"Satsuki no Mai" is Nikkei Student Union (NSU) Odori's thrid spring dance recital. NSU Odori is a group of UCLA undergraduate students who bring nihon buyo or traditional Japanese dance, to the UCLA and broader Los Angeles communities. They are under the direction of Bandō Hirohichirō (Nakamura Gankyō), the first non-Japanese citizen to become a professional kabuki actor in the history of kabuki theater.
Although I graduated from UCLA, I continued to design assets for NSU Odori and my Sensei's dance group, Kyo no Kai. I designed the flyer, poster and program for "Satsuki no Mai" similar to "Asahi no Matsu". In addition print graphics, I produced an animation for one of the performances called "Chōjū Giga" or "The Frolicking Animals."
The recital design reflects the meaning of its' name - "Dance of the Azaleas."
I was inspired by typographical contemporary art for the recital design. These design examples demonstrate playful and artistic arrangements between letters/words and the flowers. I also like the sense of depth from the overlapping elements and subtle drop shadows.
The first dance performance of "Satsuki no Mai" was "Chōjū Giga" or "The Froklicking Animals." The piece was a live dance performance with animations in the background.
The dance was inspired by the famous picture scrolls that's known as the oldest work of manga (Japanese comics). The scrolls illustrate anthropomorphic rabbits, monkeys and frogs interacting with each other. One panel has rabbits and monkeys bathing in the river. Another panel has a monkey thief stealing and knocking over a frog. The last panel has frogs and other animals praying to a Buddha statue.
I took parts from the original artwork and created subtle animations that go along with the music and dance performance.