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Nihon Buyoh

Nihon buyoh (Japanese classical dance) or odori , is the dance of the kabuki theatre of Japan and of the geisha. It originated in the 17th century and developed into a detailed form of dance that uses many types of music, and incorporates storytelling, character, pantomimic gesture and virtuoso movement patterns.

I have studied nihon buyoh for many years, first under master dancer and teacher Fujima Yûko (1938-2003), then with Fujima Shôgo. I dance both onnagata (female form) and otokogata (male form) and have performed dances connected to a variety of different kinds of music. I became a natori of the Fujima School in 2001, taking the professional name Fujima Sayû.



I am the Artistic Director of TomoeArts a company dedicated to the nihon buyoh forms and aesthetics. I founded TomoeArts in part because I anted to honour my first teacher, Yûko-sensei and her dream of internationalizing Japanese classical dance. With the company I have produced a number of traditional dance performances and concerts featuring master guest artists from Japan. I have also created dance-theatre performances incorporating elements and aesthetics of nihon buyoh. I also teach regular classes and private lessons.



To me, nihon buyoh is refined, expressive and one of the most elegant forms of dance I have ever seen. I work hard to move with even a fraction of the grace and strength Yûko-sensei or Shôgo-sensei have. It is a lifelong challenge. Dancers of nihon buyoh perform into their 70s or 80s...so there is still a chance!



Here's a video of me dancing Kuruwa Hakkei a piece of traditional nihon buyoh. The dance is in otokogata (male form) with switches to female characters. The music is Tokiwazu.