Friday, 7 December 2012

Arty Farty finally gets to party

Yay! Our friend snapped this outside Arty Farty tonight. Until the dance crackdown, Arty Farty was one of the liveliest venues in Nichome, Tokyo's lesbigaytrans heartland - a place with an excellent sound system, where a late night groove could be depended on. For several months, following the recent dance ban, it has been something of a shadow of its former self, but now it seems the dance ban (here at least) has been lifted!

A bargain struck with the local police? A sign of defiance on the part of a small venue? A change of policy in response to the Let's Dance petition and actions? Who knows? We will investigate further and let you know in the coming weeks.

For the time being, dust off your dancing shoes and trip the light fantastic... Arty Farty can party again.

Friday, 23 November 2012

NINJA Dance Movement

So Niji Iro Ninja has now merged with Dance Movement Japan becoming NINJA Dance Movement! Henceforth to be referred to as NINJA Dance Movement or NDM for short. By the way, the NINJA is an acronym for Niji Iro Ninja JApan!

The Facebook page is here and the Facebook group is here. We will keep you informed of NDM events. Check out the FB page and join the FB group and invite your friends. Yoroshiku!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Jérôme Bel for F/T

Here's one of the very cool flash mobs that's taken place as part of the F/T art festival.  Choreographed by Jérôme Bel, I love that this dance is made up of movements easy enough for regular people to execute, while hitting a sweet spot between ridiculous, fun, and joyful.  

F/T Mob series

The F/T Mob series is part of the F/T art festival. In each F/T Mob, a renowned choreographer or director stages a flash mob intervention involving dancers and members of the public. Unfortunately, I missed the start of this festival but some of my friends attended and participated in the event directed by hip hop choreographer, KENTARO!! which melded hip hop with contemporary dance. All events are centred on Ikebukuro, the home turf of the F/T festival. There are two more weekends of flash mobs, this coming weekend's, by contemporary dancer/choreographer, Momoko Shiraga, and next weekend's intervention by mime artist and director, Shuji Onodera. For more information, check out the F/T website.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

revelry and other crimes

'Time to change a strange adult entertainment law in Japan', by Richard Smart, posted on CNN Travel on January 26th, 2011

This article takes a look at some of the strange and outdated points of the fueiho.  My personal favorite states that "In night hours (which in Tokyo law are between 1 a.m. and dawn), customers are not to partake in revelry (yukyou)."

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Yoyogi circle dance at dusk...

Yesterday's protest had an infectious spontaneity! Niji Iro Ninjas joined a group of break dancers in the circular paved area at the entrance of Yoyogi Park, made a large circle and watched our friends take turns free-styling to whatever came up! Admittedly, this wasn't entirely what we had planned - not quite a full-on spectacle (that is something we need to work on) - but we rallied anyway and managed to welcome fine newcomers including a high school student who leapt into the circle and threw some shapes and a friendly Finn tourist, nicknamed Pie Chart, who pulled out his salt-liquorice Salmiakki Liquor - 32% proof - and shared it with us! Our man Isaac did a top job of getting everyone fired up with his fabulous moves and the break dancers were so generous in extending their groove to our gathering.

The whole thing had a kind of innocence about it, like an episode of Fame from the 80s transmuted to 21st century Nihon. (The whole NYC park fantasy dance thing very much fits Yoyogi somehow! if you know what I mean - Yoyogi Tower has that NYC Chrysler Building vibe about it.)

A boom box, break dancers, dusk, hip hop, disco, gundam, Salmiakki, friends = nearly the best soul tonic there is pretty much! As my friend Nina beautifully put it 'yesterday's [dance protest] sounds like it was hitting that important place of innocence and joy that is always more radical than is apparent'.

Let's do it again, and soon.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Don't let them pull the shutters on late night dancing...

Today is the latest Niji Iro Ninja dance protest. Get yourself to Yoyogi Park at 5pm and stop the powers that be pulling the shutters on late night dancing in Japan. From about now there is a picnic, so feel free to join and get to know the community!