The World Festival of Children’s Performing Arts in Toyama 2012

Originally written for the Vol.6-No.3 edition (July 31, 2012) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.

With the motto of “We Build the Future,” the World Festival of Children’s Performing Arts in Toyama 2012 is held from July 31st through August 5th in a variety of venues around Toyama Prefecture. From outside Japan, there are 17 groups participating from 17 different countries. From Japan, there are 16 groups from ten prefectures from outside of Toyama Prefecture, and 44 groups from within the prefecture. In addition to giving audiences a variety of performances from around the world, this is also a valuable opportunity for children to overcome language barriers to interact with each other and deepen international understanding.

The great appeal of this festival is that it gives people the ability to see a wide range of performing arts such as dance, drama, and musicals, by high-level children’s groups. Among the participants are groups from Iwate Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, and Fukushima Prefecture, who had to overcome disruptions and adversities as a result the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The 44 groups from Toyama Prefecture perform a diverse array of genres including western-style dance, drama, Japanese dance, brass band, traditional Japanese music, western music, physical expression, choir, folk song, instrumental music, sword dance, and opera. In the opening performance on July 31st, seven member groups of the Toyama Western Dance Association perform “WE ARE FRIENDS!” in a joint performance.

Among the notable performers from overseas is Bohemia Ballet from the Czech Republic, who is not only be performing “Ballet Gala” comprised of short pieces, but is also doing a joint performance of “The Little Match Girl” with Kasai Ballet of Toyama Prefecture.

Children Theatre Sorvanets is from Luchegorsk in Primorsky Krai, Russia, which is a sister region of Toyama Prefecture. The group is performing “Silver Hoof,” a Russian folktale.

The Yurungai Dance Theatre from Australia is made up of Aborigine youth. They are performing “The Little Black Duck,” which uses contemporary Aborigine street music to tell a traditional story.

For more information, visit the website (Japanese only).

Source (article and photo): Toyama Just Now