Hatsudairen Awaodori Mime
Here’s one of my favorite Awaodori dancers in Tokyo, everytime I know that his group is performing I make sure I see his dance especially! He is a member of the Hatsudairen (初台連), one of the larger Awaodori teams in Tokyo and his role is to perform a comical miming dance to entertain the audience. Without using any words or any real interaction he dances a simple mime routine using exaggerated facial and body expressions to show a man who is very drunk and enjoying a very good time with his drunken friends. I think he is telling a comical story of some sort, but since he doesn’t use any words it is free to anyone to interpret his expressions. I love this comic-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder kind of approach and every time I see this man I feel better about anything in the world. As long as there are great entertainers like him in this world, there is still hope for us, no matter how much stress or misfortune we experience in the world. This man is a missionary of joy!
I took these pictures in Nishihachioji (西八王子) in July this year, seconds before the typhoon drenched us all in a torrent of rain. Well, it didn’t stop him! More posts about this festival here.