JPA’s new stage production “Spirit in Traditional Japanese Dance & Kimono” is the prequel to the future scheduled production “Expansion of Inward Spiral.” Originally, there was no plan to have this prequel stage production, but the smaller venue prequel idea emerged in order to adjust to the accident that “Expansion of Inward Spiral” was pushed back due to the theater-side logistical problem.
“Spirit in Traditional Japanese Dance & Kimono” is a story about the cultural journey of Ellie, a successful American painter and long-term resident of Japan. Ellie is giving a lecture on “Traditional Dance & Kimono,” which is the theme of her last painting project. Her profound studies on the quintessential core of traditional Japanese culture together with her limited remaining time push her to find her own cultural identity now positioned between Japanese culture and her own. Ellie would refuse to face her past for a long time, but during her lecture, an important realization finally occurs.
The details of Japanese traditional Nichibu dance and kimono, which will also be introduced in the next production of “Expansion of Inward Spiral,” will be first briefed in this prequel as the main pillar theme of this series. The stories and scripts are written by Yuko Hamada, President of Japan Performing Arts, Inc. These productions are designed to be able to perform even at relatively small stage venues at various educational institutions in the United States in the future.
Credit (subject to change)
Story & Script: Yuko Hamada
Translator: Natsumi Sofia Bellali
Stage Manager: Mariko Takizawa
Production Manager: Seika Takeuchi
Lighting Designer: Brian Aldous
Kimono Dresser: Yukari Mizuuchi
Traditional Japanese Hair Designer: Mika Saijo, Satoshi Ikeda
Hair Designer: Toshitsugu Kubota
Performer: Clara Francesca, Motoko Tadano, Midori Anami, Akiko Matsumoto, Yuka Notsuka, Kaoru Tani, Yuko Hamada
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Friday, June 26, 2020 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 3:30pm
Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 7:30pm
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater | Symphony Space
2537 Broadway (at 95th St.) New York, NY 10025
Standard $28, Members, Seniors, Students (with I.D.) $23, Children $15, Day of Show $35
Expected Run Time is 80 minutes
The central theme is to explain how the dance is deeply intertwined with the kimono costume culture. Kimono has about 1,200 years of history and throughout its development its shape did not experience major changes. The details of how the kimono shape was formed and the fabrics were developed will be introduced on stage using the projection as well as the dancers’ demonstrations. All the essential knowledge and cultural protocols are going to be explained.
Wearing kimono, the dance requires a special awareness for the movement formats as well as for the use of energy in a very different way compared to the equivalent in the Western culture. This is a unique explanation from Japan Performing Arts, Inc. that a country’s traditional dance reflects the cultural characteristics and values of each region. JPA has been giving this coherent message with its past projects, such as our 2008 production, called PanoramAsian dance project (a collaboration of traditional dances from Persia, India, China, Korea and Japan). It was shown at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.