2019 Gagaku Conert in USA
I. Workshop and performance at Williams College
Date: 16:15 on April 25, 2019
Venue: Dance Studio at Williams College
A workshop on Ryuteki (Japanese flute)
A solo performance of Ryuteki
A bugaku dance of Gosechi-no-mai
Performer: Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble
Special guest musician: Mr. Shogo Anzai, a former chief court musician at Imperial Household Agency Music Department
The workshop was conducted at the dance studio located in a natural setting with ten students of Prof. Kagaya and Prof. Yamamoto of the Asian Studies Department at Williams College. The first part was a demonstration by Mr. Anzai of different flutes such as kagurabue,komabue and ryuteki. The second part was a lesson by Mr. Anzai for the students to learn more about ryuteki and how to play the instrument.
After a 30 min break, Mr. Anzai played two kangen music (katen-kyu and another piece) on ryuteki and together with Mr. Iguchi on sho played etenraku. Lastly, a bugaku piece called, gosechi-no-ma,i was danced by Mrs. Iguchi accompanied by Mr. Anzai’s ryuteki and Mr. Iguchi’s citation. About 50 students and faculties gathered for the performance.
The attendance was not so large since there were three other events taking place concurrently on campus and it was also a graduation season for students.
One of the attendees said:” Thank you for the wonderful performances. It was very lucky for students to see and experience the traditional arts of Japan. “
II. Japan Festival Boston 2019
Dates: April 27-28, 2019
Venue: Special stage set at Boston Common, the oldest park in USA
A solo performance of ryuteki by Mr. Anzai
A bugaku dance of gosechi-no-mai
The festival began in 2012 as part of the commemorative events that took place in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees to the USA. Since then, the festival has been held every year and this year marked the 8th festival which also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the sister cities between Boston and Kyoto. The mayor of Kyoto city was there and many other people from Japan also joined the festival. In total, about 70,000 people came to the festival in two days.
For both days, the first part of our stage began with the solo performance by Mr. Anzai who played two music pieces (konjyu-no-ha and shukoshi) on ryuteki. Then a bugaku dance, gosechi-no-mai was danced. Once the performance began, the noisy venue turned into a solemn and quiet atmosphere.
The director of the Japan Festival Boston said: “Thank you for sponsoring the festival, showing us a wonderful stage performance and bringing Mr. Anzai who is a living national treasure of Japan. I was moved by your performances. Because of your supports, we could hold the festival each year. We wish for your continued supports next year, too.”