Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 23 Mar 2019 8am







    Saturday, March 23, 2019-8:54:52P.M.






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Awaodori instructors from Japan visit Saipan

OFFICERS and instructors of the Tokyo Koenji Awaodori Association are on island to teach local children about the traditional Japanese street dance, according to PDM Promoters Inc. president and Saipan Awaodori Team organizer Misako Kamata.

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PDM Promoters Inc. president and Saipan Awaodori Team organizer Misako Kamata, right, poses with two visiting Japanese Awaodori instructors and their local counterparts.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño
The Saipan Awaodori Team performs at Paseo de Marianas.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño
Tokyo Koenji Awaodori Association’s Norihiko Iwanami and Rencho Shimada pose with the Saipan Awaodori Team members at the Koblerville Youth Center.  Contributed photo

While here, Norihiko Iwanami  and Rencho Shimada were also recognized by the Marianas Visitors Authority as tourism ambassadors of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Kamata said the two visitors attended the local dancers’ practice session at Koblerville Youth Center and  performance at the Paseo de Marianas.

On April 23, two other visiting Awaodori instructors Misutaka Shibata and Moriyosh Seki of Tokyo Tensuiren joined the Saipan group in its practice and performances.

Shibata said he was so impressed with the development of the students’ dance skills. “The students are really working hard and from their heart,” he added.

Kamata said they have 25 children who regularly attend  Awaodori dance sessions.

The group practices at Koblerville Youth Center every Tuesday and Thursday, and performs at the Paseo de Marianas every Saturday, she said.

The Saipan Awaodori Team will again join the annual Liberation Day on July 4, she added. But she doubts if an Awaodori team from Japan can participate in this year’s festivities due to the suspension of Delta Air Line’s Saipan-Japan direct flights.

“We will still find a way to bring in an Awaodori team from Japan,” Kamata said.