What is Jiutamai (kamigatamai)?
Jiutamai is one of the traditional dances accompanied by jiuta (old songs in the Kyoto and Osaka area sung to the accompaniment of shamisen or koto). Not only jiuta but many other kinds of music like kamigatauta, icchubushi, tokiwazu, and nagauta are used as accompaniment to jiutamai. Zashikimai is a term used because it was danced in a zashiki (a Japanese-style salon) in the Imperial Palace or in a tea-house during the Edo period.
Jiutamai is mainly danced alone with a sensu (folding fan), which symbolically expresses a range of things, from a stick or a candlestick to natural phenomenon. Turning the body is the main movement. Jiutamai expresses elegant, quiet beauty, handling a folding fan technically and sometimes jumping. It reveals a psychological portrait with a refined and controlled expression.
Repertoires of Yoshimura school's dance pieces are divided by themes: hongyomono (narrative, derived from "Noh" Theater), tsuyamono (lyrical, depicting tales of love and loss), and sakumono (characteristic, a kind of comical pantomime).
Among the many jiutamai (kamigatamai) schools, the Yoshimura, Umemoto, Yamamura and Inoue schools are the four main schools of kamigatamai.