Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre: CHURA

lejren 2002

The First Professional Dance and Music Unit. By the Women of the Far South.

Dulla Mnanga som har undervist på lejren i mange år, har skabt en kontakt til et Japansk danseensemble som var meget glade for at komme på vores lejr i år! Læs herunder hvad de skriver om sig selv, og se nogle af de fotos som de har sendt os! Læs programmet for deres forestilling.

The performance on theese photos
describes the young couple's life
in the fishing village.

Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre Chura presents new, creative performances oriented towards the future while maintaining its traditions. Led by Miss Hideko Tamagusuku, the second-generation head of the Tamagusuku School, Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre Chura was established exclusively by women belonging to the Gyokusen Group, which is one of the biggest and best Okinawan dancing groups of the school with more than 3,000 dancers. It is the first professional women's dancing group in Okinawa.

Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre CHURA lead by Ms. Hideko Tamagusuku was established by only woman belonging to the Gyokusen Group, which is one of the biggest and best Okinawan dancing groups of Tamagusuku School with more than 3,000 dancers. CHURA involves only high-level dancers who have danced and mastered the skill since they were young children. CHURA is lead by Ms. Hideko Tamagusuku who is the 2nd head of Tamagusuku School and it is a first professional women's dancing group that represents Okinawa, a city of art and culture, which is called a treasure-house of traditional culture. CHURA has staged all over Japan since its establishment. Last year, they were invited to Japan Week in Cheju Island in Korea organized by the Embassy of Japan in Korea. And this year, they will stage in  Greece in June. Also in February and March of 2001, they will go on the Asian tour around eight countries in Asia such as Bangkok of Thai, Macau, Hong Kong, Manila of Philippine, Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia, Singapore, Jakarta of Indonesia, and New Deli of India. Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre CHURA will present new, creative performances oriented toward the future while maintaining its traditions, not only to audiences in Japan but also throughout the world.


Okinawan Dance "Exciting Okinawa Flowers of the sun"
You can see various amazing traditional dance and original dance with beautiful and glossy Okinawan Kimono called Bingata. It involves a number of the Okinawan history and tradition. It will give a relax moment to everybody seeing the show. Also in the original dance, you can see the powerful and exciting scene of Samurai dance including music and traditional military dance style such as Karate and Sai. We present whole Okinawa by the dance that represents how Okinawan people live.


Program of the 
Okinawa Song & Dance Theatre CHURA Scandinavia Tour 2002

Title of the program:
Joyful Feast in the Beautiful Island

  1. Hanagasa (Flower Headdress) (5 minutes)
    The joy of being chosen to dance in a party is expressed. The costume consists of a gorgeous Kimono called Bingata, and a large flower-shaped hat. The dancers clap bamboo pieces together throughout the dance. 

  2. Bu no mai (Dance of the Samurai) (5 minutes)
    Dancers perform various techniques of Karate and other martial arts. Karate, which is a system of unarmed combat using the hands and feet, was originally developed in Okinawa as a means of sejf-defense.

  3. Kasekake (Spinning Thread) (8minutes)
    This program describes a young wife’s beautiful emotions during spinning thread in the memory of her husband after he left for the journey. The dancer wears a bingata costume with her right arm removed from the sleeve.

  4. Special Song

  5. Kana yo amaka (Dance of the Young Man & Woman) (8 minutes)
    Themed on expression of love between young man-woman, to the accompaniment of two songs, it is also about man-woman love; one in "Kanayo" style with a swift tempo, the other in "shimashiro amaka" style in an even faster tempo.

  6. Hojo (Rich Rice Harvest) (8 minutes)
    This light and cheerful dance is choreographed to folk songs that pray for rich rice harvest and praise an island. Dancers in simple everyday clothes joyously express their love of work and delight in living on the island.

  7. Tanchame (Dance of the Fishing Village) (7 minutes)
    Healthy and sound looking women are out there selling the fishes caught and brought to the coast by fishermen. Two folk-songs in a fast tempo which is expressed in an unpretentious way, with a swiftly flowing melody, accompany the dance.

  8. Higasa (Parasol) (4 minutes)
    This is a dance of a young woman who enjoys a pleasant day of spring in a field of flowers. The movements and lilting tune represent the leaping heart of a maiden in live.

  9. Chibariyo (Cheer Up!) (8 minutes)
    Featuring Sanshin or Okinawan traditional guitar that has three strings, Okinawan big drams, and paranku or small drams, you will feel powerful and cheerful excitements.

Length of the show:
About 45 minutes (no intermission)

Casts (Participants in the Scandinavian tour):
YAMASAKI Yasuaki • KAN Sachiko • IIZUKA Eri • ONOHARA Shinji • NAKAYAMA Jin • KIKUCHI Kazuyuki • KAKAZU Kimiko • OTA Reiko • KINJO Chinatsu • AZUMA Fumiko • OSHIRO Mariko • KINJO Kaori • KOBASHIKAWA Manami • OTA Yumiko AND TOYAMA Masami.


Credits of CHURA performance in Denmark:

Presented by Utamaduni Cultural Association
Supported by Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan.

In Cooperation With Embassy of Japan in Denmark.

The Scandinavian Tour includes Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
(The performance at Utamaduni camp is the only one in Denmark!)


Okinawa prefecture consists of 50 inhabited and 110 uninhabited islands at the southwest extremity of Japan. During the period of the Ryukyu kingdom (15-19C), when Okinawa was an independent state, a distinctive culture developed on the islands through close contacts with the countries of East and Southeast Asia

Click here for a map of Okinawa islands

Thanks to the group for the performance and teaching at the camp!


Utamaduni lejr 2002
Utamaduni lejr 2002 Utamaduni lejr 2002

Update by Mads Bischoff the 01-03-2007.

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