Formed in 2006, Ensohza Minyoshu is a Japanese folk performing ensemble based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company performs songs and dances that evoke the festival spirit of Japan and the character of its diverse rural communities. In addition to regular performances at community events and festivals throughout the Bay Area, Ensohza Minyoshu promotes opportunities for community building through ongoing training in folk dance and the traditional festival arts of Japan.
DANCE ORIGIN: Japan
There are more dancers than sheaves of rice in the rice
fields in fall, coming to the Sansa dance. When you dance Sansa,
dance elegantly. Pick the most elegant dancer for your bride.
The opening variation is Ayumi-daiko, a stepping and walking dance.
Yon-byoshi, one of the seven basic dance variations of Sansaodori.
Taue-odori kuzushi is a rice-planting dance with movements that evoke rice blowing in the wind.
Shishi-odori kuzushi is a pair variation, loosely based on traditional lion dancing.
Hikiha is a dance meaning “leading to the end” and is often next-to-last, another pair variation.
Rei-odori is a stylized bowing dance that always concludes the performance.
Sansaodori features dancing musicians playing okedo taiko drums and dissonant hayashi bamboo flutes.
The company studied Sansaodori with Michelle Fujii, a student of Japanese master dancer Shohei Kikuchi and Japan’s respected school of folk dance, Warabiza. Group member Clare “Jiro” Hess received permission to visit the Sanbonyanagi Sansaodori Hozonkai – a preservation group for this dance in its community of origin.