koenji_suiren

My Journey as a Flute Player in the Awa Dance Group

Japanese Traditional Dance: Music and Dancers in Sui-ren

→ Awa-Dance in Koenji "Sui-ren" official website
12 Jan

What is the Kids Dance?

Kodomo-Odori: The Kid’s Dance
Kodomo means children, Odori means dance. The Ren (team) decides on which dance to learn first. Usually, the Ren (team) chooses to learn the Men’s dance first but it is still up to the Ren (team) on which dance they would prefer to study first.

What Do They Wear?
The costumes of the kids belongs to the Ren’s (Team’s) rule. For example, "Happi" and short pants. Happi is a short kimono that resembles a jacket. The girls' costume who perform the Women’s dance usually wear the women’s dance costumes. However, the color of the children's costumes sometimes vary from that and of the adults. As for Suiren, older women wears a blue costume and young girls wear a pink one.
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6 Jan

What Is the Men’s Dance?

Otoko-Odori: The Men’s Dance
Otoko means men, Odori means dance. Men and women can join the Men’s dance. We can express ourselves through dance. The moves of great dancers are very smooth.

The “Otoko-Odori” that men do is sometimes aggressive, passionate, and comical. They dance gracefully. The dancers often dance with Uchiwa fans or Japanese paper lantern. The highlight of it is “Abare.” “Abare” means ramping. Abare is a dance move wherein men move in an aggressive manner that includes jumping and moving in big steps. Dancers shout aloudly during Abare. On the other hand, the “Otoko-Odori” that women do is elegant and smooth. The way to dance it is the same as that of men’s dance. Historically, women started dancing the men's dance more recently in the 400 year-history of Awa-dance.

Some Ren (Team) have their own patterns with different sequences like the womens' dance that depends on the Ren.

What Do They Wear?
The dancers wear either kimono or “Happi” and short pants. The hem of kimono is tucked up to the waist to make the Kimono shorter. “Happi” is a short kimono, just like a jacket. When a dancer wears it, a plain white fabric is wrapped around the body under the “Happi". They wear “tabi” socks. Their soles are very thick, so they can dance on the street. They put a Japanese towel (Tenugui) on their head. Sometimes, the men cover their head with it and tie its ends under their nose.

Who can join the Otoko-odori?
As for the Men's Dance, both men and women can join. Usually, there is no age limit for the dance members.

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1 Jan

Happy New Year from Koenji!

Happy New Year! Hope you’ll have a great year!

Sui-ren’s first practice this year is January 29th from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Koenji. If you wish to see us practice, and have a glimpse on how we prepare the dance, you can contact us!

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About the writer
Mayuko Kurosaka

She is a member of Sui-ren. She is a flutist. She's been performing for more than 6 years for the group. She was born in Kawagoe an old city in Saitama. She learned to play traditional instrument when she was a young or a kid. She works as a freelance writer.
inquiries
you can join and be part of our dynamic and fun group. You are very much welcome to join, so don't hesitate!

For bookings of cast requests and tours, please contact me.