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Yokohama hosts its largest dance festival

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Dance in Japan has a long, rich history, dating back to ancient times when it was used as a form of prayer to the gods. Celebrating that varied background, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse is this Sunday hosting what it boasts is one of Japan’s largest dance events — the first Yokohama Dance Festival.

The event’s main-stage lineup includes about 90 individual and group performances of a wide range of genres, such as street, belly and pole dancing, as well as Japanese yosakoi — a modern rendition of a Japanese traditional summer dance. A “dance booth” near the main stage will also stage “dance battles” of sophisticated techniques, showcasing the skills of Japan’s top dancers in two-on-two or one-on-one performances representing six styles: break-dance, hip-hop, locking, house, popping and freestyle. In the evening, visitors themselves can dance along to the vibes of reggae and club music.

To make the most of the event, get a ¥4,000 ticket, which allows you to not only see the entertainment but also try out special dishes in the food area. Plenty of regional delicacies will be served, as well as world-class pizza topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese made by Makoto Onishi, a chef who won the title of best pizza maker at a contest held in Naples in 2003.

If you’re more interested in the refreshments than dance, you can purchase a ¥1,000 ticket to just the food area, where you can still enjoy the music from the stage. Other stalls will also be available in the food area, including a hip-hop-style hair-braiding service and opportunities to buy fashion items and hair accessories.

The Yokohama Dance Festival takes place on July 13, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in front of the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse in Minatomirai, Yokohama. Tickets are ¥4,000 for both the show and the food area, or ¥1,000 for the food area alone. For more information, visit www.ssdf.jp/ydf (Japanese).