Ryukyuan dance and Kumiodori performed in Beijing

Ryukyuan dance and <em>Kumiodori</em> performed in Beijing

On February 24, at China Youth Center For International Exchange in Beijing, in the performance of the kumiodori play Nido tekiuchi, the brothers of Tsurumatsu and Kamechiyo made Amawari (right) merry by plying him with liquor.

February 25, 2012 Kazuki Furugen of Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 24, at the China Youth Center For International Exchange in Beijing, a Ryukyuan Dance and kumiodori performance entitled “Connect Beijing with Ryukyu (supported by the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper, the China Youth Center For International Exchange, the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Okinawa Performing Arts Confederation)” was held as the pre-event to celebrate 120th anniversary of the establishment of the Ryukyu Shimpo. The center was mostly packed with local Chinese, who came to get an idea of kumiodori, Ryukyuan Dance and Okinawan classical music. The performance attracted a great deal of interest from the Chinese media with representatives of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio taking many photographs and reporting on the event.

The Chinese audience enjoyed the performance, and seemed to be intrigued by the plays. Twenty-five year-old man, who resides in Beijing City, seemed excited about kumiodori and Ryukyuan Dance performances, saying, “I saw the performances for the first time. Even though I could not understand what the performers were saying, I was fascinated by what they were able to convey by means of movement, gesture and bearing. Twenty-four year-old woman said, “I was very impressed by the beautiful sound of the sanshin. The dancers were excellent, and their costumes were beautiful.”

At the gathering after the event, Li Honghai, vice-director of Beijing’s Foreign Affairs Office, delivered a congratulatory speech, saying, “The event made me realize that there is a long history between Japan, China and Okinawa. We would like to deepen exchange in areas such as politics, culture and trade to promote friendship between our two countries.”

Japanese Living National Treasure Choichi Terukina happily emphasized the importance of the event, saying, “Every time people applauded the performances, I was amazed. Each round of applause was impressive right through to the end. I am very pleased that so many people attended the event. That reminded me of the Ryukyuan dance and music performed for envoys from China during the era of the Ryukyu Dynasty 300 years ago.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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