JCC Lecture and Demonstration:
Japan Creative Centre (JCC) is pleased to present JCC Lecture and Demonstration: Iwasaki Onikenbai, a traditional Japanese performance art that began as a ceremony to gratify the spirits of late ancestors, but evolved to become a dramatic and stylised ritual performed to energise the aura of the land.
Onikenbai (ogre sword dance) originated from Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan and has been passed down from generation to generation for more than 1000 years. It is very popular with foreign visitors and children for its dynamic samurai-like choreography, danced with swords in hands. Local children keep this tradition alive, as the dance is taught in elementary and junior high schools in the area. In 1993, it was designated as a national important intangible folk cultural property.
There are generally 8 dancers in a group; the number of dancers vary depending on the program.
In addition, there are musical accompanists, consisting of a taiko drummer, two to four flutists, and one or two bell ringers. Dancers wear masks of five different colors; the lead dancer in the center wears a white mask. The unique costume includes a mask, a wig, chain mail, gaiters, white split-toe socks, straw sandals, a sword, a fan, and a vajra (Buddhist ritual object) . One of the elements of the dance is “henbai,” a unique step which symbolizes “purification of the land by stomping on the demons” and which is said to appease vengeful spirits through chanting of sutras.
The Iwasaki Onikenbai troupe will be performing in Singapore as part of A Tapestry of Sacred Music Festival at the Esplanade from 27th-29th April. As a tie-in with their visit, the Lecture and Demonstration at JCC on 28th April will introduce the audience to the art of onikenbai, its history and cultural significance in Japan. The dynamic movements of the dance will be explained with live demonstrations by the professional dancers of the Iwasaki Onikenbai troupe.
DATE: Saturday, 28th April 2012
TIME: 4:30pm to 5:30pm (Registration begins at 4.00pm)
VENUE: Japan Creative Centre,
4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372
REGISTRATION: HERE (RSVP by 25th April)
Please register early to avoid disappointment. We regret to inform that as there are limited seating, seats will be confirmed only upon receipt of confirmation email from JCC. ALL EVENTS ARE FREE OF CHARGE.