Last week we welcomed some professional Japanese dancers to our school, Hana Takehiro and Tomoka Asada, along with Ms. Fumiko Green who together brought a little of Japan to our second graders.
They gracefully taught us and showed us the different parts of a kimono and how traditional and elegant this garment is. We learned that nowadays kimonos are only used for special formal occasions, and how Japanese use different fabrics for the different seasons.
We were also delighted by a tasteful performance of a classical Japanese dance-drama called Kabuki. This dance is normally performed by men, and it is known for the style and the elaborate make-up used by the performers.
The highlight of their visit was teaching our second graders a small routine which is part of the official Tokyo 2020 Olympics Ondo dance. This dance carries a message of peace and unity through its choreography. We did not only learn the moves of the dance but we also learned the well thought out meaning behind many of the moves. The second graders showed their natural musical inclination by quickly grasping the rhythm and letting the music flow within; they showed to be quick learners!
We closed the experience by playing the game Catch Your Tail, which originated in China where it was called Catch the dragon’s tail. The kids had a ball trying to catch as many tails as possible without losing their own!
The performers were impressed and pleased to see how much knowledge our second graders had about Japan and the interest they showed during their presentation.
This experience was a great cultural exchange that expanded our minds and knowledge and brought us some new friends. We thank Northampton Community College who extended an invitation to our school, and to our Moravian Academy Lower and Middle School team that made this experience possible.
Be sure to join us on Monday, April 29th in the CE Auditorium for Grade 2 Program Night featuring Japan!