A traditional Japanese dance troupe called Iwami Kagura will perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Wrather Auditorium at Murray State University. The auditorium is located in the Wrather West Kentucky Museum around the north corner of Main and 16th streets. The performance is free and everyone is invited to attend.

The Kagura originated as a religious service performed by Shinto priests to pacify their gods, but in the mid-1800s it became a type of folk entertainment.

Currently, the Kagura is a series of theatrical dances portraying the myths and heroism of the Iwami people. It is a dynamic form of dance that is known for its up-tempo drum rhythms and spectacular costumes. Over the years, the Iwami Kagura has grown to include over 30 various episodes. The dances used to be performed annually, but with growing popularity the Kagura has become an indispensable part of every festival for the Iwami people.

“It will be unlike anything else ever seen in Murray,” said Dr. Ted Brown, dean of the college of fine arts and humanities.

The dance troupe will also conduct a hands-on workshop for students in the Calloway County High School gymnasium at 1:30 p.m. earlier that same day. Students will have the opportunity to learn the traditional dances as well as trying on the costumes.

The event is co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation, the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville and the MSU college of humanities and fine arts. For more information, contact Brown at (270) 809-6937.

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