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Great Leap’s FandangObon
Founded by Nobuko Miyamoto and Quetzal Flores, Great Leap’s FandangObon convenes into one circle the 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, Mali, and New Guinea. As we continue to build this practice, we have also welcomed the Sufi Muslim traditions of the Hadra as well.
Rooted in culturally-based sustainability practices, FandangObon also honors the balance between mother earth and humanity by bringing us together into one circle. You can join us again or for the first time. FandangObon invites strangers and friends from multiple communities into one circle to learn from each other, share in our traditions new and old and engage our connections to ancestors, each other, and mother earth.
A veteran of both Broadway and the protest line, Nobuko Miyamoto is an icon of Asian-American music and activism. A third-generation Japanese American child of World War II concentration camps, dance was a way of healing. Early training led to a career in Hollywood and Broadway musicals, but it was the social movements of the late 60s where Nobuko found her own voice as an activist and singer, co-creating the seminal album A Grain of Sand (1973) regarded as the first album of Asian American songs. She went on to improvise her path, founding Great Leap, a multi-ethnic arts organization. Across five decades, she has forged a creative practice that thrives on community and collaboration, continuing today with a fire for justice. Now in her eighth decade, Nobuko Miyamoto still performs and is co-producer of FandangObon. Her album 120,000 Stories was released by Smithsonian Folkways in 2020 and memoir Not Yo’ Butterfly: My Long Song of Relocation, Race, Love, and Revolution was published by University of California Press in 2021.
April 13th, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Location: Balch Auditorium
April 14th, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Location: Bowling Green Lawn