Events / Events Outside Tokyo

Women feted through dance

by Tai Kawabata

In the Japanese dance scene, all-female performing companies are common. Mademoiselle Cinema, established in 1993, is one such group. The basic concept embraced by Naoko Ito, the group’s choreographer, is “Nostalgia oriented toward the future” and her approach is to create dance by visualizing the memories, feelings and thoughts of each dancer.

The theme of the coming performance entitled “Ii-ko, Warui-ko, Komoriuta” (“Good Kids, Bad Kids, Lullabies”), the company’s first new piece in three years, is contemporary Japanese women. It revolves around women’s experiences at elementary, middle and high school.

In the dance, which generally utilizes slow movements and low positions near the floor, the belly — a source of appeal for men and the place where a baby grows before birth — is given a prominent role and Yo Shiina, a New York-based belly dancer, will be featured.

Shiina, who learned belly dancing from established belly dancers Rayhana and Elena Lentini, incorporates into her dance various styles — Arabic and Turkish dance techniques, flamenco, tango and even traditional Jewish dance.

Shiina and 12 dancers will perform. Most of the supporting staff are also women. Yasuno Miyauchi composed lullabies for the piece, Masayo Kajimura will project images of oceans on the background screen and Kuni Wakao has designed the costumes, which combine jeans and corsets to accentuate the body lines of the women.

“Ii-ko, Warui-ko, Komoriuta” will start at 8 p.m. on July 31 and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 at Session House in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward. Tickets are ¥2,700 in advance (¥3,000 at the door) and ¥2,500 for students. Call Session House at 03-3266-0461 or e-mail them at

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