I know that I promised Japanese drummers and dancers earlier in the week but I have a very good excuse for being late. No, really, I do! I lay all the blame on whatever virus has invaded my head and caused me to spend the last 4 days in bed feeling like crap. I haven’t had a cold in a long time, so I’m not entirely surprised that this one is hitting me hard. Blah.
|Trio of taiko drummers|
After that performance, we went to the festival area behind the grandstand to get something to eat but got distracted by these colorful dancers with huge lotus-flower headdresses. The colors were incredibly vibrant and each dancer had a little pair of clackers in each hand, which they clacked in time to the (very slow and fluid) dance steps.
|Crazy lotus-flower headdresses|
I had some delicious chicken curry for lunch and two cups of iced barley tea (my sister decided that it tasted “funky” so I ended up with hers as well as mine) before we wandered back to the festival area to see some more dancers.
First there was a pair of dancers who were incredibly petite and reminded me of Japanese hobbits. One carried a basket and the other had an oar or a cricket bat or something of that sort. I’m sure there was a story behind their dance but I just enjoyed their precise, stylized movements and big smiles.
|These dancers were so TINY and CUTE!|
The last group of dancers we saw wore red, purple and white outfits that, I’m sorry to say, immediately made me think of the Red Hat Society ladies. They were very graceful, though, and their dance was reminiscent of the hula, with the hand movements and swaying hips.
Before and after the main race (the Tokyo City Cup) the L.A. Matsuri Taiko performed on the front stage. They used two different drum configurations. We had a better spot to view them this time and I took roughly a million photos. If you’ve never seen or heard taiko drummers, it’s something you really should do. These drums are HUGE and you feel them as much as hear them, but not in that obnoxious way that you feel the bass from the car behind you at the stop light that is blasting out rap music from a crappy sound system. The sound of the drums is such an organic sound; the drums are made of wood, metal and hides – all natural materials. It’s more like thunder or a rockfall … something you’d hear in nature.
|L.A. Matsuri Taiko drummers|
|The second drum configuration|
|This drummer looked like she was just having the BEST time!|