Aguyoshi’s Funny Tokyo Street Dances

Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media
Published in
13 min readDec 28, 2023

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Aguyoshi is a very peculiar dance duo. You may have seen some of their intriguing, poetic, and funny videos on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram.

Formed by contemporary dancers Aisa Shirai and KEKE, the duo explores the streets of Japan (mainly in the wider Tokyo area), letting the places’ shapes and rhythms influence the choreography, which is almost improvised on-site.

Read on to discover the origins of their project and dance styles, the hidden messages it conveys, and get conquered by the spirit of “moyayoshi!”

The Origins of the “Moyayoshi” Dance

Rather than expressing our feelings or purpose, we wanted to represent our bodies as things influenced by their surroundings.

When people hear the word “dance,” I think most of them picture dancing at events, festivals, or on stages. What made you choose the unusual form of dancing on the street and posting it on SNS?

Aisa: Our dance genre is contemporary dance, which can be seen in many forms, but is mostly performed on stage. Aguyoshi was born in 2016, and during the first two years, we made art to be performed on stage too. We started walking and dancing in the streets as part of research and learning. With time, that aspect became the main one.

A theater is a closed space, and the audience tends to be a little nervous as they watch the performance. We wanted to create stage dances that would make the people feel more relaxed as if they were in the open air. However, that proved difficult, and we ended up thinking that dancing outside in an open space from the start was an easier way to give shape to our ideas and to express them to people.

Posting our dance on social media seemed like a good way to make sure our audience is relaxed when they watch us. Dancing on stage is also great, but posting short videos of our dance on social media matches our dance style better.

Click here for a video of “Moyayoshi”

Depending on the viewer, your dance style can be seen as surreal, poetic, or funny. How did you arrive at Aguyoshi’s “Moyayoshi” style, which generates such feelings?

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Amélie Geeraert
Kokoro Media

Living in Japan since 2011. I love interviewing inspiring people.