The Rhythmic Angels of Japan

 

Yukiko "Smilie" Misumi, May 2011

 

Every spring we have 2 big events in Tokyo and this year it was a hard time with the earthquake disaster in Japan. All of our Japanese tap dancers suffered from the disaster, but our love for tap dance never died - we supported each other and shared the stage. On April 16-17, we celebrated International Tap Dance Day (produced by Hideaki) at Miellparque Hall.

27 groups and 300 tap dancers got together and the highlight was a tribute to the famous Nakano Brothers. We lost the older brother Keisuke Nakano last year but Shozo Nakano (in his 70’s) still teaching and dancing. “Sing Sing Sing” was their favorite dance. In the tribute, Shozo and his old students got together again and danced the first chorus; the team representative danced the second and the last chorus everybody joined in. More than 300 dancers together! The highlight of the evening!

The Tokyo International Tap Festival was held May l2-6, 2011 and produced by Pori and directed by Yukiko”Smilie” Misumi, @Artn Tap Dance Studio and Olympic Center Big Hall. The plan was to invite Dianne Walker, Arthur Duncan and Jason Samuels Smith this year, but the disaster halted the plans. However, our strength and determination brought this event to fruition with our wonderful Japanese All Tap Star cast.

12 master classes were taught by Hideboh, Suji, Yukiko ”Smilie” Misumi, Yoshiko, Soundout (Pori, Saro and Doji) and a special course by Ronii that was performed in the show. Artn Studio was packed!

On May 6th, the show included Sujitap Crew, Tadashi Kato & Sachi Hashimoto, Artn Company, TRB DX, RONxII & Ayako Ukawa as well as Soundout. Every number was beautiful.

As a finale, and choreographed by Pori, a circle was started and we all danced together quietly - a prayer to Amazing Grace getting stronger and stronger. Not only through the dance but also our spirits coming together. We were moved to tears.

We thank you all for your prayers for Japan.