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Friday, April 22, 2011

Intimate performance at Weill Recital Hall

Our rehearsal for the show started at 4:00 pm yesterday. When I entered the Weill Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, I was surprised that the size of the theater of the Weill recital hall was so small. Even though I checked out the size before I attend the recital, it looked smaller than I could imagine.

The huge Steinway piano was sitting in the middle of the stage.
First of all, my first impression at the theater was, how could I perform my dance in such small space? Secondly, I have to make the point that the theater was built for music recitals, not for dance theater. Even though the piano was pushed to the left side of the stage several feet after the first ensemble piano and violin, my performance space was just the half the size of the stage.

I guess I choreographed the dance for Zen music to perform in much bigger stage.

I was instantly thinking when I saw a big piano sitting the middle of the stage, I thought hmm, how could I dance or how I can entertain the audience sitting in front of the piano, something like that.

When Zen music has started, I usually enter the stage slowly as possible, like Noh play, and I rehearsed many times at my home studio with 12 steps, however, I had to walk even more slowly and enter the stage with 8 steps instead of 12 steps. It worked more effectively than walking 12 steps, amazingly.

When I reached the center and turned my left foot to the front and turned my body slowly to the audience, I felt good since the stage was so intimate to the audience, and close to the stage I could see every face in the audience. It was an awesome feeling that everybody seemed to breath calmly and focus on one spot.

After that, I didn't care about the huge black piano sitting on the stage and my performance space just half of the stage,  I just performed as big as I possibly could and entertain the audience, from the left corner to the right corner.

I was filled with joy and satisfaction that the audience reacted to my dance in a positive way. I actually have fallen in love with the music called Zen. The Zen music soothes my soul each time I perform with the music. That is what Zen is all about, isn't it?

At the end of the performance, I was wondering whether the audience felt the same way I did. I hope so.

Each member of the cast of the Chamber Opera in One Act of Hana were great. Everyone stood by next to the side door of the stage and stood by the entrance to the stage, they looked so focused and handsome. I loved the moment each of yesterday's performance. It was a truly exciting moment for me to perform Okinawan-style classical dance with great live piano and violin music on a prestigous stage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kick off  Cherry Blossom Viewing

My first Cherry blossom festival to join will be tommorow at the Greenwich Japanese School hosted by the Japan Society of Fairfiled County, CT. The performance will be held on the stage in the auditorium. The Greenwich Japanese school campus is awesome and here are the some pictures taken at the Greenwich School:Mr. Sakamaki, the Chairperson of the Associaton, greets guests entering the school by offering a sake tasting. The event is held as part of Japan Relief fundraising events.

花見パーフォーマンスの先頭をきって、明日コネチカット州フェアーフィールド日米協会主催の花見で、沖縄舞踊と三線演奏で沖縄民謡を披露します。日本の地震津波被災地の方々に祈りを込めて協会の皆様方と We are the worldの歌

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Carnegie Hall Performance Preview

There are almost 10 days left to my Carnegie hall debut performance on Classical Chamber Opera Hana. The performance was announced in several media outlets and I would like to inform you of an article on Yomitime this week, so that you can sneak-preview the story (sorry that the article is written in Japanese only).

Our preview performance will be held on April 12 in front of invited media, including the Asahi Shinbun. I assume that coverage of the Hana recital will be reported in some newspapers next week.

Music Concert information:
I would like to introduce a classical music concert for Japan relief this weekend. Please join them, and support relief for the victims of the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami.


Sunday, April 3, 2011


Hi, I am Junko who performs Okinawan folk dance and music in New York city.

I have started my blog called YUIMA-RU. YUIMA-RU means 'social circle' in the dialect of Okinawa.

If you are interested in the folk arts of Ryukyu, please join my YUIMA-RU circle network.

Today, I would love to introduce the information about my Carnegie Hall debut dance performance, which will be held on April 21, 2011. I will introduce my choreographed piece for the first time for the song called Zen. My dance piece is a part of an ensemble piece called Hana, a Chamber Opera in One Act. The cast members are: Hai-Tang Chinna, Ghost of Madam Butterfly; Matthew Pena, Ken, Chio Chio San & Pinkerton's son; Riyo Saito, A Monk; Akiko Chiba, Piano; Asi Matathias, Violin. Please visit for details and ticket information (or contact me at You can also check the entertaiment section of ChopsticksNY,

Also, I will be singing the famous folk song "Tsundara Bushi" and accompanying myself on the Sanshin at the Asian American Arts Alliance gathering on Tuesday, May 4th.  The event will be held as a fund-raising for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. If you would like to learn more about the Asian American Arts Alliance, please visit