Films World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance Official Video

Here’s the World Umbrella Dance Official Video featuring Shiamak Vancouver, Tetsu Taiko and hundreds of umbrella dancers. The dance took place on Saturday April 13 2013 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

The World Umbrella Dance took place at Vancouver Art Gallery on April 13, 2013.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Hundreds of people had a great time dancing to the music of Shabop!

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

First, a warm up with Shiamak Vancouver.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Then, the official dance.

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Tetsu Taiko was drumming to the beat of the music. A great combination!

World Umbrella Dance (April 13, 2013)

Two umbrellas getting cosy after the dance.  Beautiful design by Anthony Redpath.

World Umbrella Dance

Shabop, let’s dance!

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival World Umbrella Dance 2013

Saturday April 13, 2013, the World Umbrella Dance will feature performances by Shiamak Dancers, Tetsu Taiko and our Umbrella Dancers at 12:50pm, 1:20pm, 1:50pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza .

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance will feature Shiamak Vancouver (Shabop!)

It’s not too late to join the World Umbrella Dance  We have two rehearsal dates left:

  • Monday April 8th  6.45pm-7.45pm at the Roundhouse (Tonight)
  • April 12 in Kitsilano

In case you were wondering: yes, it’s possible to learn the choreography in one hour. I am the living proof! Before I headed to the rehearsal at Nikkei Centre last month, I had looked at the video on youtube but didn’t practice much. And I was still able to learn the dance in one hour!

Come to Roundhouse tonight 6.45pm-7.45pm and join the dance  (you can buy your umbrella on site or online).

Saturday, April 13, hundreds and hundreds of dancing umbrellas will perform to “Shabop” on the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza accompanied by Tetsu Taiko.

Cherry Jam Photos World Umbrella Dance

Here comes the rain again!

Burrard skytrain station cherry blossom April 4 2013

Yep, it’s back to rainy weather, Vancouver.  But it doesn’t mean that you should stay at home. You can still take beautiful pictures of cherry blossoms under the rain. This was taken at Burrard station on April 4th during Cherry Jam.


As a new cherry scout, there are three tools I find indispensable: my camera, the guide Ornamental cherries in Vancouver by Douglas Justice (to identify cherry trees) and my Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013 designer umbrella!

If you’re coming to Sakura Days Japan Fair this week-end, you can buy the umbrella at VanDusen Garden Shop (or pick it up at Urban Tea Merchant in Downtown Vancouver).

worldumbrelladancetag2high res

Did you know?  You can purchase the umbrella by itself to support the festival. (You don’t have to join the dance if you don’t want to).

World Umbrella Dance tag

It’s not too late to join the World Umbrella Dance. There are still two rehearsals dates:  Monday April 8 at the Roundhouse and Friday April 12 at Kitsilano.   The dance will take place at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza on Saturday April 13 2013.

Haiku Photos World Umbrella Dance

Urban Tea Merchant

Urban Tea Merchant window display March 2013

Since there are no blossoms yet at the Burrard skytrain station, you can do your cherry blossom viewing at this beautiful window display at Urban Tea Merchant (1070 West Georgia Street), just a block behind the Burrard station.



Urban Tea Merchant always have nice store displays but this one really won me over with its origami cherry blossoms.

And, since you’re there, you might as well go in!  Here are some things you can do at Urban Tea Merchant:



1) You can buy (or pick up) your pop-art umbrella to participate in the World Umbrella Dance.  (If you paid online, bring your paypal receipt).



2) you can buy or sample cherry blossom tea. White Spring is a white tea with a hint of a cherry blossoms, but my favorite is called Sakura! Sakura! It’s a green tea with cherry blossoms in it. It’s sweet and delicious.


Urban Tea Merchant postcard Sakura Sakura

3) pick up one of their beautiful color postcards featuring their Sakura! Sakura! tea.

On the back of the postcard, there’s a space where you can practice writing your haiku for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational:

Urban Tea Merchant postcard Sakura Sakura

Submit your haiku to the VCBF Haiku invitational before June 3rd.

World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance rehearsal

world umbrella dance rehearsal at nikkei centre march 2 2013

It was a dark and rainy night for the Nikkei Centre rehearsal Friday March 1st.  It was the second day of a torrential rainstorm and huge amounts of rain was falling on the city.  Buses were late, cyclists were soaked, but fifteen of us made it to rehearsal.

When I arrived to the class, I had only learned the routine up to Part One of the video “Shabop” by Shiamak, so I was curious to see if I’d be able to learn the whole routine in under 1 hour. And yes, I did.

I actually found the routine for “Shabop” easier to learn than last year’s “Zoobie Doobie” (Shabop is still challenging, don’t get me wrong, but a bit easier). My favorite moves are: “the wave”, pulsating the umbrella (opening and closing quickly) and the big finale as we all bring our umbrellas back to the centre and “pose”.  A few more hours of practice with the video and I’ll be ready for the big performance of the World Umbrella Dance on April 13 at the Vancouver Art Gallery!

It’s not too late to join us. Order your umbrella now and book your rehearsal.

There will be a videotaped group rehearsal at SFU Woodward (111 West Hasting) on March 11 at 6.15pm for the TV Channel Omni.  Come and show us your moves!

World Umbrella Dance

Zoobie Doobie!

Last week, I rented a movie called “3 idiots”.  The title seemed really familiar, but it’s only in the middle of the movie (at 1 hour 14 minutes to be precise), when the characters started to sing and dance to the “Zoobie Doobie” song that I realized it was the famous movie soundtrack that we had danced to during the Cherry Blossom Umbrella Dance in April 2012 .

The “Zoobie Doobie” sequence in the movie is really fun.  The characters even use umbrellas at some point! This brought back good memories of my experience at the umbrella dance last year.

So, if you miss last year’s umbrella dance, you can do two things:

  • watch the movie and reminisce to the song of Zoobie Doobie (we had so much fun last year!)
  • and register for this year’s World Umbrella Dance. This year, we’ll be dancing to the song of Shabop, which means dance without worry to celebrate life.  Hurry up! The first rehearsal dates are coming soon!

3 idiots

World Umbrella Dance

My Umbrella Dance experience

I’ve always wanted to be in a flash mob, and last year, my dream came true thanks to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: I joined the 500 dancers who celebrated spring with the Umbrella Dance at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 14, 2012.  (Okay, perhaps it wasn’t a real flash mob because the date and time were set in advance, but nevertheless, it felt very much like a flash mob)

At first, I was really scared to register.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to learn the choreography and dance in public. I hesitated for days. Then finally, I decided to just register. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. Now, there was no turning back. I had no choice but to learn the dance routine and go through with this.

The music

First, I started by listening to the music “Zoobie Doobie” over and over again to familiarize myself with the rythm and the change of tempo.

The practice

Then, one month before the rehearsal date, I started learning the dance routine with the Youtube videos.  I was simply adding “learning the umbrella dance” to my regular exercise routine. After two sessions of 15 minutes every week,  I was now familiar with the dance routine.

The Rehearsal

The day of the rehearsal, I discovered I had learn the dance “backwards”. I realized I wasn’t supposed to mirror the instructor’s moves on the Youtube videso (if he moved to the left of the screen, I moved to the left as well), but I was supposed to “pretend” I was the dancer (if he went to the left of the screen, meaning he would move to his right, I had to move to my right).  But since I knew all the moves already, it was easy to adapt. Basically, in a dance choreography, you always start on the right side (then left).

Note: It’s possible to learn the dance routine in only 1 hour during rehearsal but if you have no dance experience (which was my case), learning the routine prior to rehearsal is a good idea.

The Big Day!

I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery early to pick up my umbrella (there was no early pick-up location that year). A crowd of excited dancers had already assembled, dressed in black pants and white shirt. There were three dance scheduled. I was assigned to dance with at the second  group (perhaps I was offered the first block, I can’t remember, but I probably turned it down, because I wanted to see how the first dance would turn out.)

Prior to the Umbrella dance, Shiamak Davar dance group members were warming up the participants with great bollywood music and routine. It was so much fun.  All my nervousness went away. Then, it was time for the Umbrella Dance. The familiar music started, with participants saying hello to each other (as per the dance routine), then we “striked a pose” and danced our heart out to the sound of Zoobie Doobie.

I wanna do it again!

What a great experience.  It was so exhilarating!  I can’t wait to do it again this year, so I signed up early and I carry my umbrella with me on every rainy day and tell all my friends and colleagues to join. Don’t miss this great event, buy your umbrella now and sign up for rehearsal. You won’t regret it.

The World Umbrella Dance will take place at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday April 13, 2013.

See you there!

— Jessica

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival World Umbrella Dance

World Umbrella Dance – choreography

Hey, Vancouver, here’s your chance to dance under the blossoms for the whole world to see.

Buy your cherry blossom umbrella, learn the steps to the World Umbrella Dance and dance with us at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday April 13, 2013.