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Kagura: Shinto Temple Dance from Early Japan with Miho Takayasu (Japan)

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Mar 18, 2013
Mar 18, 2013
Segal Theatre

Miho Takayasu
Photo by Pier Nello Mannoni

In early Shinto religious festivals, performers of the Japanese temple dance Kagura channeled the divine feminine spirit of the goddess Ame-no-Uzume to her worshippers. The oldest known Japanese performance practice, Kagura predates and influenced Noh theatre. It continues to be preserved and interpreted by contemporary Japanese performers, including Miho Takayasu, an Osaka-based actress and performer who combines the Kagura she learned as a child in Shinto temples with her contemporary sensibility as a modern dancer and physical theatre performer. Takayasu joins us from Japan to discuss and demonstrate the history and contemporary life of this dance form. Introduction by Andrzej Wirth and translation by Aya Ogawa.

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Miho Takayasu is an actress and performer from Osaka, Japan. She was trained and danced Kagura as an eight year old child in a Shinto temple, Osaka. She graduated from Japan’s Kinki University in theatre arts and literature in the department of performing arts, with a focus on the Le Coq system and modern dance. After graduation, Ms. Takayasu joined the acclaimed theatre group HMP Theatre Company in Osaka, with which she continues to perform, participating in Theater Treffen’s International Forum in 2011. In 2012, Miho Takayasu returned to kagura performance, specializing in concrete “takayasu kagura”. She has performed her work in Germany (at HAU3, Free University of Berlin), Poland (Contact International Theatre Festival) and Italy (Artist Residence/La Guadalupe).