2023 NO.35


Dancing Japan!


Going to the Theater to See
Dance Performances

Traditional Japanese dance, modern dance, and even dances featuring real-size, live-action versions of popular animated characters—Japanese theaters stage all kinds of dance performances.

Private Luxury on a Public Stage

Miyako Odori

Among the many schools of Japanese dance, the Inoue school of Kyomai has made its mark as a Kyoto art form for ozashiki, private parties held in traditional establishments with geiko and maiko (apprentice geiko) providing entertainment. Among the Kyomai dances, also choreographed and performed by geiko and maiko, are the Miyako Odori dances. Performances are given for the public every year from April 1 to 30 at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. This is a rare opportunity to experience dances typically only performed at exclusive ozashiki parties. It has become a springtime highlight for Kyoto sightseers.

The finale ensemble. The hour-long performance features eight dances. (Photo: Qualite link, Inc.)

The historical Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater was built in 1913. (Photo: Qualite link, Inc.)

Modern Dance, From Niigata to the Global Stage

Noism Company Niigata

Noism Company Niigata is the resident dance ensemble at the Ryutopia Niigata-City Performing Arts Center. As such, it is Japan’s first dance company to be exclusively affiliated with a public theater. The company is led by world-acclaimed director, choreographer and dancer Kanamori Jo, who explores and presents one-of-a-kind dance modalities developed in a unique training process that integrates physical arts from the East and the West. The young dancers, who are selected from around the world, are based in Niigata, where they are involved in community activities for local residents, while creating a performing art shared with the world.

The dynamic Oni (“Ogre”) is performed to the music of the professional taiko drumming troupe Kodo. (Photo: Shinoyama Kishin)

Niigata-City Performing Arts Center is designed to appear to be floating on water.

Dances Featuring Real-Size, Live-Action Versions of Animated Characters

Sanrio Puroland

If you have ever dreamed of seeing Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters singing and dancing, right up close and personal, the indoor theme park Sanrio Puroland is the place for you. Join in the pop music parade, wave your penlight in the air with all your favorite characters, and immerse yourself in the Sanrio world.

Enjoy the Sanrio star characters’ dancing to your heart’s content at the Miracle Gift Parade.

Entrance to Sanrio Puroland, an invitation to a fairytale world ©1990, 2023 SANRIO CO., LTD. TOKYO