Nihon Buyo is dance based on the techniques of Kabuki dance. It developed and separated from the male-only Kabuki theatre, and has incorporated dance by female performers.
It has three main elements: mai, odori and furi. Mai is a static movement with internal expression at its base, odori is a dynamic and rhythmic movement, furi includes theatrical, dramatic and figurative body language. What stands out in Nihon Buyo is the beauty of gestures and movements that comes from wearing a kimono.
A distinguishing characteristic of the dance is the description of scenery. In addition to expressing a role, dancers become a part of nature and animals, such as blowing wind, a tree, the moon over a mountain. They often use a fan to express falling petal of cherry blossom, wave, and etc.,
Adding to five major styles (schools) which was founded hundreds of years ago, there are more than 100 schools nowadays.
Impression of Nihon Buyo (by flamenco dancer)
Although I've been dancing for 20 years, it was my first experience of Japanese dance.First of all, I wear Yukata which makes me feel different.
And I learned how to use fan before a dance lesson, but this was quite difficult. We use abanico in flamenco which is similar to fan, but male don’t use it often and some movements were different. What I found most difficult was a pose. I realized that I don’t have a Japanese style inside me.
We danced with “Sakura Sakura”, a famous folk song that we learn in school. I listened to it for the first since I grew up and found out that it‘s a beautiful song. It was a good opportunity for me to know about my own history and culture.