Traditional Japanese dancer Fumiko Duncan to receive Nevada Heritage Award

Traditional Japanese dancer Fumiko Duncan to receive Nevada Heritage Award

Fumiko Duncan, a traditional Japanese Tendo dance teacher from Henderson, has been selected as the recipient of the Nevada Arts Council’s Nevada Heritage Award for fiscal year 2019.

The award recognizes master folk and traditional artists of Nevada who, at the highest level of excellence and authenticity, carry forward the folk traditions of their families and communities through practice and teaching.

A certified master instructor, Duncan studied Tendo – a 20th Century style of Kabuki, in her native Japan with Miyoko Maruyama, who created Tendo dance in the 1950s.

For the past 12 years, Duncan has taught traditional Japanese Tendo dance to groups of Japanese American women at the West Flamingo Senior Center in Las Vegas. Students study and practice dance and the use of dance accessories including fans, umbrellas and flowers for two hours each week.

They meet between August 1 and March 30 to prepare for performances as the Tendo Baikoki group, which performs at Chinese New Year, the Aki Matsuri Festival, the Martin Luther King Day parade, the Henderson Heritage Parade and other community functions.

The Nevada Heritage Award comes with a grant of $3,500 and is represented by a cobalt blue glass plate with an inset of the map of Nevada in silver dichroic glass and etched with the recipient’s name and the year of the award.

Duncan will receive the award Aug. 18 at the beginning of the Tendo Baikoki group recital at Winchester Cultural Center in Las Vegas. Kathleen Blakely, Honorary Counsul General of Japan in Las Vegas, will make opening remarks before the presentation of the award to Duncan by Joe O’Neill, chairman of the Nevada Arts Council Board.

The award was selected by a group of panelists, which included: Steven Hatcher, folklife specialist at the Idaho Council on the Arts; Jennifer Jameson, folklife specialist with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, a non-profit that manages the folklife grants program for the California Arts Council; and Sally Van de Water, folk arts specialist at FolkPA, the statewide program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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