On April 12, 2019, Sapporo Upopo Hozonkai, a traditional Ainu performance group recognized by UNESCO as carrying on “intangible heritage,” visited NYU Shanghai for a series of participatory dance, voice, and instrumental performances. NYU Shanghai’s Interactive Media Arts students are working with Assistant Arts Professor Ann Chen and Global Perspectives on Society teaching fellow Roslynn Ang to create interactive digital media platforms that will help the group from Hokkaido, Japan pass on indigenous Ainu cultural heritage to the world. Sapporo Upopo Hozonkai performers and NYU Shanghai students pair off for a welcome dance. Hayasaka Yuka plays a mukkuri, a bamboo jaw harp of the Ainu people. The Mukkuri's reed is attached to a string which is pulled sideward, away from the player's head to produce vibrations. Hayasaka is a grandmother who is passing down Ainu traditions, songs, and dances to her daughter and granddaughter. Hayasaka Yuni plays two pieces on the tonkori, a five-string plucked instrument which nearly disappeared in the 1970s, but has been revived with increased interest in and efforts on behalf of Ainu heritage. (From left) Hayasaka Yuka, Kagaya Kyoko, Hayasaka Yuni, and Fujioka Chiyomi sing a series of six upopo, a type of polyrhythmic Ainu chant used for ritualistic purposes. The melodies represent elements of nature such as wind, sun, and sea. Saron-rimse is a dance in which performers play cranes--the gods of the wetlands of Hokkaido. The older dancers represent adult cranes teaching their young how to dance. Yoshida Yasunori performs the ku-rimse (bow dance), which tells the story of a hunter who is so caught up by the beauty of a bird in the sky that he forgets to shoot it. In the Futtarechui (the black-haired dance), the vigorous movement of the dancers and their waving hair represent the movement of willow trees in the wind. NYU Shanghai students join in to perform the Chak peeyak (swallow dance) that was taught to them in a morning workshop on April 12. Hayasaka Yuka presents a hand-embroidered snowflake made with traditional Ainu textile patterns to Professor Chen.