Nihon Buyo in the 21st Century

From Kabuki Dance to Boléro

January 24, 2024-January 26, 2024
past event image
Performing Arts past event

Traditional & Contemporary Dance

Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 pm—Followed by a Private Gathering for Artists and Members
Thursday, January 25, 7:30 pm—Followed by an artist Q&A
Friday, January 26, 7:30 pm

Playbill (PDF) →

Witness a breathtaking union of Japan’s most talented nihon buyo dancers, featuring the esteemed Hanayagi Motoi and rising young star Azuma Tokuyo (also known as Nakamura Kazutaro in kabuki theater). Nihon buyo, literally meaning “Japanese dance,” encompasses an animated style that draws from traditional kabuki dance techniques. The program begins with Toba-e, a kabuki dance accompanied by live music, which depicts a comical manga story from the Edo period. The second half of the program is a piece set to Maurice Ravel’s famous score, Boléro. Expertly choreographed by Hanayagi Genkuro, this unexpected combination of East and West brilliantly retells a classical Japanese folk tale, with Kazutaro showcasing his exceptional talent in the onnagata (female) role of the heartbroken princess, Kiyohime.

A pre-performance lecture, led by California State University, San Bernardino Dr. Kirk Kanesaka, begins at 6:30 pm.

Performed in Japanese with English supertitles.
The cast in the photo differs from the program.

Nihon Buyo in the 21st Century is part of a North American tour produced and organized by Japan Society, NYC, that will make stops at The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.; January 29), Fringe Arts (Philadelphia, PA; January 31), The Hobby Center (Houston, TX; February 3).

Event Trailer

Nihon Buyo Workshop
January 27, 11 am

Image: Boléro ~The Legend of Anchin and Kiyohime~ © Edo-Tokyo Museum.

Nihon Buyo in the 21st Century is supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council, The JEC Fund, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

2023-24 Performing Arts Season Support

The season is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Major support is generously provided by Doug and Teresa Peterson; Howard Gilman Foundation; and Hisamitsu America, Inc. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund, The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund, and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Additional support is provided by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Richard and Momona Royce, Nancy and Joe Walker, Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Dr. Jeanette C. Takamura, Estate of Alan M. Suhonen, and Friends of the Performing Arts. All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. is the official airline of the Japan Society Performing Arts Program. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

  • January 24, 2024 January 25, 2024 January 26, 2024
  • 7:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $55 Nonmembers
  • $44 Members
  • $44 Person with Disability

There is an additional $2.00 service charge for all non-member ticket types purchased during Japan Society Performing Arts’ 2023-24 Season.