Bugaku, Japanese Court Dance, is accompanied by gagaku, the “elegant music” of the Imperial Court. This ancient art was imported to Japan as early as the 7th century, primarily from China and Korea. Refined and preserved in Japan since that time, it is the oldest extant orchestral music in the world. Musicians and dancers are spectacularly costumed and performances are traditionally given outside on formal stages in beautiful settings.
Arawana Hayashi offers audiences a rare opportunity to see this unique and ancient art form. She is one of the few holders of the lineage of bugaku outside of Japan. She began her intensive study in 1977, and was trained in the traditional style by Suenobu Togi. Mr. Togi, whose family has been in the Kuniacho, the Japanese Imperial Household Agency Music Department in Tokyo, for over 1000 years, was on the faculty of the University of California in Los Angeles from 1967-1993.
In this program, Ms. Hayashi performs the magnificently costumed solo, Genjoraku, a hashiri mai (running dance) about a barbarian who catches a snake. Her performance also includes excerpts from Bairo, a bu no mai (warrior dance), and from Engiraku, a bun no mai (literary dance), demonstrating the different types of dances accompanied by the Korean-originated music, Komagaku. She speaks about the historic and cultural context of the art form, the costumes, the music, and about the relevance of these dances today.
Ms. Hayashi is available for Master Classes and Workshops in Bugaku for children and adults.
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