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The World Dance Festival in Chicago

• To connect people from different ethnic communities through dance, New Chicago Japanese American Association, in conjunction with Chicago Futabakai Japanese School, hosted World Dance Festival on June 7 at the Devonshire Cultural Center in Skokie.

• In her opening remarks, Rie Katayama, President of NCJAA, said, “We believe that music and arts do not have borders, so it’s great to connect the world.” As a flamenco dancer herself, she asked other dancers in diverse communities, and they were willing to show up for the event. NCJAA has supported art, music, and cultural activities related to Japan.

• Takashi Yoneda, PTA President of Futabakai Saturday School said that the students would have an opportunity to meet different people through the dance event. Yoneda, who used to be a contrabass player in an orchestra, also said, “I’m very excited and looking forward to sharing a wonderful time with you.”

• Consul Shinichiro Nakamura spoke about the birth and evolution of Japanese dance and said that the audience saw many different styles of dance from the East to West and continued, “This is the evidence that brings people together from more diverse communities.”

• On the stage, Indonesian Performing Arts Chicago performed Merak Angelo. It was inspired and choreographed by the movement of male peacocks, which tried to attract females by showing their beautiful tail feathers.
• The group also performed Jaipongan Kacapiring II. It was a popular piece of the Sundanese people in the west of Java, and created based on the Sundanese social dance combined with choreography from the traditional martial art of Pencak Silat.

• Sophia Sakura Katsuma performed Irish dance of Reel; Kazume Mizuki danced a Japanese piece of Ran Byoushi; Shiwali Varshney danced the Indian dance of Tarana Kalawati and Vishwaroopam; Hinako Michihara, Yuno Kimura, and Kennedy Liggett performed ballet Le Corsaire Pas de trios; and lastly, Kazume Mizuki danced Sakura Hensou Kyoku accompanied by koto music played by Tokiko Kimura and Rie Katayama.

• Shiwali Varshney is a Kathak dancer and strives to communicate with the world through the ancient art form, the beauty of dance, stories of the lore, and the emotions of the everyday life. She started the dance at age five and continued to connect herself to India while she works as a financial professional.

• Kennedy Liggett started ballet at age three and studied it at the Faubourg School of Ballet and Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She has received numerous awards.
• Hinako Michihara started ballet at age four and continues it at Faubourg School of Ballet. She joined Schaumburg dance ensemble and performed The Nutcracker.
• Yuno Kimura started ballet at age two and joined Tokyo Ballet School after she had passed the audition. In recent years, she has studied at Faubourg School of Ballet.

• Kazume Mizuki began dancing in Tokyo at age of three at the Mizuki Dance School. Her successful career includes performing at the National Theater in Japan. She moved to Chicago in 1994 and has performed on many occasions both in Japan and the U.S.

The indonesian Performing Arts Chicago performes Merak Angelo.

Yuno Kimura, Hinako Michihara, and Kennedy Liggett perform ballet "Le Corsaire Pas de trios."

Shiwali Varshney performs Indian Dance

Sophia Sakura Katsuma performs Irish Dance.

Kazume Mizuki dances a Japanese piece of Ran Byoushi.