introduce people of all ages to the beauty of dance and Japanese culture throughout the New York area, recently leading an artist-in-residency series of workshops at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
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