Tuesday 4 August 2015

Performance Report: Nabeyoko Natsu Matsuri

Nabeyoko Natsu Matsuri is probably the most laid back festival we attend. As the Awa Odori portion only features three teams, there's a lot more flexibility over the precise timing and positioning of our performances. And as a former team member has a shop in that particular high street, it's a good excuse to hang out and enjoy the other festival elements a few hours ahead of time.

That doesn't mean it wasn't in its own way gruelling though. It wasn't quite as hot as the night before, but it was pretty close. And due to that flexibility I was waxing lyrical over not one paragraph earlier, it's very easy to overdo things. Indeed, we began at one end of the street and warmed up for several minutes as a way of attracting interest, paraded for 100 meters, did a full set piece, then paraded for another seven or eight minutes (mostly on the spot), then did some freestyle performance on the spot, and finally paraded the final 30 meters to the goal line, all without any opportunity to replenish fluid levels.

Despite such minor issues though, the parade area is plentifully wide, and comparitively short, each stretch no longer than about 180 meters. Having the freedom to move around as needed is strongly motivating, especially in front of a good crowd like we have at Nabeyoko.

We finished as we often do with a final set piece, a few bonus parts, and then invited spectators to join in. Many did, and they all soon gained a fresh appreciation of how much effort goes into it. Many stayed behind after to chat with performers which is always welcome.

With the performances over, it was nice to gather back at the shop and enjoy some food with cold beer that was laid on for us. Another job well done.

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