Turn one direction and witness a costumed young woman performing a choreographed dance to popular Japanese vocaloid songs. Spin another and see a crowd of stack-heeled revelers, mimicking her dance moves while wearing poofy black tutus, striped tights,spidery false eyelashes dipped in inky color and glitter, and sporting tiny top hats above teased blue cotton candy wigs.
The performers and audience at this weekend's J-Pop Summit Festival 2011 in Japantown were a sight to behold. The lines between singer, dancer,and costumed attendee were blurred; this could be due in part to the layered slab concrete stage below the Peace Pagoda that seems to flow directly into the wind-swept crowd. It was here, on these steps, below the looming structure, where Elegant Gothic Lolita-devotees competed in a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright circus-themed costume contest, where Ikura and Kozue of pop sensation Danceroid showcased the latest moves out of Japan, and where scores of Bay Area and Japan-based musicians took the stage.
All photos by Chris Stevens.