Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter

Masayo Hamada: Passionate Japanese traditional dancer in the UAE

Hamada came to Abu Dhabi in 2012. (Supplied)
Hamada came to Abu Dhabi in 2012. (Supplied)
Short Url:
10 Apr 2024 03:04:39 GMT9
10 Apr 2024 03:04:39 GMT9

Amin Abbas

DUBAI: Masayo Hamada is a Japanese traditional dance (Nihon-buyo) expert who has been performing at various events across the UAE, sharing her passion for the centuries-old art. 

Nihon-buyo is established as a traditional Japanese dance with a history spanning over 300 years. It is based on Kabuki-buyo, which developed from Kabuki and consists of the elements of plays, dances, and music. It is one of the ways for people to pass down Japanese aesthetic sense and emotional expression with the beauty of kimono to the present generation.

Hamada, who started performing in 2017, told Arab News Japan that her grandmother introduced her to Nihon-buyo when she was three years old. “I studied with her until I was 16 years old. After that, I have been studying with a new teacher,” she shared.

Hamada finds inspiration in creating a sense of connection between the audience and the dance. “My concept is cultural exchange and I’m hoping people who are living in the UAE can learn more about Japanese traditional dance and the culture of Japan,” she told Arab News Japan.

The dancer shared that one of the challenges she faced during her career is learning the techniques of Nihon-buyo. “I’m still learning every day, as it is difficult to show different scenes while dancing,” said Hamada.

“My teacher is very stoic, as she has a lot of experience in Japanese traditional dance. She always told me to go slower, more politely, and not moving too fast, paying attention to the audience, and listening carefully for lyrics and sounds,” she added.

About distinguishing Japanese traditional dance from other traditional dances around the world, Hamada said, “The difference is in how dancers move. Japanese dance is about lowering the hips and moving slowly. Due to the presence of kimono, the traditional Japanese attire, and the accompanying traditional songs, the dance movements maintain a deliberate slowness despite the intense and rapid rhythm,” she told Arab News Japan.

Hamada came to Abu Dhabi in 2012 and she was very pleased with the friendly and warm-hearted people and the city being big and high-spirited. She is planning to attend a small festival in Japan with her teacher and colleague.

Most Popular

return to top