I watched a 45min performance of Ryukyuan classical court dances today at the Shuri Castle in Naha. The dances of the Kingdom of Ryukyu were said to have been influenced by both Chinese and Japanese dances. Court dances that they were, they were very much restrained in movement. A biased bystander commented that the dancers resembled individuals walking slowly with constipated stomachs. Even those dances described in the official brochures as tense appeared to be tense only by mood and not by exuberance of movement. I cannot comment as I am untrained in such matters but I have to confess that many of those who were present could easily fall asleep. To give them credit, the dancers did have elaborate face make-up, controlled yet intense facial expressions and rather difficult constrained movements that could be achieved only after many years of training.