at Tenri Cultural Institute
Dancer, Choreographer, Yoboku
On September 28, 2007, I was a special guest, performing
my solo dance for the music series opening at the Tenri Cultural Institute
in New York City. This was my first opportunity to see the Institute and
its operation. The interior architecture of the building is very nice
and modern. It has a good-sized stage and sound system with seating for
60-70 persons. It has wall space that can be utilized as an art gallery.
It also has four classrooms. It is my understanding that the Institute
is functioning well.
When the Institute opened in 1991, no one in Tenrikyo was more supportive
and interested in its success than I was. I have always advocated that
one of the best ways to spread the teachings in American society is through
arts and culture. In the early 1970’s, I tried to produce a major
ballet entitled Oyasama. Then, my second great project was to produce
a major ballet entitled Creation (Motonori)
with music by Dan Ikuma for Oyasama’s 100th Anniversary. The Creation
ballet was almost on its way but fell through because of lack of funding.
I am very pleased that under the directorship of Mr. Okui, the Institute
has been successfully presenting classical music concerts and Japanese
language classes, both of which have a loyal following. Going forward,
the Institute has a unique and challenging opportunity to expand its audience
by expanding its programming. The citizenry of New York are well known
for their interest in all types of art and culture and, therefore, would
enthusiastically welcome new presentations by the Institute. With creativity,
flexibility and vision, the Institute could attract a greater cross-section
of the population and, thus, more nioigake could materialize. I wish them
well in this endeavor.