The makings of nihon buyo
There are four main parts which might be described as the building blocks of nihon buyo.
1) First and foremost is kabuki buyo, which comprises a large part of nihon buyo ~ Kabuki buyo grew out of kabuki, originally a mélange of drama, dance, and music. As kabuki became established as a form of theatre in the late 17th century, dance was abstracted and developed as an art form. Consequently, kabuki buyo has grown and been handed down within the framework of the kabuki theatre, and the style of the kabuki theatre is reflected in elements of its choreography; for example, familiar scenes from daily life represented in abstract form, and an exaggerated, stylistic beauty in the movements.
2) Secondly, noh, which developed around the 15th century ~ The circular movements (mai) characteristic to noh dance, have been absorbed into the nihon buyo technique and style. Instruments used in noh have also become an integral part of the music of nihon buyo.
3) Thirdly, folk performing arts ~ Chronologically, these originate earlier than the noh theatre. Aspects of local, folk performing arts which were not incorporated into noh are embodied in nihon buyo. In contrast to the grounded, circular movements (mai) which are central to noh, motions which resemble springing and jumping (odori) are often used in nihon buyo.
4) Fourthly, a collection of creative, original works which appeared in the 20th century in the wake of the wide influence of Euro-American forms of culture in Japan. The original works emerged as part of a trend to break away from nihon buyo’s dependency on kabuki and to pioneer new ground as a dance form. In terms of technique, however, they do not differ substantially from kabuki buyo.