JPA Cultural Repertoires show gives detailed explanations together with visual aides (photograph and video projections) before the actual live performances in order to promote better understanding of the unique features of Japanese culture shown on stage. The upcoming 2017 show is the second one counting from the one in 2015.
The show consists of three categories: 1) Kimono show, 2) traditional Japanese dances, and 3) Japanese folk performing arts (from three regions). During the kimono show, five major kimono types will be shown with different craftsmanship with live models. The details of handcrafted fabric weaving, coloring, and decorating techniques will be explained, so when the audiences actually see the real kimono display, it can promote better learning experiences.
The kimono models will be those who practice wearing kimono by our workshop activities (Unlike the Western outfit, Kimono requires lengthy lessons and repeated practices to be able to wear properly).
After the kimono show, five pieces of traditional Japanese dance will be shown as the 2nd section. The first piece is titled as the "Duet," which is a rare parallel performance of Japanese traditional dance and Western ballet. The piece will display the differences between the two dance movements and the body uses by the dancers, so the audiences will be able to see the unique characteristics of Japanese dance much easier. The body use will be explained in the context of the cultural characteristics as well.
After the initial introduction to the world of Japanese traditional dance, two of the classical standard pieces will be shown such as Haruno Umi (Spring Ocean) and Shishi (Lion).
Then our originally choreographed Japanese dances with all-male piece and all-female piece will be premiered. They are called Hakama Dance and Hyakka respectively. These are the fusion of Japanese traditional choreography and contemporary creativity as an entertainment.
At the final section, Japanese folk performances from Akita, Shimane, and Osaka regions will be introduced. These folk traditions have been passed down from one generation to another for more than 700 years.
Nishimonai Bonodori, a dance from Akita is the region's local Buddhism ritual and it is listed as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Japan. From Shiname region, Iwami Kagura will be re-introduced (The 2015 show also included it) with live music this year. The performance is a dance depiction of a Japanese legend. To conclude the whole show, Osaka's Ningyo Joruri, also known as Bunraku will be introduced. It is listed as one of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and three puppeteer masters from Osaka will explain the tradition and the details of the techniques.