The Powell Street Festival, an annual Japanese-Canadian event in Vancouver, featured a recreation of the “Chonai-mawari,” a neighborhood procession in which Shishimai lion dance performers go from house to house in a purification ritual. Shishimai is considered the centerpiece of traditional Daikagura performance. Based on the festival’s aim of creating fresh value by incorporating Canadian culture into the festival’s foundation of Japanese culture, organizers collaborated with Toronto-based music group ten ten to offer a performance program comprising Shishimai by ten ten and Kyokugei traditional acrobatics by Michiyo Kagami. As well as performances on stage, the program included a lecture on the history of Daikagura, and festivalgoers joined in with visits to participating shops and businesses to perform a purification ritual and drive away evil spirits with Shishimai and Kyokugei. There were also other Daikagura Kyokugei traditional performing arts shows on stage at the festival, and in the nearby city of Victoria.
Performance at Powell Street Festival
Performer: Michiyo Kagami, ten ten
Staff: Emiko Morita, Miki Konishi
Performance in Victoria
Performer: Michiyo Kagami, Rina Elnahas
Staff: Yukari Peerless
A professional Daikagura performer. Under the banner of “conveying the “omedetai” (auspicious) culture associated with Daikagura to the world,” Kagami leverages her language abilities – rare in the world of “yose” Japanese vaudeville theater – to explore the possibilities of Daigakura by performing overseas and giving Daikagura shows in English, holding lectures and workshops, planning and implementing various projects for the stage, etc.
She graduated from International Christian University. After a stint working for a PR agency, she entered a Daikagura traditional performing arts training course at the National Theatre, Tokyo. After graduating from the course she completed one year as a trainee performer of Yose, Japanese vaudeville theater. She gave her first professional performance in April 2011 at Asakusa Engei Hall.
Canadian College of Performing Arts Performance Hall, Victoria, Canada
Diamond Stage, Powell Street Festival, Vancouver, Canada
Firehall Arts Center, Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Japanese Language School, Japanese Hall, Vancouver, Canada