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April 02, 2006|By LORI SEARS

Japanese arts celebration

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Art's Terrace Theater, opened in 1979, was a gift from Japan to the United States. In January of that year, the people of Japan presented the intimate, 513-seat venue to the people of Washington as a bicentennial gift. The theater, on the roof level of the venue, has long featured contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music, theater and family performances, including many Japanese arts shows.

This year, the Kennedy Center's theaters and stages will showcase the "Arts of Japan Celebration," an ode to the close relations between the United States and Japan. The celebration includes traditional Japanese music, dance and drumming. Performing tomorrow at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage will be the Washington Toho Koto Society, a group of Washington-area koto players. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, violinist Narimichi Kawabata performs classical music with pianist Daniel-Ben Pienaar on the Millennium Stage. At 6 p.m. Thursday on the Millennium Stage, the Tamagawa University Dance Ensemble presents traditional and new Japanese dances. Then at 6 p.m. Friday, the Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Ensemble takes to the South Plaza Stage. The celebration wraps up April 16 at 6 p.m. with a performance by the Tokue Sisters on the Millennium Stage.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is at Virginia and New Hampshire avenues in Northwest Washington. All events mentioned above are free. Fees for some other events. 800-444-1324 or kennedy-center.org.

[LORI SEARS]

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