|Japanese Deer Dance Comes to London|
For the first time, a Shishi-Odori deer dance troupe is coming to the UK.
This spectacular folk performance art is native to Japan’s north eastern Iwate region, and is rarely seen by those outside of Japan. The event promises to be a fantastic opportunity for lovers of Japanese traditional culture to get a look first hand at an authentic regional ritual.
The Oshu Kanatsu Shishi-Odori Dance Troupe have been invited to perform their dynamic and lively dance at this year’s The Mayor’s Thames Festival to celebrate cultural diversity in the UK as well as to showcase the art and culture of the Tohoku region, which was devastated by last year's Great East Japan Earthquake. The performances will take place over the two days, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September, and will be supported by the Japan Foundation.
During the performance, Shishi-Odori dancers wear a carved wooden shishi-gashira (deer mask) adorned with real deer horns and horsetail hair and bang a taiko drum hung from the waist. They carry sasara on their backs, which consist of sliding screen paper on bamboo, measuring over three metres in length, and represent the purification strips used in ceremonies by devotees of Shinto, a Japanese indigenous religion.
Prior to their performances the troupe will also travel to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Thursday 6th) and the Maidstone Museum, Kent (7th) for lunchtime presentations.