Reflecting on the 2015 Koenji Awaodori

With the 60th Koenji Awaodori days away, my thoughts drift back to the prior year's work, the struggles faced and the pleasures earned. Below is a sampling of shots that still linger in my mind.

The dancer featured here had recently gone through an unimaginable tragedy, yet as the female dancers leader, she pushed through and put on a dazzling performance. It showed an inspiring and beautiful way in which the burden of leadership can manifest.

Awaodori Team Edokko

2015 was also a year in which I began expanding what might make a meaningful moment - I found myself shooting dancers in their gentle moments of preparation.

Awaodori Team Suiko

As it was their 50th anniversary, I found myself amazed by the dynamic wall of dance as  Tengu pushed forward to the audience's delight.

Awaodori Team Tengu

2015 was my third year shooting Awaodori - I still remain unmistakably ignorant, but this lets me discover new teams or still older ones in a new light. I learned too, what could be mistake for unfortunate weather may bring unexpected delight.

Awaodori Team Kaminari Asakusa

I spent more time with the 135mm exploring how it could express group unity.

Awaodori Team Hisago

And of course, how the 135 could continue to capture charming expressions.

Awaodori Team Waseda

Awaodori Team Wakakoma

Awaodori Team Ponpoko

And without question the 35mm favorite saw its fair share of exploration as well - monochrome pieces and slow shutter pieces were a focus for 2015.

Awaodori Team Edokko

Awaodori Team Yuuka

And while it remains an area I struggle, the theatre performances during the day at Koenji remain one of the most intense yet artistic 2 hours you can experience.

Awaodori Team Tensho

And of course, it wouldn't feel like Koenji Awaodori without seeing familiar friends.

Awaodori Team Hyottoko

Although the 60th Koenji Awaodori is not yet upon us, below are galleries from other 2016 events.

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