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Okinawa Entertainers Perform to LA Crowds

Date Posted: 2000-03-10

A group of 28 Okinawan entertainers performed to an enthusiastic crowd of 800 spectators in the Japanese-American Theatre of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the first stop on the group’s North American tour that will take them to Toronto, New York City and Washington DC.

The first half of the performance comprised of classical dances of the Ryukyu Kingdom era. The second half featured popular folk dances. During the last dance of the event, the performers moved into the audience and engaged everyone in the dance.

The group leader, Okinawa Prefecture Arts and Music College Professor Kiharu Irie, said he was satisfied with the performance. “We are very happy to show Okinawan culture and dance to this audience. It seems to me that they are as excited as we are,” Irie said.

The representative of the group’s sponsor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Special Foundation Director Isao Tsujimoto, pointed out that the show would go a long way to educate the American people about Japan. “American people can learn through this show that there are different cultures within Japan,” Tsujimoto said after the show. “This show is gives us a good chance to highlight that.”

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