Spring Workshops in Japan 2019
by Gillian Goldberger
Workshops were held in Kobe, Fukuoka and Nagasaki this year, with Nagasaki celebrating their 40th Anniversary of MMM which Sonja Couzy introduced there while living in Fukuoka. I was lucky to be invited again this year (replacing a teacher who unfortunately had to decline the invitation) to teach classes and take exams, and it was particularly special to be back so soon after my last visit in 2017.
First stop was Kobe, where the workshop lasted three days including one exam. The first photo shows the group of participants and audience after the studio performance of MMM Kobe & Osaka on the last afternoon. Some of the ladies are in costume for Jan Houselander’s colourful dance “Habana” of 2018. To finish off the workshop most of the group enjoyed an informal dinner at a nearby location.
Next stop on the journey was Fukuoka and here too the studio performance included dances from previous visiting teachers as well as creations by the MMM Fukuoka team. A special feature in Fukuoka is the participation of the disabled group who learn a new dance each year and practise it to perform at the following year’s workshop. They danced, among others, “Marching Band” - the item I taught them in 2017! The party on the last evening, which is a firm event in all locations, was an enjoyable affair, as can be seen in the second photo.
Finally, the 40th Anniversary workshop and performance in Nagasaki, held at the end of three very intensive days of classes and exams, was well supported and the group showed dances from past and present, including three by Jim Hastie and the lovely meditative “Bamboo” by Jan Houselander of 2018 (third photo). There were contributions by Nagasaki teachers; Sonja and I also danced our solos. The Anniversary event finished in style with a beautiful dinner at a venue high up overlooking the whole city.
I really enjoy the perfect hospitality every time I visit Japan, and the work we do together gets better and better. Thank you to all my hosts and to everyone for the hard work you put in to keep MMM flourishing in your beautiful country.