Monday 3 August 2015

Performance Report: Nakameguro Natsu Matsuri

Having finally solved with some reasonable success the problem of dehydration, now it's just the sheer heat and fatigue I have to contend with. But despite the temperature being the mid 30s, Nakameguro Natsu Matsuri went off without a hitch.

In fairness, we did have a number of fortunate factors on our side. As previously aluded to, Nakameguro has three routes with lengths varying from 170 meters to 350 meters. We started at the shortest, and worked our way up, which gave us plenty of time to get warmed up. We had an additional advantage that as the first 100 meters or so of the longest route is all but empty, and a large gap had formed between us and the team ahead, we were instruted to RUN! This shortened it significantly enough that we could breeze straight through the rest of it.

We also had one of the prime spots for our final set piece, right in front of the station. There was already a good crowd gathered, and the humorous elements of our setup resonated well.

As usual the spectators were very enthusiastic, which is always encouraging. At times though, some were a little too enthusiastic, as compared to most events, there were a considerable number of 'jumpers'.

Very very dangerous!
As with photographers, it's good form to try to avoid entering the stage area during a performance unless unavoidable or specifically invited. I really cannot stress this enough, but interrupting a performance in progress to take a 'selfie' with the performers is very dangerous, and not just to yourself, as many of the costumes allow only limited peripheral vision, and the routines feature fast movements in directions that can't always be seen. The performers are relying on their own coordination and well rehearsed teamwork, and if you enter their space during a performance, you might suddenly find somebody's foot in your face because they weren't expecting anybody to be there. You may also cause them to injure themselves.

And if they do happen to see you, and you're right in the way of where they need to be, is it really fair to make them alter their highly polished routine, damaging the experience for the rest of the audience, just to accommodate you?

Please be mindful when enjoying these performances.

All in all though, this was a very successful event, and I look forward to returning next year.

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