Onoe Kikunojyo II (a.k.a. Onoe Bokusetsu)
Onoe Kikunojyo II was the Third Headmaster of the Onoe School of Dance located in Tokyo, Japan from 1964-2011. In August of 2011 he took the name Onoe Bokusetsu upon the appointment of Onoe Seifu as Onoe Kikunojyo III, the Fourth Headmaster of the Onoe School of Dance.
Interview with Onoe Kikunojyo II: Part 1
(Question) Many visitors to your web site have responded with comments and requests for additional information. Would you care to answer some of their questions for posting on the Internet?
(Response) Yes, of course. The exchange of ideas and opinions benefits all parties to the discussion; and promotes cultural awareness and development.
(Question) How does a beginner learn Japanese dancing?
(Response) Individual instruction from an experienced tutor is the preferred method. This permits the beginning student to focus on the basics and to appreciate the discipline and commitment required to successfully practice this art form. The Onoe style emphasizes breathing as a fundamental of Japanese dance. The slowest, as well as the most athletic, dance movements require the coordinated release of energy that can only be achieved through uninhibited breathing which flows with the rhythm of the choreography.
(Question) How do you learn a long program?
(Response) First, all elements of the choreography are strictly memorized. Then, the piece is practiced over and over again until the movements are second nature to the dancer, permitting free expression of the art form.
(Question) Your daughter Onoe Yukari, an accomplished dancer and burgeoning starlet, has been critically acclaimed as having the ability to project delicate graciousness, beauty, and charm. Do you attribute this talent to her study of Japanese dancing since she was a little girl?
(Response) It may be so (soft laughter). If it is so, dancing allows her gentle spirit a form of constant expression which carries over into all that she does.
(Question) Can anyone become a student of the Headmaster, School of Onoe Ryu Dance?
(Response) Anyone can become my pupil.
(Question) What should one look for when seeing a performance of Japanese dancing for the first time?
(Response) Natural body movement is the basis of true Japanese classical dancing. Movements should not be exaggerated and the dancer should not attempt to be overly attractive. The audience should not cringe in reaction to the dance, but rather empathize with the choreography.
50th Anniversary of Onoe Ryu Dance Concert
scene from Nagauta “SHIGURESAIGYO”
Onoe Kikunojyo II (left), Fujima Kanjuro (right)
For more information on the legacy and artistry of Onoe Kikunojyo II, please read from the links to the right.