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Waves Across Time: Traditional Music and Dance of Okinawa

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Waves Across Time: Traditional Music and Dance of Okinawa

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Okinawa’s return to Japan from the United States, the prefecture’s most skillful artists illuminate a rich cultural heritage in a program curated by the artistic director of the National Theatre Okinawa, Michihiko Kakazu. Accomplished and exquisite, these expert performers capture the elegant court dance and stylized musical-theater (kumiodori)of the Ryukyu Kingdom (15th-19th centuries), as well as the lively folk dances (zo-odori) and cheerful rhythms of ensemble music on sanshin, koto, fue, kokyu, and taiko. The sumptuous bingata costumes and the music’s iconic use of pentatonic scales burnish Okinawa’s distinctive artistry.