Shhhh! Japan Society Celebrates Major Japanese Art Survey with Roaring, Speakeasy-esque Soiree

Journey through Japan in Deco Style with Dances of Vice

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 8:00 pm-Midnight, at Japan Society

展覧会ダンスパーティー「Dances of Vice: 日本縦断アール・デコの旅」

New York, NY – Japan Society invites New York City's thoroughly modern masses to traverse over two thousand years of Japanese art and style while drinking in dazzling artifacts, surreptitious sake and 1920s tunes.

On Saturday, April 19, Dances of Vice presents Journey through Japan in Deco Style, a one-night-only party spectacular celebrating the Society's current exhibition Points of Departure: Treasures of Japan from the Brooklyn Museum, on view through June 8 at Japan Society Gallery.

Starting at 8:00 pm, guests can peruse the exhibition, take an un-prohibited swig at the speakeasy-style bar, and then have their makeup done in period style before entering the photo booth. The dolled up dames and dapper gents can kick up their gams to the Kuni Mikami Jazz Quintet featuring Mari Koga, and hit on all sixes after Akemi Kinukawa and Ben Rich teach a group swing dance lesson. Kimono-clad beauties Masae Satouchi and Kaoru Matsuoka will be flirting amongst the audience, and for hoofers, DJ Va Va Voon will keep the Jazz Era swing rhythms going until Midnight.

“Given past successes partnering with Dances of Vice, we thought that they would be an ideal match to help us celebrate our latest exhibition, Points of Departure,” says Japan Society Gallery Director Miwako Tezuka. “While the exhibition traces Japanese art history both throughout the centuries and regionally in Japan, we decided to focus on the 20s as the theme for this party to help capture the sense of adventure that suffused the era.”

In May 2012, Dances of Vice hosted the party Deco Japan: Heart of the Modern Girl at Japan Society, celebrating the Society's exhibition Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture 1920-1945. For video and images from the party, visit

The creation of producer Shien Lee, Dances of Vice specializes in highly stylized themed entertainment and production concepts for New York nightlife, theater, and private events. Since its inception in 2007, Dances of Vice has attracted a decadent menagerie of mavericks and aesthetes who gather in shared enthusiasm for the beauty of times past and re-imagined, incorporating a myriad of anachronistic influences to celebrate the liberating effects of fantasy and surrealism.

Tickets to Journey through Japan in Deco Style are $15 if purchased in advance of the event at or $20 at the door the night of the event. All ticket holders receive complimentary admission to the exhibition Points of Departure: Treasures of Japan from the Brooklyn Museum.

Points of Departure: Treasures of Japan from the Brooklyn Museum (March 7-June 8, 2014) presents over two thousand years of Japan's art-making history detailed in 71 paintings, prints, sculptures, and decorative objects drawn from Brooklyn's renowned collection of Japanese art. The exhibition showcases the history of the collection while illuminating its particular strengths in lesser known but revelatory artifacts like delicate bark fiber robes, beaded jewelry, and wood carvings made by the indigenous Ainu people of northern Japan. Many objects are on view for the first time in decades, others for the first time ever. Works are displayed by region—north, east, west, and south—to counter the usual Tokyo/Kyoto focus of Japanese art scholarship and the myth of a homogenous Japan. Admission: $12; students & seniors $10, Japan Society members & children under 16 free. Admission is free to all on Friday nights, 6-9 pm. Gallery Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 11 am-6 pm; Fri. 11 am-9 pm; Sat. & Sun. 11 am-5 pm, closed Mon. & major holidays.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Journey through Japan in Deco Style with Dances of Vice takes place Saturday, April 19 from 8:00 pm to Midnight. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). $20 at door, $15 if purchased in advance at For more information, visit or call 212-832-1155.

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Media Contacts:
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Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

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