J-COLLABO's First Spring Festival

J-COLLABO, NYC, Japan, collaboration, art, performing arts, Japanese artists, taiko, koto, origami, Shochu,dance, sake, festival, matsuri

J-COLLABO Spring Festival

Saturday, April 18 from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m

J-Labo – 300-302 7th Avenue (between 4th and 5th Avenues), Park Slope, Brooklyn

Suggested donation: $20

J-COLLABO, a Brooklyn-based center for Japanese art and culture, is presenting its first Spring Festival on Saturday, April 18 with an exciting variety of workshops and performances including Shakyo Meditative Writing, Origami,contemporary dance, collaborative art and RAKUGO (Japanese traditional sit-down comedy), and more. 
These workshops and multidisciplinary art showcases have been curated by J-COLLABO to demonstrate the beauty and versatility of contemporary Japanese art and performance.

Event partner Saiko Project/Live Music Showcase will present Kaoru Watanabe (Taiko Drums and Bamboo Flutes). Guests will enjoy collaborative art performances by Yukari Osaka (Dance), Jun Ando (Koto), Misaki Matsui (Video/Film); Yuka Omori and Humberto Texiera (Contemporary Dance); CHIELA (Song) and Toma (Dance); and a Japanese RAKUGO performance by Sansyo Nakamura from Japan. 

Rakugo is a Japanese storytelling art that has been a form of entertainment for over 400 years and has recently experienced a comeback with Rakugo venues increasing across Japan. While performing, a Rakugo artist wears a kimono, sits on a small cushion, and uses only two small props – a Japanese fan and a hand towel – which can be used to imitate various acts such as smoking, eating noodles, and preparing a letter. The Rakugo artist will play any number of characters in a given story, such as a samurai, a geisha, a merchant, or a drunk. These characters can be said to represent qualities within all of us, parts of the human personality.

Shakyo Meditative Writing Workshop: 1pm~
(Copying Sutras with Japanese brush)
Shakyo means to copy the sutra, which is also done as a Buddhist practice. By copying the sutra, you are really copying the mind of the Buddha to your mind. The important practice is not necessarily how beautifully you cope the words of the Sutra, but how mindfully, peacefully, and respectfully you copy the each word of the Sutra. It requires meditative mind with patience, so this is a good class for those who need to develop patience and peaceful mind.

SHOCHU 101 Workshop 4:30pm ~5:30pm
An introduction to the world of Shochu, the traditional Japanese spirit.  Shochu aficionados Jesse Falowitz of MIZU SHOCHU 美鶴乃舞 and Stephen Lyman of KAMPAI.US will lead a guided tasting of several brands while sharing the history of Shochu, its production techniques and various ways to enjoy the spirit.

Origami Workshop: Anytime from 2pm~5pm
Create your own original origami with your drawing.
Origami (ori meaning “folding”, and kami /gami meaning “paper”) is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. The goal is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper.

PERFORMANCES in the Basement
Original Performing Arts Showcase – 2:00pm & 6:00pm
Yukari Osaka (Dance), Jun Ando (Koto), Misaki Matsui (Video/Film), Akaka Yamakami (Costume Designer)
Yuka Omori and Humberto Texiera (Contemporary Dance)
CHIELA (Song) and Toma (Dance)
RAKUGO by Sansyo Nakamura

SAIKO Project – 5pm~6pm
Founded by Dan Grunebaum and based in New York and Tokyo, SAIKO Project will present Kaoru Watanabe, a practitioner of Japanese bamboo flutes, the Taiko drum, and the Western flute. His music can be best described as an ever-shifting blend of the folk and classical traditions of Japan with contemporary improvisational music. Watanabe is also a onetime artistic director of Japan’s legendary Kodo Taiko drumming troupe.

Reception: 7:30pm~
SAKE and Japanese confectionaries will be served, and there will be a raffle of special Japanese products.

With such a vibrant and diverse selection of contemporary Japanese artists, the J-COLLABO Spring Festival promises to be an entertaining and culturally enlightening experience for everyone. For more information, please visit J-COLLABO’s website.