Kikyo Genso is a Japanese expression that conveys the idea of a beautiful illusion. It is also a duo consisting of Kishiko Hasegawa and Chris Merwin, who conjure up a world of beauty and fanciful illusion through a unique combination of music, dance, movement, and story telling. They are equally at home performing for children or adults, and their children’s show is highly inter-active, educational, and fun. Children will learn Japanese folk dances, hear Japanese stories, and will sing songs in Japanese. Cultural and historical background is given about the traditional costumes, dance, and music, and various aspects of Japanese culture are explained.

Kikyo Genso’s program consists of folk dances and movement and dance influenced by Kabuki and Noh theater. Folk songs are sung in Japanese, and Japanese folk tales are told in English. All music is played on the bamboo shakuhachi flute, which has a sound that conjures up both a mystical world of dreams, and the ancient world of Japan. It is used in folk, classical, and Zen meditation music, and all three styles are presented when the show is for adults; for children only folk and popular songs are played.

Chris Merwin is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who plays an assortment of stringed instruments but one of his main instruments is the shakuhachi flute. In order to gain a deeper understanding of this difficult and unique instrument, Chris has traveled to Japan many times for extended study trips. He minored in Japanese in school and has embraced the culture along with the music.
Kishiko Hasegawa is a dancer, actress, and singer from Japan who came to America to earn her M.A. in Performing Arts at N.Y.U . She also studied theater in Ireland and at home in Japan. Before coming to the US she studied Noh and Kabuki theater, modern dance, jazz, ballet, Tai Chi, kendo, and piano. She has performed in plays in many theaters, including the Cleveland Public Theater, La Mama etc., and Theater For the New City, both in NYC. In addition, she worked as a teacher in Japan with children of all ages.