July 15th, 2024

Weekend festivities kick off season at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden


By Lethbridge Herald on May 23, 2022.

Herald photo by Justin Seward Sari performed six traditional Japanese dancing songs that related to War at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden on Saturday afternoon.

Justin Seward
Lethbridge Herald

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden opened this past weekend and held a few festivities such as the Oriental Motion dance performance on Saturday.

 An Oriental Motion dancer who wished to go by her stage name ‘Sari’ was in town for afternoon performances from Canmore with her husband Ryota Suyama in tow.

This was Sari’s first visit back to the Garden since 2019.

“She is doing a traditional Japanese dancing and she also does a lot of modern-style Japanese dancing,” said Ryota, who was Sari’s interpreter.

“She’s not trying to mix and match to try and make a fusion or anything. 

“She wants to respect each style and the thing about Japanese dancing is that when you say Japanese dance, people think it’s one kind of dance but there’s so many different varities.

“So what she wants to do is she wants to showcase this different style of Japanese dancing because some of them could be slow but others are rhythmic and really aggressive and more acrobatic.”

Sari said, “I can understand that language of course. So I just tried to imagine how much the people are trying to dance to this song.”

Sari performed to six songs on the afternoon and most of them were about preparing for war. 

“For those kind of songs, she’s going to have to kind of like be really feel tough and really preparing for this huge battle with the opponent or something like that,” said Suyama.

She embodied the meaning of each song.

“She never imagined she would be able to do that because she didn’t know that there was a Japanese Garden in Canada, he said.

“Like it sort of feel miraculous that she’d be able to dance in front of Japanese Garden in Canada.”

Sari said, “very proud” when asked about the experience. 

She enjoyed the view of the stone river structure and the lake at the Japanese Garden.

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