The Bugaku is a Japanese dance, blended from traditional Chinese, Korean, Indian and South East Asian dances. Comprising of two basic elements, the Bugaku has the saho no mai or "dances on the left," accompanied by togaku, music from Chinese forms. The other half is "dances on the right" or uho samai no mai, accompanied by a Korean music, known as komagku. Both elements are enriched by colorfully-embroidered costumes: saho no mai usually is red; samai no mai green or blue.
There are four types of Bugaku dances: civil dances (also called level or even dances), warrior dances, running dances, and children dances. Each dance is conventional in the sense that they are accompanied and cued by the beat of a drum. All the positions are highly stylized, from hand and arm movements, to leg movements. The choreography itself is what one would consider simple geometric patterns.
Masks play an important role in Bugaku dance, as the dancers who wear them represent fictional characters from ancient stories. Oldest and best known examples are the Twelve Deities (1486, To Temple, Kyoto), carved by Buddhist monks.
The Japanese Bugaku was imported in the 7^th century from China and Korea, primarily. Preserved in Japan, Bugaku is the oldest, living, orchestral music in the world. This orchestral music is known as Gagaku.
Because of its formal and ritualized style, the Bugaku may seem inaccessible to Westerners, as well as Modern Japanese. But since it is as ancient as it is, and still a living tradition of the 7^th century, it is worth seeing. And throughout Japan there are a few places to witness the Bugaku. In the USA, some have imported Bugaku. In fact, the Gagaku orchestral music has been used in several ballets, such as the Ballanchine Trust group