Great Leap’s FandangObon (FO) convenes into one circle to include participatory music and dance traditions of Fandango of Vera Cruz, Mexico rooted in African, Mexican and indigenous music; Japanese Buddhist Obon circle dances in remembrance of ancestors; and West African dance and drums of Nigeria and New Guinea.
Quetzal Flores of QUETZAL, Grammy-award winning band, has helped spread the Fandango throughout the U.S.. Great Leap’s Nobuko Miyamoto has composed contemporary Obon pieces danced by over 10,000 people yearly at Obon Festivals in So Cal. Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble and Le Ballet Dembaya take West African dance into schools and communities throughout LA.
The 5th annual FO begins with free artist-led community workshops held at 8 culturally significant sites region-wide to encourage folks to share stories and traditional songs/dances, and learn the growing FO repertoire. Created through collective process, the pieces express common goals of cultural and environmental sustainability.
The FandangObon Project is a growing Angeleno tradition that culminates on October 21 with an Environmental Encuentro and October 22 with the music and dance Festival and Farmer’s Market at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, the historic cultural crossroads of Boyle Heights and Bronzeville. Hundreds of folks of all ages and cultures will celebrate connections to each other and mother earth. The exemplary work of FandangObon was presented at the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s “Sounds of California in Washington DC on the National Mall in July 2016.”
Community Partners include: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), Artivist Entertainment, Sustainable Little Tokyo, LA Commons; Little Tokyo Service Center…
Partially funded by: California Arts Council, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, JACCC, Artivist Entertainment.