26 June, 2011

You Missed It

Well maybe you didn't. I'm sure you went to the Cherry Blossom Festival (or Sakura Matsuri) this past weekend. I'm sure you saw the multitude of wonderful traditional Japanese folk dances. I'm also sure you saw the wonderful senbazuru made by schools around Colorado to send hope and prayers to Japan following the 11th March earthquake.

I'm sure you were fascinated by the intricate and colorful Japanese textiles, were amazed by the rhythm and power of the Taiko drums, and awed by the beauty of the hula.

In addition, I'm sure you were amazed by the koto and the other traditional music, enlightened during the tours of the Buddhist temple, intrigued by the ikebana and bonsai demonstrations, and were thrilled by the fantastic food, from the mochi to the sushi.

But for those of you who didn't go, you missed me dancing. It is a rare occurrence, because you are well aware that I have a general lack of coordination as well as rhythm. But I still did it, I danced the Bon Odori, a part of the Japanese Obon memorial observance for one’s ancestors.

The Cherry Blossom festival has always been great fun for me, and yes I do dance the Bon Odori every year (its pretty much the only time you'll find me dancing). You'll have another chance to see me fail miserably at it at the upcoming Dragon Boat festival. You'll also get to experience the amazing Taiko drums. It's one thing to listen to them, which are fantastic, but to see them in person, feel the power of each beat and the energy of each drummer is something amazing.

And for those of you once again asking "why hula?" well the obvious answer has to be that hula is awesome as well as that many Japanese emigrate to Hawaii. It of course has nothing to do with the fact that a certain photographer is a little sweet on a hula dancer in the same way said photographer is sweet on Audrey Hepburn. That couldn't be it at all.

And as we bring this year's Cherry Blossom festival to a close, perhaps the best part of the festival, is that if you dance the Bon Odori, you get an otter pop. Now, this may not be a tradition at all Bon Odori, but it is here in Denver. My favorite is grape. Those that know me will completely understand.

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