Vietnamese Dance Team to Participate in Summer Festival in Japan

The renowned Yosakoi Soran Festival 2023 in Japan featured four international performances, one of which was by the Vietnamese dance team "Hanuyo".

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The Yosakoi Soran festival, one of Japan’s most renowned summer festivals, has been around for more than three decades.

Since 1992, the Annual Naruko Festival has been held in Hokkaido at the beginning of June. People celebrate traditional music and dances performed with Naruko, an ancient Japanese percussion instrument. The festival is also marked by the singing of the traditional “Soran Bushi” song, which was once sung by local fishermen as they went herring fishing.

At Sapporo Odori Park in Sapporo, Japan, dance teams competed for four days, from June 7-11. This year, for the first time, the festival utilized Virtual Reality (VR) technology to present 3D performances.

Viet Dance Team Joins Summer Festival in Japan
The festival’ slogan is “The streets are our stage!”, which was decided after witnessing the magic and passion of the historical Yosakoi Festival in Kochi – the birth place of Yosakoi.

Gaining popularity beyond their traditional communities, Yosakoi Festival events like Yosakoi Soran Festival and Yosakoi Festival in Kochi are celebrated in various places throughout Japan, attracting people of all ages and occupations.

With humble beginnings of just 10 teams and 1,000 dancers, the festival has grown exponentially and now hosts around 30,000 dancers and 2 million visitors from around the world. 200,000 audiences are now part of the annual event.

According to the organizing committee, every team contestant designed their own colorful costumes and choreographed their own dance sets, ensuring that the spectators were kept constantly engaged and entertained.

Representing Vietnam, the Hanuyo Yosakoi Club (Hanoi) participated in an event via video. Their performance was titled “Hoa Tre Trong Trang“, featuring around 48 dancers, mostly young Vietnamese students.

Members of Hanuyo Yosakoi combined Japanese-style dancing with the beauty of Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Festival in a stunning Yosakoi performance. Dressed in vibrant colors and toting props like paper lion heads and paper lanterns, the dancers performed at a Northern Vietnam village gate and the background music was “Chiec Den Ong Sao” by composer Pham Tuyen. Their original video of “Hoa Tre Trong Trang” on the Hanuyo YouTube Channel has been viewed nearly 10,000 times.

Viet Dance Team Joins Summer Festival in Japan
Screenshot from YouTube Livestream of The YOSAKOI Soran Festival 2023. Hanuyo Dance Team performed original dance “Hoa Tre Trong Trang”.

Yosakoi is a unique style of dance that originated in Japan and is performed at festivals and events all over the country. The first Yosakoi festival took place in 1954 in Kochi, Japan on the island of Shikoku. Since then, Yosakoi-style dancing has become increasingly popular throughout much of Japan.

Yosakoi is becoming increasingly popular among young people in Vietnam, with many large clubs being made up of members from universities and high schools from all over the country. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations (1973-2023), the first official Vietnamese Yosakoi Festival was held in AEON Mall Ha Dong (Hanoi) in April. The event featured 16 Yosakoi clubs from Hanoi and Hai Phong, and was attended by hundreds of people – a sign that it may become an annual event in the future.

Fanasy Nguyen Le