Okinawa Troupe to Perform ‘Legend of Hagoromo’

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TORRANCE — On Saturday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m., Ship of the Ryukyu, an Okinawa-based theater group, will be presenting their rendition of a popular Okinawan folk tale at the James R. Armstrong Theatre.

“The Legend of Hagoromo” tells the story of a mortal man’s marriage to a celestial woman, as performed through Okinawan kageki (opera). Expect a mixture of lively traditional music, dramatic scenes of grace and serenity, and most importantly, “Chimugukuru” (the Okinawan heart and spirit).

“It isn’t often that we get to host performers and productions from Okinawa, so this is definitely a blessing and a worthwhile endeavor,” said Joseph Kamiya, OAA publicity and social media volunteer. “We hope that local Okinawans and Okinawans-at-heart feel the same way!”

“The Legend of Hagoromo” is a live theater production made up entirely of Okinawa-based singers, actors, and musicians. It will be a treat for audience members of all generations, as the Ship of the Ryukyu’s young performers breathe new life into this classic legend with original choreography and expressive acting that aims to transcend the language barrier.

The opera will also include zouodori, a set of performances that lean more toward the folksy, energetic styles of Okinawan music and dance.

The event is supported by the Gardena-based Okinawa Association of America Inc. (OAA), whose mission is to preserve and share the Okinawan culture.

A special scene was added at the end for this performance in tribute to the many Okinawans who reside in Southern California.

The Ship of the Ryukyu’s wish is that “people who are so far away from Okinawa would be able to feel their home by seeing this performance” and “for people who are born in the U.S. to feel Okinawa.”

The James R. Armstrong Theatre is located at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance. Tickets are $20 for general admission seating and can be purchased through the Okinawa Association of America (OAA) office located in Gardena. Call (310) 532-1929 or email [email protected]

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