Report on the 30th Anniversary Concert

Ayame
   Photo by Special Guest from Japan, Shogo Fujima

Thank you from Artistic Director

Thank you for your support to the 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Without your support over the past 30 years, my company could not have continued the work of its mission to bridge the cultural understanding between America and the people of Japan, nor would I have been able to continue performing and teaching.

When I began my work in the United States 40 years ago, few knew of the words kabuki and kimono. Today, happily, they are part of the English vocabulary. The more years I spend performing and teaching, the more I realize how much mutual growth and understanding has been exchanged, and how much more I have to learn and grow personally and artistically.

With deepest appreciation for your support to all,

Sachiyo Ito
Artistic Director

Message-from-AmbassodorMessage from Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki Consul General Of Japan In New York [view]
Message-from-AmbassodorProclamation from the Mayor’s Office of New York City [view]

CONCERT REPORT

Sachiyo Ito and Company presented their 30th Anniversary Concert to share the richness and beauty of Japanese tradition with the New York community. The concert was performed at Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City on October 23, 2011.

The house was full and the concert was well received by the audience. The Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, was presented at the concert to commemorate the event.

The program introduced the Japanese culture, taking the audience from medieval Japan to present day through dance and live music. Dances in the program included classical, and contemporary works choreographed by Sachiyo Ito. Guest artist Shogo Fujima, Japan’s renown Japanese classical dancer and recipient of Japan’s 2009 Art Festival Award performed two dances including a humorous duet, the 19th Century Kabuki dance, titled Dango-uri (Sweet Rice Dumpling Sellers) with Ito.

The first section of the concert program was composed of classical dances of Kabuki and the Okinawan Court. The opening number was titled Ayame (Iris Flowers), a solo dance performed by Sachiyo Ito set to traditional Yamato-gaku music. Following was Sakura-gari by four members of the company. With music composed in 1821, the dance depicts people enjoying cherry blossoms in spring in the Edo period 19th Century. Next introduced was the 18th century dance of the Ryukyu Court with live music (now known as Okinawa) with Yotsudake Odori (Bamboo Castanets Dance), which was first performed in 1719. The last in this section was Dango-uri, which made the audience laugh and smile including school children who attended.

Following the classical dances was Sound of Emptiness, dedicated to the recent earthquake victims in Japan. Based on the 12th century epic, The Heike Monogatari which chronicles the reversal of the Heike Clan’s fortune, the dance weaved through the extraordinary life of Hoichi, who sang Heike legends as retold by Lafcadio Hearn in his ghost story Hoichi: the Earless. The original music was created by Yukio Tsuji, and performed live by three vocalists and musicians. Through this dance a prayer to the departed souls of the past and of those lost in the recent tragedy in our beloved Japan was offered, and the dance concluded with a lantern ceremony.

The program’s third section offered 19th century mainland Japan and classical Kabuki dance repertory and contemporary works choreographed by Ito to live accompaniment of Fue and Shamisen.

The last dance was one of two premiers in the program, titled Yuki no Furu Machi o (The Town Where Snow Falls). The dance expressed a winter scene where the incessant falling of snow is a metaphor for the ceaseless flow of memories. Embracing 30 seasons of prevailing Japanese dance in New York, this work was choreographed specifically for the occasion of 30th anniversary of Sachiyo Ito and Company.

30th Anniversary Concert Photos

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