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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Saipan Awaodori Team off to Japan

Saipan Awaodori Team lead dancer Elisa Lazaro with members of the Tokyo Tensuiren group. (Contributed Photo) Four more members of the Saipan Awaodori Team will be going to Japan this month and earlier next months to take part in the year’s biggest Awaodori Festival in Tokyo, Japan.

Musician/dancer Ronald Fitipol Fernandez and dancer Itheyvin They will leave Saipan on July 25 and join up with four other members of the Saipan Awaodori Team who left earlier.

Fernandez is a 7th grade student of Hopwood Junior High School. His parents are Rose Analee and Jeffrey Fernandez and this is his third time to join the group in Japan.

An 8th grader at Hopwood, They is making the trip to Japan for the second time. Her parent is Innocenzia Opokunong.

Dancers Nyla Julie Sablan Ogumoro and Cody Josiah Litulumar, meanwhile, will fly to Japan on Aug. 11.

Ogumoro is a 10th grader at Mariana High School. Her parents are Immaculada and Anthony Ogumoro and this is her second year with the group

Litulumar, meanwhile, is the grandson of Manuel R. Sablan and is an 8th grader from Hopwood.

Already in Japan are musician/drummers Zacarias Sakisat, Mitsunobu and Ran Suzuki, and dancer Eliza Lazaro.

Sakisat is the oldest member of the group and this is his first trip to Japan, while Suzuki is a graduate of Saipan Southern High School. Sister Ran, meanwhile, goes to school at Hopwood. Their mother is Mayumi Suzuki, owner of Okadaya Store in Susupe.

Lead dancer Lazaro is a 10th grade student of Saipan Southern High School. Her mother is Evelyn Hermosilla. This is Lazaro’s third time to join the Tokyo Tensuiren group in Japan.

The four members already in Japan took part in the Shirogane Tokyo performance held on July 14.

Fernandez and They will join them in the next four shows—in Ujiie, Tochige on July 21, Nerima, Kitamachi Tokyo on July 27, Kamimizo Kanagawa, Japan in July 28, and Higashirinkan, Kanagawa on Aug. 3 and 4.

Ogumoro and Litulumar complete the eight-man ensemble on Aug. 11 and they will perform in shows in Susono, Sizuoka Japan on Aug. 17, Ontakesan, Tokyo on Aug. 18, and the aforementioned grand show in Koenji, Tokyo on Aug. 23, 24, and 25.

The Saipan Awaodori Team is coordinated by PDM Promoters, Inc. and association spokesperson Sonia G. Siwa said this year also marks the first time musicians will join the Tokyo Tensuiren group for performances. In previous years only dancers from Saipan took part in the show.

Siwa said the Awaodori Festival is the biggest festival celebration held every year in July/August in Japan.

She said the most famous is the Koenji Awaodori Festival where 200 groups made up of as much as 12,000 dancers and musicians plus millions of spectators congregate.

The most famous group in Koenji, Japan is the Tokyo Tensuieren, which is the mother group of the Saipan Awaodori Team.

PDM Promoters CEO and director Misako Kamata will accompany the eight members of the Saipan Awaodori Team. Instructor/teacher Mayumi Suzuki will later join him. She is also a member of Tokyo Tensuiren.

The Saipan Awaodori Team is expected to return to Saipan on Aug. 28.

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