My Eisa dancers/Taiko drummers! I think both sound really cool, so I can't commit. Bran and Nuala joined the Eisa club at school. Last year. In first grade. I am behind, which is pretty much my mantra at this point in life. But, hey, as long as I'm headed in the right direction, right?! Right.
A picture from one of their practices. They didn't ever perform on the big drums, but got to use them sometimes during their practices. Those were for the 2nd graders. I hope they want to do the club again this year! Though I must say, I like the smaller drums better because they got to dance around more...
Nuala, hanging out with some other performers. The little guy is Toshi, our neighbor. The drums are called Taiko drums, so these performances are referred to as Eisa dancing, or Taiko drumming. Eisa is a form of folk dance that originated here on Okinawa. Originally it was a dance that was performed during the Bon festival to honor the spirits of the ancestors. Nowadays they're performed at many more festivals than just that one! They're loud and energetic and really fun to watch! And now you know what Eisa/Taiko is.
Waiting for the music to get fixed during their first performance. Ohhhhh! This is when THIS happened (I have to go get a picture!):
Ta-da!! They were performing at the Volunteer Tea Party (I was invited, b/c I am such an awesomely selfless volunteer...and humble, too), and it was POURING and Maeve was jumping in puddles on the way in and -- shockingly -- got her pants wet. She stood still in the downpour and refused to move in order to protest her pants getting wet. Yeah... makes a lot of sense... I know... It was so funny. I just ran to the covered sidewalk and stood there, trying to coax her in. And laughing, but you know, I tried to hide that. Anytime I'd approach her, she'd run farther off, the stinker! In the pouring rain!! Finally, a nice lady distracted her by saying, "why are you standing out here?" and while M was looking at her, wanting to be grumpy but old enough to not necessarily want to subject innocent and kind strangers to her grumpiness, I zipped out. She saw me coming so tried to dash off, but the nice (and agile) lady blocked her! Score! It was hilarious. She later flipped her Jekyll and Hyde switch and was nice again. But still soaked.
Back to Eisa! Here they are, standing up and waiting. So serious. Actually, kinda bored and tired. That music was not wanting to cooperate.
The 2nd performance they got to be on stage, so that was a little fancier. It was for the Asian Pacific Festival at school. Still serious, though! Total contrast to Maeve's grinning performances, huh? Even when Nuala was itty-bitty, she would get very serious and focused when learning something, or concentrating. Which makes sense, of course, but it's just soooo Nuala! Bran not so much, though he's pretty serious here. Apparently Maeve not at all! I love 'em.
Maeve loves any opportunity to hang out with the twins at school. She just loves their school. And their teachers. And their friends. And they all love Maeve. That helps with her loving everything about school, I'm sure... ;) She is so, so, SO excited and ready to start kindergarten next year. She's sad that she won't go to Bob Hope, but still... Kindergarten!
Here's the video, whittled down to 1:30. Toshi, our little neighbor friend is the kiddo at the very end, who seems very relieved that the performance is over. He makes me laugh every time. Anyway, enjoy! I'm so glad they had this opportunity! Also, I was VERY glad that they were standing next to each other. Super handy for getting pics/video of both...
Their little sensai was the cutest. Short little Okinawan lady, and kind, but definitely no-nonsense. The song is called Mirukumunari, and it's not in Japanese. It's in the traditional Okinawan language, Hogen. Mostly just the older generation still know and speak that. Zachariah can speak a bit of it, just from what he picked up from his time here during his mission. His Japanese is stellar, and he is always impressing people (w/out seeing him, someone thought he was actually Japanese... another lady was convinced he must be at least 1/2 Japanese and just didn't look it...), but when he says anything in Hogen to older people, they're just blown away.
Anyway. The video! They listened to the sensai really well, and did good movements (that sounds weird. Oh, well), so they got to be in the front row of the stage kids, even though they're the tallest ones. Again, if you click on the HD in the bottom right corner area, it'll take you to the vimeo site with a much clearer video.