The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)’s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for our members since its first inception in the 1930′s. In addition to delicious bento, cultural performances, high school scholarship awards, raffle drawings, and family games, we host the only Okinawa-style bon odori in Los Angeles! We invite all audience members — regardless of age and experience — to dance with us!
To help you prepare, we’ve produced some practice videos for the songs that will be danced at the Picnic. All of the songs are very repetitive and will be led by experienced dancers in the inner circle, so just follow along and have fun!
Practice Schedule: For those who want in-person instruction, please join us at the OAA Center for our bon odori practices (schedule varies year-to-year). Please contact the OAA for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-532-1929
Background: Most of the bon dances are based on the “Hawai‘i-style” choreography the instructor learned from videos from the Young Okinawans of Hawai‘i (YOH), with minor changes. The choreography for “Asadoya Yunta” was created by Yoshino Majikina, which was adopted by the Southern District Obon Odori of the Buddhist Churches of America in 2001. The song “Ashibinaa” was choreographed by the OAA Geino-bu Performing Arts Committee.
PLEASE NOTE that bon dances are done with circles of dancers with a continuous forward motion.
Nembutsu Odori & Kudaka Manjyushu
NOTE: “Kudaka Manjyuushu” begins at the 4:50 mark
Suri Agari Bushi
Note: This dance will not be included in the 2019 Bon Dance line-up
Danced by Sayuri and Naomi
Music recordings performed by the Young Okinawans of Hawaii (YOH) except for “Ashibinaa” performed by Afuso Ryu Kenkyuu Choichi Kai Los Angeles Branch
Filmed by Joseph Kamiya