Nrithyanjali Dance Troupe
offers South Indian traditional and folk dance performances, Paraiattam, Karagattam, Oilattam, Kummi and more.Follow @Nrithyanjali
Nrithyanjali, composed of the two words "nrithya (dance)" and "anjali (offering)", has been performing Indian dances on many stages to send the message that "dance has no borders or language barriers" by having Japanese and Indian people dance together.
The troupe was the brainchild of the four like-minded Bharatanatyam dance enthusiasts, ex-students of Guru Gyanendra Bajpai's Bharatanatyam dance course at ICC, and started in June 2009.
In its self-organized performance event in 2010, Nrithyanjali for the first time performed Paraiattam and Kummi of Tamil folk dances, taking full advantage of Taeko Kurokawa's expertise. Since then, Tamil folk dances are the main focus of our performance.
Drawn by Puvi
Nrithyanjali Dance Troup was formed in May 2009 by students of Guru Gyanendra Bajpai, a South Indian classical Bharatanatyam dancer and instructor invited by the Indian government. The founding members are Taeko Kurokawa, Sandhya, Toko Muto and Asako Suzuki.
Members of formation
Taeko Kurokawa has studied dance from Guru Shakti in Tokyo, Guru Dakshnamurty in Delhi and Guru Gyanendra Bajpai in Tokyo and Lucknow since 1980. She obtained Ph.D. with the research on Parai and Paraiattam from Osaka University in 2000. She has worked in Asian/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO for 14 years and now serves as Secretary General of ICLC (International Centre for Literacy and Culture). With the immense experience and knowledge of Indian Culture and Dance she carries, Taeko has been a pillar of the Nrithyanjali dance troupe.
The busy schedule of working in a financial institution has not deterred her love and passion towards Bharatanatyam. She has done her rigorous learning in Bharatnatyam dance under the tutelage of Guru Gyanendra Bajpai. Her technical ability has helped the Nrithyanjali troupe to develop new ideas during their dance performances. A swift Mandolin player and an ardent music lover Toko Muto's passion for perfection can be seen in her dance. (by Vinayak)
Namaste India 2018
She has loved dancing since she was a child, and became familiar with classical ballet, modern dance, Balinese dance, and other forms of dance. She has also been interested in Indian culture, and in 2011, she joined Nrithyanjali Dance Troupe through Taeko Kurokawa, feeling empathy for the activities of the Sakthi Cultural Centre in Tamil Nadu and admiring the Paraiattam drum dance. She is also passionate about food as well as dance, running a café and holding cooking classes. Her motto is "A sense of rhythm is important in both dancing and cooking!"
Born in Osaka. As an actress, she appeared in "Okeya - Cinema GO Round" (Dir. Yoichi Nishiyama), "Going to the Moon" (Dir. Yoshiharu Ueoka), "City of Sodom" (Dir. Hiroshi Takahashi), "Kiss" (Dir. Kunitoshi Manda) and "Let's make the teacher have a miscarriage club" (Dir. Eisuke Naito). In Indian dance, she began studying Bharatanatyam with Yukiko Hori, and has since gone on to learn Thiruvathirakali, Paraiattam from the fall of 2017, and Bharatanatyam in 2021 under Ayako Yamamoto, demonstrating her talent in many fields.
Born in Hirosaki City, Aomori. She has been playing marching and brass band since she was a child, and became familiar with percussion through band activities, etc. Around 2015, she started learning Bharatanatyam from Yukiko Hori. In 2017, she also started Tiruvathirakari, and was impressed by Nrithyanjali's Paraiattam performance at Namaste India in the fall of the same year, and joined the dance troupe soon after. Her secret dream is to "perform Paraiattam in my hometown someday!”
Namaste India 2017 with supporters
About "Sakthi Folk Arts"
Based in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India, and led by Sister Chandra, the dance troupe Sakthi has made a significant impact in many parts of the country through social movements for women by performing Paraiattam and many other dances, songs, and skits. Sakthi is a pioneer in women performing Paraiattam.
This "drum dance" is a combination of a drum called palai from the Tamil region of South India and attam, which means dance in Tamil. Originally, the parai was an important drum that represented the identity of the untouchable people called Dalits, but it is now widely loved and the paraiattam has become a popular folk dance that is performed on all occasions. It is a representative folk dance of Tamil Nadu and is also called Thappaattam.
Karagattam is a traditional Tamil folk dance in which a small water pot is placed on the head and danced gracefully in praise of the goddess Marianne. The dance is performed with a sparklingly decorated water jar topped with a parrot on the top, which is placed on the head, expressing radiant beauty through exquisite balance and body movements.
It is a folk dance of Tamil Nadu, characterized by women dancing in a circle. The dancers repeatedly bend down while clapping their hands, and then get up to enjoy the dance together, healing the fatigue of daily labor and uniting their hearts. It is an energetic dance that allows the dancers to feel united by dancing in a circle, no matter what their differences may be.
Oirattam, also a folk dance of Tamil Nadu, means "beautiful dance. Originally danced by men, women have also begun to dance it in recent years. The dance troupe performs it with a beautiful cloth in their hands and steps nimbly.
We are hard at work practicing for upcoming events. Each member is busy and it is quite difficult to make time for each other, but when we get together twice a week, we all enjoy playing the drums in a friendly atmosphere. We will do our best to prepare for the day when we can perform on stage again!
Sometimes we practice outdoors for a change!
Lecture on Parai to children
Preparation for Karagattam before the stage
Strike a pose!