TOKUSHIMA--A traditional Awa Odori folk dance festival opened Aug. 12 in Tokushima featuring a dance troupe from disaster-hit Sendai.
On the first day of the four-day event, a comical "otoko odori" was performed by the male dancers while the women put on an "onna odori," known for its elegant hand motions. The event is held during the Buddhist Bon season, when ancestors' spirits are believed to return home. The routines are characterized by high energy and lively movements.
The lyrics of one Awa Dori song include the lines: "Dancing fools and watching fools. Both are the same fools, so why not dance?"
The Tokushima City Tourism Association expects roughly 1.35 million visitors during the festival, about the same as last year.
Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians form teams, known as "ren," to become "dancing fools." About 250 teams are expected to perform this year.
Among the participants on Aug. 12 were Suzume Odori (sparrow dancing) dancers from Sendai.
On Aug. 14 and 15, Awa Odori teams from Sendai and Fukushima will perform.
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