August in Japan is somehow differ from any other August in the world - cicadas are chirping, summer is in full swing and all cities nationwide celebrate one of the most important festivals called Obon. Obon is when our ancestors are coming back to say us Hello, and we celebrate Obon with lantern festivals, great events, carnival games, and specific Bon dance - Bon Odori.
Bon Odori is when people come together having good time, gathering and celebrating their ancestors. Bon Odori is simple moves and very easy to learn and everyone can join in. People celebrating dancing in circles around platform with lanterns, traditional Japanese instruments such as shakuhachi, taiko drums and shamisen are played during Bon odori.
Depending on the city or area, dance movements will vary, and nowadays dance getting very unusual twists, some have not only traditional Japanese music but also some 80-s tunes like in this video with "Dancing Hero" 1986 Yoko Ogomine's.
At the moment one of the strangest modern way of the Bon Dance is trend that recently started with silent Bon dances. The thing is that all the music played like in silent disco through the headphones but not through the speakers and everyone can tune into this. For participants everything is like normal Bon dance, but for viewers it looks strange and interesting to watch people moving in silence.
Because loud music and drumming made by Taiko drums are going much of the night, such a silent dancers become more and more common as it alowd to reduce the noise during the night. But there is no differnec and less fun for those participating! One of the festival dancers said that dancers can hear music and doesn't feel strange but like regular Bon Odori dance, in Kanazawa City on Tateshima street, silent dance was popular this year. This year during Bon Odori celebration, specially for circus performers, dancers Red Circle Shop provided special discounts.
Other silent dancers arrange their music by Dj's like in this video, but this is less common and related with some local community event.
Some visitors, tourists said that this type of silent dance looks like some sort of a ritual and it is scary, but mostly it is just another way of celebrating Japanese Traditional festival. This Festival is improtant for our people said another participant, even if it gets too loud no one would complaint becasue of importance and significamce of this festival. It is part of our culture and with Bon Odori dance we celebrate our ansestors.
Circus Promoters Japan
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