Shinto dancers come to Delhi

Asian Connect

On the 60th anniversary of Indo-Japanese relations, the ICCR will present Iwami Kagura, a mesmerising Shinto Dance on December 3 at the FICCI auditorium.

Iwami is one of the three main regions of Shimane Prefecture and is the best place to experience the real Japan. The mythology, rich history, stunning scenery and warm-hearted people of this area enthrall any traveller.

“Iwami Kagura is a vibrant folk art form of Japan relating to harvests. This reson­a­tes with the Indian society in which agricultural activities provide the fulcrum of all celebrations. I am confident that the viewers are going to enjoy the coincidence of ideas between two apparently different art forms,” informs, Dr. Suresh K Goel, DG, ICCR.

The Shinto theatrical dance was originally perfo­r­med by Shinto priests at the yearly autumn festival as a sign of gratitude to the Shinto gods for their help in producing a bountiful harvest.

After the Meiji Era, this tradition was handed down from the Shinto priests to the common people, moving from a traditional 6-beat rhythm to a faster 8-beat rhythm. People used to dedicate the Kagura-dances and music to praise and entertain their gods.
Iwami-Kagura is a folk performance that has been handed down by generations in the Iwami-region and is performed throughout the night.

The Kagura consists of more than 30 episodes based mainly on material found in the Nihon-Shoki (Chronicles of Japan). Today it has become the flagship folk art of the local area and is integral part of every major event or wedding ceremony.

In autumn, people offer performances of the Kagura to thank for the abundant harvest and pray for more rich harvest in the coming year. Along with the performances, the air is filled with colourful sounds of Taiko drums and flutes.

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