Shitennouji Shoryoe Bugaku

Shitennoji Temple was founded by Prince Shotoku (574-622), and these dance performances are held as part of the Buddhist rituals that commemorate the anniversary of his death. They consist of dances to the accompaniment of gagaku music performed by the Tennoji Gakuso Garyokai, a group that carries on the 1,400-year tradition of gagaku at Shitennoji Temple.Two types of dances are performed. The samai (literally, left dance) is based on musical styles from China and India, and the umal (literally, right dance) derives from styles from the Korean peninsula and Siberia. More than ten individual dances are performed, including Soriko, which came originally from Korea, and Karyobin, a children's dance depicting the flight of a bird of paradise which was performed during the Heian period (794-1185).The dancers Wear distinctive masks and colorful costumes. As they perform on the Outdoor ishibutai (stone stage), the viewer is struck by the power of this ancient performing art redolent of continental culture.
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