It has been awhile since our last blogg update but Zyka has had a busy spring with several performances. At Stockholms Japanese organisations new years celebration, at Fuzzcon and Gotlands nations Japanese fika in Uppsala among other ones. Performances are always a good chance to meet new people, see new places and spreading Yosakoi across Sweden, all while having fun dancing!
Our biggest performance was at the Cherry blossom festival in Stockholm in april. We danced two for us new dances, the yosakoi classic Naruko odori and up-beat Everybody Koiya. Naruko odori was the first yosakoi dance ever made so it felt special to get back to the roots of the dance. We also had a workshop for kids to come and dance with us and we all performed Everybody Koiya together, it was very fun and appreciated.
Now we have one more performance before taking summer hollidays until the end of august.
As you probably know by know Zyka Yosakoi’s Oushou and WHOlock has been appointed yosakoi ambassadors by the Kouchi Prefecture in Japan. The formal cermony took place on the 12th of August, last day of the Kouchi yosakoi festival. WHOlock has written a few blog posts about their trip to Kouchi, you can find them here, here and here.
While the position of yosakoi ambassdor is personal the whole team is shares the honour and duties of it. As for the duties they are yet to be clearly defined. But for now we are tasked with spreading yosakoi in and outside of Sweden and giving people a chance to experience it.
Zyka Yosakoi has, for now, chosen to do this through the following four ways:
1. Educating about yosakoi and spreading knowledge about it through social media such as twitter, facebook and instagram.
2. Continue to work with YEN to find and connect more yosakoi dancers from all over Europe.
3. Support the international team Yosakoi Europe United Team Rikuryoku Kyoushin that aims to go to Kouchi yosakoi festival next year and there by give many new people a chance to experience both yosakoi and the Kouchi festival.
4. Support the International Yosakoi Festival to be held in Sweden in 2018 under the organisation of Zyka’s Oushou and Raiden’s Anne.
Through these four ways Zyka hope to even further spread the knowledge of yosakoi and give more people an opportunity to experience the joy we all find in it.
Last night we saw the firework show, it was really great! Over an hour long. The organisers of the trip had gotten us seats where we could see everything. It was so much people, really festival atmosphere. The best part was when fireworks ran down from a long rope into the river. We went with the raiden members and members from koidokai, todoroki and hinodemai met us there. There were even smile fireworks!
The hotell we are staying at is really fancy! We have a pool, a really nice onsen and get a buffet breakfast!
This morning all ambassadors were finally gathered. We had a meeting at the prefecture’s office about the project and then training with members from the team we perform with here. We trained in a park, the sun was really hot. Everyone had learned the dance quite well from the videos we got so it went well. Our first preformance was in front of the prefecture office with all their staff watching. In the team there are 140 members, the biggest team I have danced in! It was really cool to dance with such a big group.
The next preformace was a parade in a shopping street, the longest parade in kochi. That preformance was delayed so we had to wait a long time by the yosakoi shrine. I don’t know how many times we danced, we got tired but it was so much fun! 😀 the next one was at otetsuji, the most important parade street in kochi. We couldn’t hear our music at all, the neighbouring streets team was so loud! But we managed. We had one more preformance, at the stage in front of kochi castle. It was cool to see all the members around us a we danced.
After 2 years, we came back and danced in kochi. So much fun! A different and new experience from last time.
Dinner was eaten at the hotell, japanese traditional food. Tasty! It was nice to spend time together with the other ambassadors and get to know them better, both from the other yen teams and sakuramai from toronto. Now we are going to relax in the onsen!
Today we performed at Luna Kulturhus in Södertälje! We were invited as a part of the libraries program for the Swedish autumn holiday that takes place this week. Quite a few people came to see us dance and even though it was a bit unusual to dance inside of a library the performance went well and we had a great time.
From the left: Park, Iruka?, WHOlock, Oushou and Amo
Below you can see a video from one of the dances we did, Hatsuyuki. Seeing as we were only five dancers we did a slightly different version than usual consisting of four dancers and one doing the flag.
Many thanks to Södertälje Library for a fun performance.
These past few weeks Zyka have finally gotten ourselves a really nice place to practice at!! It’s the wonderful people at Aggregat, located in the Cultural center in Sundbyberg, who have been nice enough to lend us a practice room there a couple of times every week. We hope that a lot of people will show up and share it with us from now on!
Aggregat, by the way, is a really interesting and inspiring place that you should definitely check out if you didn’t know about it already. They help people between 15 and 25 to live out their creativity through art, dance, music etc, and they always have fun events and courses to participate in! ^^
Zyka is in the final stage of preparing for our first performance! More information on performances will be up soon, but for now, here’s a picture from the printing of our costumes:
We also received our Naruko (the Japanese wooden clappers used when dancing Yosakoi) from Japan the other day, after some complications in Customs… Who knows what dangerous games you could play with a pair of castanets!
Anyway, with costumes and Narukos and booked stages Zyka is finally prepared to debut! 😀
For more frequent updates on events etc, please visit facebook.com/zykayosakoi.
Gobusata shite orimasu, sorry for the lack of updates recently m(_ _)m
It might be explained by the fact that three of Zyka’s members are currently in Japan, experiencing Yosakoi on location!!
Our leader Oushou is here on a three months visit, the main purpose being to dance with her old team Zaccu Baran from Sendai at a major Yosakoi festival in Hokkaido. Our newest member Amo-chan, who is here on a one year exchange at Tohoku University, has joined Zaccu Baran too, so expect yet another great teacher when she comes back in March next year 😉 And finally, I (Peanuts), during my time as an intern in Tokyo this spring, has been dancing with the newly formed group Hyakumonogatari.
The photo above is from my last practice with Hyakumonogatari this Sunday. It was only 2-3 months, but my time with Hyakumonogatari has been so great!! My teammates always had patience with me even though I kind of lack talent for any kind of dance and also had very little time to practice….Thank you all ^_^
With the team hosting quite a few former leaders of famous yosakoi-groups the level was high and I was always amazed by what the others could do. My idea of what Yosakoi can be totally changed thanks to Hyakumonogatari!
Although I will be leaving Tokyo soon, I hope that we can all keep in touch with our japanese teammates in the future, too! One day Zyka will dance in Japan but for now, let’s concentrate on our two performances in September! Ganbarimashou~ (^O^)/