Japan in Edinburgh ,the elegance of the Kyo Mai

By Alessandro Carosi

I joined a Japanese  cultural event at the Pleasance Theater on the 3rd of December ,it was the first time to attend such a performance but I was pleasantly satisfied ,it wasn’t my cup of tea event but culturally was massively important.
A unique event featuring the 17th-century Kyoumai Inoue Ryu dance form Kyoto ‘First time that a Kyo Mai Inoue Ryu Master and Living National Treasure will perform outside Japan’.

If  I tell you that I was excited and interested I would lie ,I fall asleep a couple of time I think but just for few minutes so I didn’t miss much but as I said earlier ,it was an important cultural occurrence ,what was shown was an important part of Japanese history and Kyoto ,the historical city that used to be the Capital.

I was glad to be there discovering this traditional dance from the 17th century 
 Tokugawa cultural period ,the presence of many Japanese audience and the chatting in Japanese reminded me of the period of Kaori ,my ex girlfriend and when together we lived in Japan ,I should write more of that period ,I have beautiful memories ,anyway ,I’m glad I could join the event and as in London I’m part of a Japanese-English meet up group ,not as big as in the city but always nice to meet like minded people and making friendship with some citizen of the rising sun country.

For one hour I empathized my self as a Japanese from the  17th century and tried to imagine how life could be at that time ,not easy ,especially for someone that grew up in the west.

I hope that Inoue Yachiyo V will come back so that I can have the chance to enjoy the performance again and learn something more about their history ,next time I will make sure to be more energetic and awake ,I promise.

A unique event featuring the 17th-century Kyoumai Inoue Ryu dance form Kyoto ‘First time that a Kyo Mai Inoue Ryu Master and Living National Treasure will perform outside Japan’.
The idea is to create a concentrated space where a series of dances and music of the Shamisen, will offer the audience an uplifting experience by the performance’s elegance and its cultural inheritance. The final talk will aim to stimulate interaction and information with the common axis point reflection and knowledge.
Japanese traditional dance such as Noh Mai and Kabuki has a long history and fame in Europe. Although Europeans can have a good general knowledge of many traditional Japanese performance arts, still little is known about one of the most prestigious and sophisticated Kamigata-mai dances, which was initially developed in Kyoto called Kyo Mai.
Kyo Mai developed in the 17th century Tokugawa cultural period. It is heavily influenced by the elegance and sophistication of the manners often associated with the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Due to this, the Kyo Mai is always related to the beauty of the Japanese Imperial Court. One of the reasons for this project is due to part of six years of my research on the distinct form of traditional Kyoto Dance, or Kyo Mai.
Event Idea
The idea has emerged as a result of a crisis between language and visual replicability that the graceful dance manners manifest— as dance manners can only be more fully understood when experienced by seeing the dance. This event is a unique and extraordinary opportunity, as for the first time, a Kyo Mai Master and Living National treasure have agreed to perform outside Japan.
The event aims to present an enlightened, educative, environment to come face to face with the elegance of the Kyo Mai, with a specific interest in and focus on the process of the ‘unspoken-unwritten- experience’ that the dance stimulates via the unique dance style.

The event will begin with a dance performance from Yasuko Inoue’s dance. Following her dancing, a short documentary will be shown to elaborate on the ancient dance and provide a brief history of this performing art. Finally, ‘National Living Treasure’, Inoue Yachiyo V dance.

Both of the dances will have musical accompaniment, provided by Shamisen (a traditional Japanese stringed instrument) and Koto players and other accompaniment music. Therefore lovers of traditional Japanese music are also sure to enjoy the event.

This is a rare opportunity to see a traditional performance art of this calibre outside of Japan, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

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