Tokyo Rockabilly dancers in full color
Tokyo rockabilly in color? I used to photograph the Yoyogi Park dancers in black and white. But not this time. I chose to capture them in color. It worked about well. Why? Well, this time, I saw something new.
Rockabilly dancing has been a popular subculture in Japan since the 1950s. Of course, it has its ups and downs. But Yoyogi Park in Harajuku is the best place to see them. Every weekend, dedicated dancers gather at the entrance.
Every Sunday, hairspray, and combs get a lot of overtime. Leather jackets and vintage dresses are the go. Pompadours are common. The music blares from a small stereo, and the dancers move in unison, twirling and jumping to the beat.
The group I’ve photographed most is Strangers. Occasionally, I’ve seen Fairlady and Lebels. This time, I saw a new group. Well, for me, they were new, Fallen Angel.
Fall Angel members obviously liked leather! That reminded me of many years ago when those outfits were standard. In recent years, most dancers at Yoyogi Park wear simple blue denim. That’s been my experience.
Anyway, perfect weather saw a big turnout of dancers. The men and women ranged anywhere from about twenty to sixty, and maybe older. Age doesn’t matter. They all share a passion for their subculture.
They have a strong sense of community. Many of them have been coming to Yoyogi Park for years. It is where they connect with others who share their love of rockabilly. They have formed close bonds with one another and welcome newcomers.
I only had limited time, so I didn’t have a chance to talk to the dancers. Whether Fallen Angel is old or new, I don’t know. In all my visits to Yoyogi Park on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve never seen them. If you know, please tell us.
Anyway, the rockabilly dance scene at Yoyogi Park is a vibrant and unique subculture. It showcases the energy, passion, and spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. While it has faced some challenges in recent years, it remains a beloved part of Tokyo’s landscape. They are a must-see for anyone visiting the city.
Why did I shoot Tokyo rockabilly dancers in color?
The answer is simple. In the past, I saw most dancers in simple blue denim. That isn’t an eye-catching material. On the other hand, some onlookers’ clothes were very bright and colorful which was a distraction. I wanted to strip that away. That was my motivation to use black and white.
Black leather is compelling. Eyes go straight to it. Color photos seemed to be the correct choice. What do you think?
Well, that’s it for this article. I will be back to shoot the Tokyo rockabilly dancers later this year. Please leave your questions and comments below.