Acclaimed Japanese artists to perform in Moab on April 26
Apr 25, 2013 | 1175 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Akira Katogi will perform traditional Japanese theater, folk dance and song during an event at Star Hall on April 26.
Akira Katogi will perform traditional Japanese theater, folk dance and song during an event at Star Hall on April 26.
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Akira Katogi and his son Raiya will perform traditional Japanese folk dance, music and theater during a special concert in Moab on April 26.
Akira Katogi and his son Raiya will perform traditional Japanese folk dance, music and theater during a special concert in Moab on April 26.
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Japanese traditional performance artists Akira Katogi and Raiya Katogi, acclaimed performers of Japanese folk dance, song, taiko, traditional theatre and street circus, will present a series of performances and workshops on April 26 and 27 in Moab as a part of their Western 2013 tour.

Akira Katogi, a founder of the Japanese performance group Wariki, and his son Raiya Katogi will perform for students at Moab Charter School and Helen. M. Knight Elementary on Friday, April 26, and will give a public performance at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St., at 7 p.m. that same evening.

The pair will present “a mesmerizing program of folk tradition from across Japan, including traditional Shinto works, folkloric pieces, street performances, and more,” organizers said in a news release.

“The Katogis are well respected throughout Japan for their authentic work, and viewers should expect a fascinating journey into traditional Japanese folk culture,” organizers said.

Tickets for the performance are $10 for adults, and $5 for children (through grade 12). Advance tickets are available at Back of Beyond Books, 83 N. Main St., or Sgt. Peppers Music and Video, 59 S. Main St., in Moab. Tickets will also be available at the door the day of the show.

Moab Taiko Dan also invites the public to join the Katogis in a hands-on community workshop on Saturday, April 27. The workshop will include experiences in traditional Japanese folk dance and festival music grounded in Shinto tradition. No prior experience or expertise is necessary to attend.

The workshop fee is $30. Registration is available at the door the morning of the workshop, however, space is limited to 40 participants so pre-registration is recommended.

Contact Moab Taiko Dan at moabtaiko@gmail.com for registration information, or call 435-260-0714.

KATOGI Akira was born in Akita Prefecture, Japan, in 1967. He trained with the traditional Japanese dance theater ensemble Warabi-za as a youth, and later studied with masters in Dengaku-za, a Japanese folk and dance company based in Nagano Prefecture. In 2001, he co-founded Wariki, a “small but gifted” conservatory of musicians and dancers dedicated to the preservation of Japanese folk music. Akira has made significant contributions to the Wariki repertoire, incorporating a wide array of traditional pieces from all parts of Japan, including temple music, festival dances and entertaining street and circus pieces.

Wariki, and Akira Katogi, who also performs as an independent solo artist, maintain a yearly schedule of continuous performances at various venues, including regional theaters and elementary and junior-high schools.

Highlights from Wariki’s past honors include performing at the 2005 Aichi World Expo; as one of 18 specially featured exemplary groups of Japanese traditional performing arts; in 2006 as part of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs; in 2009 at the National Folk Museum of Korea; and three European tours and performances for the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan from 2010 to 2012.

In addition to his activities with Wariki, Akira Katogi now serves as the traditional Japanese dance instructor for Shidara, an Aichi-based professional taiko ensemble that has toured the United States

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