Friday, September 7, 2012

Suzume Odori - Sendai Sparrow Dance

Suzume Odori 雀踊り or the Sparrow Dance is performed every year in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, during the Aoba Matsuri - Aoba Festival in mid-May. I like this dance very much, so I was very lucky to land in Sendai exactly on the day when it was performed.

You can catch a glimpse of Sendai as well, a place hit so badly in March 2011. Such joy on the people's faces is a beautiful sight - where life seemed as thin a thread as one hair, people celebrate life with a smile. The music of this dance is vibrant and the colours of the costumes so vivid. And such a variety of costumes! An impressive show indeed. And the dance itself is extremely catchy. I took about 700 photos, and lots of videos to learn the dance myself. I remember with a smile - for a week I was called in a friendly tone "henna gaijin." It means "strange/weird foreigner." :-) Japanese people have an excellent sense of humour.

I hope you will enjoy all the photos.

Lots of smiles for me:

The dancers seem to fly - like real sparrows:

All the fans have different colours on the two sides, and it is a fabulous visual effect when everybody turns the fans at the same time and the colour changes.

I noticed a couple of foreigners who had joined one group.

Hardly touching the ground:

These white socks are called tabi - traditional Japanese socks with the split big toe. Tabi is written 足袋 (ashi leg and fukuro bag). Delightful!

People of all ages are dancing, children and elderly people enjoying a beautiful tradition. Cute baby! Kawaii.

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