June 23rd at NWLA: Language of Food, The Riches of Japan!

June 23rd, 2012, 6:00-9:30 pm

A celebration of Japanese culture through visual art, food, music, and dance.

The NWLA Cultural Center invites you to a very special installment of their popular Language of Food Series on Saturday, June 23rd, 2012, with The Riches of Japan. This unique series explores cuisines and cultures from around the world, and the ways in which they maintain an unbroken relationship with traditions of the past.

For the week preceding the event, NWLA is hosting twenty-one Japanese fiber artists, who are in the US as part of an exhibition on Japanese Quilts and Embroidery at the La Connor Quilt and Textile Museum.  As a culmination of their stay, NWLA invites the public to a multi-faceted celebration of Japanese art, culture, and food.

The afternoon cooking class, from 2:00pm-5:00pm, will demonstrate the techniques of sushi and other traditional favorites.  The class will be led by Chef Kotaro Kumita, a disciple of Seattle sushi deity Shiro Kashiba—founder of the iconic restaurant Shiro’s Sushi.

Chef Kotaro will prepare a traditional Japanese dinner for the evening event, served family style on NWLA’s garden terrace.  Guests will enjoy appetizers, sake, and Japanese beer as they take in the festive atmosphere of the event, including koto and shakuhachi music, and a performance by the Sound Singers Japanese Chorus.  Kimonos and Japanese quilts and fiber arts will be on display, and guests are invited to mingle with the artists, ask questions, and learn to put on a kimono themselves!

NWLA is delighted to welcome Mary Ohno and the members of the Kabuki Academy Performance Troupe for a performance of Japanese classical dance and the Kabuki arts.  Ms. Ohno, thr group’s founder, has studied classical Japanese dance for 50 years, and earned the title of “Hanayagi Fumiryu” in 1966.  She and the troupe have performed at the Nippon-Kan Theater, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Berklee College of Music, among other places.

Guests will also be treated to a performance by One World Taiko, a professional ensemble that presents a contemporary style of Japanese drumming. Combining original choreography and arrangements with rhythms drawn from Japan’s ancient tradition of festival drumming, the performance will incorporate dynamic movement, lyrical melodies, and heart-pounding percussion.

The event will be held at the NWLA Cultural Center in Langley, on Whidbey Island.  Overnight accommodations are available in the Cultural Center’s luxurious Guesthouse.

Reserve early at 360-321-2101 or [email protected]. To learn more about NWLA and upcoming programs or classes, visit www.nwlanguageacademy.com.

Cost is $75 for dinner and performances, $45 for the cooking class. Work exchange and other creative payment plans available, please inquire. Seating is limited; reserve your place today!