Gymnaestrada – Japanese Evening

Japan is always a big draw at the World Gymnaestrada.

At the two other FIG Gymnaestradas I have attended, a Japanese Men’s Rhythmic Team was my favourite act of all. Sadly, no Men’s Rythmic team made the trip to Switzerland in 2011.

The audience was very supportive of this show after the disasters Japan suffered in March. The theme, in fact, was “Reconstruction“. An MC thanked the World for their support over the past months, and vowed that Japan would rebuild stronger than ever.

The show was tied together not by any theme of Reconstruction, oddly, but rather by an unusual and excellent LIVE band highlighting Anna, the vocalist. (The theme could have been “Swiss Balls” as those featured in many acts.)

Lighting was excellent. But the group opted not to use much the giant video screen. Too bad. Shibumi is a Japanese word meaning elegant simplicity. Many of the acts were elegantly simple.

One highlight was Tokyo Women’s College of P.E. Rhythmic Gymnastics. (They did 3 acts. Rhythmic is far more attractive to me when freed from the constraints of competition attire and rules.)

Nitaidai University showed a 4 high pyramid, always impressive.

My favourite act was a U of Tsukuba comedy Swiss Ball number. They included many movements I’d never seen before. Here they are in a longer version of that act, performed earlier in the week.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

All in all the show was OK, but I am wondering why Japan gets the BIG stage for two shows while superb Portugal only got 1 night?

related – FIG – Waido and the heart of the Japanese