National Theatre Okinawa celebrates 10th anniversary of its opening

National Theatre Okinawa celebrates 10th anniversary of its opening

Graduates of the Kumi Odori course of the theatre performed Shushin Kaneiri at the National Theatre Okinawa in Urasoe on January 18. (Photograph taken by Akiko Kuwabara)

January 19, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Marking the 10th anniversary of its opening, the National Theater Okinawa held commemoration ceremony and celebration performance in Urasoe on January 18.

Many people involved celebrated this occasion for the theater that has been growing as the Hall of Fame for Okinawan traditional arts. They prayed for its further development. Ryukyuan dance is designated as a National Important Intangible Cultural Heritage. A practitioner of the dance, who has been promoting the Okinawa traditional arts since the war, started the event by performing the ceremonial dance called Kajade. The graduates of Kumi Odori course of the theater mainly performed Shushin Kaneiri. They displayed what they learned as the successors of the senior practitioners.

Okinawa vice Governor Kurayoshi Takara who is the executive head of the foundation managing the theater, delivered a speech. He said, “While mainly focusing on Kumi Odori performances, the theater has been putting on display performing arts of Okinawa, the main islands of Japan and Asia. They have also been working on new performing arts. The number of the audience increases. The graduates become successful. Working with the cultural exchange projects carried out by the prefectural government, I would like the theater to be the hub for traditional arts and tourism.”

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said, “Based in the theater, we will work on various policies for its sustainable development while preserving and taking over the traditional arts, which are the properties that Okinawan people are proud of.”
The Japanese Prince and Princess once visited the theater.

(English translation by T&CT)

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