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JapanFocus
Tokyo Decadance Brings the Underground Up
Dance event mixes the unmixable
David Michael Weber (crossfire)     Print Article 
Published 2008-06-22 03:52 (KST)   


Tokyo Decadance was created by Adrien Le Danois of France.
©2008 D. Weber

Deep underground a myriad of weird and fantastical shapes move and groove to an eclectic beat and the sway of pulsating strobe lights. It is Tokyo Decadance an underground (literally!) dance scene that is fast making its presence felt on the surface world.

Tokyo Decadance is an eclectic melting pot of underground cultures.
©2008 Tokyo Decadance

There is no rhyme or reason to the costumes the performers and participants come in. There are psychedelic psycho clowns, what looks like escapees from a Japanese production of the musical "Cats," naughty nurses, lightsaber-wielding cyborgs, Victorian era vampires, dastardly devils, gothic schoolgirl Lolitas, luscious hula girls, dancing doctors and a variety of other types that defy labeling.

A devil and a cat carvorting.
©2008 D. Weber

Tokyo Decadance started almost three years ago as the brainchild of Adrien Le Danois, a noted French drag queen of the Parisian scene. In 2003 he moved to Japan, where he later created Tokyo Decadance. Decadance is a melting pot of various underground cultures in Japanese society. What was thought unmixable, Decadance mixed. Dark cyberpunks dance alongside genki nouveau geisha while outrageously dressed anime geeks dance alongside suited salarymen.

©2008 D. Weber

The organizers describe the phenomenon as follows:

"Tokyo Decadance became the 'rendez-vous' of gothic, cyberpunk, fetish, manga heroine, lolitas, yamanbas, ko gyaru, drag queen, punk, tokyo jet-set and other partymonsters, but also salaryman and 'normal people' love Tokyo Decadance, especially because of its ENERGY!!!"

©2008 D. Weber

©2008 D. Weber

In its beginnings, Tokyo Decadance was influenced by the street styles of the various fashion subcultures of Tokyo. Now Tokyo Decadance is influencing those street styles.

©2008 D. Weber

Tokyo Decadance is not just a dance scene. There are number of performances at each of the shows running from fire shows, martial arts demos mixed with dance, theater, exotic dancing and a little bondage to keep things interesting.

©2008 D. Weber

Tokyo Decadance has now become practically a worldwide event with shows taking place in a number of cities around the world. Decadance has been invited to perform in several distinguished venues such as the centre des arts d'Enghien-les-Bains and the Salon du Pret-a-Porter in France.

A cyborg bouncer with his trusty lightsaber makes sure no one gets too out-of-hand.
©2008 D. Weber

Overall, it is a fun time to let oneself go and a great place with some interestingly unique people to meet or get beaten by, or both.

©2008 D. Weber

©2008 OhmyNews
A native Tennesseean, David M. Weber is currently at the grammatical grindstone cranking out gerunds, dangling modifiers and perfecting tenses as an English teacher in Japan. In his travels, he has hiked the Inca Trail, been mugged in Mexico City, broke his leg in Switzerland, attempted to bike through Mexico and failed, climbed Pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, drank great quantities of beer at Oktoberfest and gambled at Monte Carlo.
Other articles by reporter David Michael Weber

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