Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Dance is a lifestyle.

My dance teacher back in Japan, Fujisato-sensei, said "dance is a religion".

My Pilates teacher, Alan Herdman, said "Pilates is a lifestyle".

Last night, websurfing through Facebook groups, I found a group called DANCE is NOT a sport it is a LIFESTYLE!. Although I do not belong this group, this has brought back these words from my teachers.

Since I started teaching Pilates, I have been struggling to understand the value of dance, for myself.

In Pilates world, everything costs with one more extra zero. But (or because?) many people appreciate it so much. Through remedial Pilates, people can sort out backache, joints problems and muscular stain.

I can get regular and permanent jobs and income in Pilates, quite easily.
Whereas in dance, nothing is regular and permanent. We dancers move from one project to another, one audition to another, and then work very hard with their own body and mind, and get paid minimum or even no pay.

This does not make sense as a job.

But what I really appreciate being a dancer is that I can understand better and better about body, human and the society, by sensing, moving and thinking.

Miranda Tufnell, an artist who works with body, space and image, said in a workshop on Sunday two weeks ago, " We dancers are ambassadors of the body". There is lots of essence we see, and they are relevant to all the people.

So dance may be a religion. And definitely, dance is a lifestyle.

This makes me see other dancers in a morning class in a different way. They are no competitors but colleagues.

Perhaps, the same applies to other places too.
A first step towards world peace, or just being hypocritical?

Sunday, 4 November 2007



Jurajは月曜からオーストリアのカンパニーでの仕事。2月に私たちがまたちっちゃなツアーを再会するときにまたロンドンに戻ってくる。イギリ スとヨーロッパと行き来しているダンサーってあまり会ったことがないので、ヨーロッパのダンス状況を聞いて、わくわく。ヨーロッパのダンス、イギリスの ちょっとバレエチックにきれいにおさまっちゃっているコンテと比べて、もっと人間!って感じがする。もっとなまの身体があって、感情があって。。。いい なぁ。。。

Elizabettaはイギリス内で大きな仕事にガンガン恵まれているわりに、いまいちロンドンのダンスにしっくり感じていないらしい。最近マッ サージの資格を取る為のコースを始めたり。私から見れば、ずいぶんと成功している人のようにみえるけど、それでもいろいろ考えてるんだな。ダンサーの収 入って不安定だし、先のことなんて全然わからないし。

二人ともある意味、遊牧民のようにあちらからこちらへとプロジェクトを巡り、それによって住むところもあちらからこちらへと移動して、その自由さ と柔軟さに憧れる反面、わたしはそこまでやらないなぁ。私はプロジェクトは巡るけど、住むところはこの7年間ロンドン内。ほかに移動することなんて考えた ことなかったけど、そうやって自分で自分の限界を作っちゃっていたのかもしれない。

と思う反面、自分の人生もっと責任を持って自分でコントロールしたい!と行く気持ちが最近むくむく大きくなってきている。ダンサーの仕事の機会っ て、振付家に依存している部分が大きくて、いつも「仕事くださーい」って思いながらオーディションに行ったり、振付家に話しかけてみたり。仕事が来るのを 待って、仕事がきたらそれに振り回されて。コントロール不可能。

完全にコントロールされた人生なんてありえないし、あってもつまらないけど、もうちょっと自発的にプロジェクトを起こすことができないのだろうか? むむむ。。。


Friday, 2 November 2007



一生懸命のめり込んでやったプロジェクトからはすごくたくさんのことを学ぶし、自分の中でも大切なものとしてのこるけど、今回みたいに、周りの人 と環境のせいで自分の60%(以下かも)くらいしか出せないってゆうのは、歯がゆいを通りこして欲求不満。爆発寸前を押さえてる、みたいな。







まあ、keep goingですな。。。

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Sixty-five Feet Down, feedbacks

It's already four months ago when I performed my work Sixty-five Feet Down at Clarence Mews. A good thing about this sharing was that I received written feedbacks from the audience, which can be nice but also confusing...and that's why I have kept them so quietly till now. But I want to do something. Something exciting in my dance activity and I thought it might be the time to see them again and see if I can take this work somewhere further.There are seven feedbacks.

1) I saw a woman alone, very troubled but I don't know why she was in this place. Thank you.

2) Isolated, alone, bare, raw, power.
Movements- sharp, fluid, intense, contained.
I enjoyed it.

3) I had a sense of confusion, as if she didn't know which way was up or down, like the sounds where playing or toying with her. If this was the intention then she captured it perfectly... The random echoing of the dunes seducing and then stashing her is quit succession. I enjoyed her quality of movement. Simple forms, but overly complex. Quite pure and clean. I really liked it.

4) I got the feeling of the dancer being very low, as described. The feel of isolation came across well. I would like to see more material, sequences and fluidity.

5) I only read the info on your piece after seeing it, so my impression works in a "funny" way. I definitely had the sense of pursuit/ being pursed, loneliness, being haunted, voice in the head... On empty landscape, lots of FRAGMENTS that get picked up or lost...burying one's head in the "sand"...

6) I have no idea what the dance was about- so that is my comment. If I knew I might be able to offer you some advice/ response. I also must add that abstraction is interesting if I can find what it is abstracted from -

7) 表情、もしくは、あっさりしたdarknessが日本的だったです。侍?墨絵のような。quickな部分と静かな部分のバランスが、というよりtimingの取り方がよかったです。身体がきれいだなと思って見てました。

I just find it very depressing to work on this piece because this woman is depressing. So I don't know if I want to continue to working on this, but it would be a bit shame to throw everything away after showing a work-in-progress only once.

Haw can I take it further???

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Interaktionslabor, Germany 2

Two more days.

Now I can see the whole piece.
I know what I am doing in each scene.
The woman I am playing, still I don't like her but I've got her.

The process has been something interesting. We are dealing with interactive technology, and talking something about inter-subjectivity, communication, real or virtual etc. Cool.

OK then. Look at the process we have been going through for these two weeks. Everyone says that this is so precious opportunity to work with the numbers of experts in each art discipline. I would say this is the only occasion that everyone gets together except the actual show. It is true that we are spending quite many hours together to create something, but I doubt if things happened as much as this if we were communicating through the internet or emails.

Here is actual real interaction between people and their ideas. Each of us create something they want to try, put them together, select what works in the performance context. As we do this process, there are other problems on another level coming up. For example, how we can reach an agreement on the treatment of movie we made for a love scene, which contains some nudity that performers do not wish to show (yeah I'm one of them). We have a discussion about it. This is not directly related to the creation itself and maybe the discussion does not reach to a clear conclusion. But what I see is that the activity of discussion makes people communicate and it gives some good affect on the creation of a collaborative work. Lots of try-out and discussion work in that way. They don't bring conclusions most of time but it works as oil or spring board for the creation.

The oil and the spring board make the richness of a performance. I tend to rush into a conclusion, or try to get a result quickly, but I have to remind myself that nothing is waste. They are fertilizer and we don't know what kind of flower is coming out from there, and when.

On the other hand, there is a danger of just thinking anything goes. Like everything, the balance is important. Playing and planning. Planning and playing.

Going back to the interaction, so, the actual meeting and interaction of people bring infinite possibilities. In the chaos of unreasonable humans (yes they are), a sparkling jewel jumps out.

Communication on the internet has different quality. I remember this man, who could tell me so much about his personal things like what happened in the past and what's going on in his life, however, could not tell me anything face-to-face. The personal private intimate communication on emails is also a particular art, that cannot exist in the reality.

I am writing this, and I never talk anything like this to people.

Is this just my lack of ability of talking, or the nature of a blog?

...Probably both.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Interaktionslabor, Germany

I am here in Gottelborn, Germany for Interaktionslabor. Interaktionslabor is an annual workshop for technology and performance. I came here two years ago too. This time, I am working with a group of 15 people(!) with different expertise such as fashion, textile, animation, motion graphics, music and performance. Suna no Onna is the title of the physical theatre we are making, which is based on a Japanese novel of the same title,the Woman in the Dunes in English. I am playing the role of the woman who lives deep in the dunes.

This novel can be described surreal, but to be honest, quite depressing. There are no one who I feel attracted in the story, and this woman is one of those types who I would avoid. Someone who does not question about their circumstances. She just accept and get on with it. (you probably want to know why she lives in the dunes, which no one knows including herself!).She does not show emotions, and waits and waits to get something she wants, for example a man. I almost disgust this woman. I cannot deny that there is some part of me like her. Is this typical nature of Japanese woman? Maybe ones in older generation? I have felt same irritation towards my mother before- why she cannot change the situation if she does not like it? Why she even does not make any struggle and just accept it?

Olu, a performer who plays the man who gets trapped by the woman, said "this woman is quite Zen, isn't she?". Ah, yes, you can say that. I like Zen generally. There is particular minimalistic beauty of being. I have studied a bit about Zen for my choreography several years ago, and I found that the key of Zen is acceptance. Rather than fighting against things and people you have, just accept them. OK, so this is what the woman is doing. Well, then I saw the negative side of Zen. I may not like it any longer.

But still, I have to work on the character since I have to perform her. This is hard. The project is also hard because there are so many involved, and so many technology and aspects to deal with. Hopefully after this intensive nine day work, I can connect everything and integrate them with the character.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Sixty-five Feet Down, my new work

Sixty-five Feet Down is my new solo.
I have been creating this since February, very slowly and quietly. Finally, it's time to show this work to the public. Well, still limited public this time since it is still work-in-progress.

Part of Creative Space @ Clarence Mews

Sunday 1st July, at 7pm

Clarence Mews
40 Clarence Mews
E5 8HL

Sixty-five Feet Down
A work in progress

Inspired by a Japanese novel, The Woman in the Dunes, by Kobo Abe, Sixty-five Feet Down explores a person’s behaviour and rhythm that is specific to the extraordinary environment. Sixty-five feet down in the dunes, a woman alone.

Choreography & performance: Katsura Isobe
Music: Lost Wind, Meredith Monk
Inconsolable Widows In Search Of Distraction, Mike Patton

In case you wish to come the sharing, please let me know since the space is limited.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007



パートナーと組になって簡単なシークエンスを練習しだした際の今日の先生、Rick Nodineの指示。

"You have to stand on your own leg to give your weight to the partner."
"Always being supported and supporting."




Words in Contact Improvisation

I went to a class, and it was contact improvisation (CI) with Rick Nodine.
As we do always in CI, we started working with a partner.

"You have to stand on your own leg to give your weight to the partner."
"Always being supported and supporting."

My mind immediately interpreted these words as something in life generally, beyond dance.

I love feeling something beyond dance through dance.

Dance is more than just dance.

Monday, 4 June 2007








Monday, 9 April 2007

Monologue on performance with technology

Easter is great. It gave me enough spare time and space in my mind to watch TV and search the internet.

I saw on TV about a multi-disciplinary group called Troika, who creates weird devices with technology that can interact with people and the society.

I am interested in a new way of presenting dance. Well, it does not need to be "dance"(what's dance anyway). Something to do with body, space, movement, people and the society. Something that suggests different ways of seeing, and can communicate with individuals.

One morning as I get up, I will have a super original idea for that!????

And this Troika seems something that feeds me some inspiration.

So I went to the website, and click, click, click... Once you start, you cannot stop following the links.

I have found this article on the magazine Icon.
digital poets


Now people are finally doing work where the expression is more important than the technology behind it.

“Interaction design is an approach – a process of designing relationships rather than things. It emerged from designing for electronic systems, but that thinking can be applied to all sorts of areas.”

As interaction design proliferates, there is also scepticism about some of the work being produced. “A few of these projects come from [a perspective of] ‘here’s a technology, so let’s see what we can do with it’ – rather than having a real question, desire or need,” says Loop.ph’s Mathias Gmachl. Others have pointed out the limits of work that is mostly experimental: “Many of these kind of provocative projects wouldn’t make it through as products,” remarks Jack Mama, creative director of Philips Design. “Elements get taken on and put into something else; the interesting thing is how they get translated, but they can get lost in translation.”

“It’s not really about solving a problem, it’s about solving a psychological need for poetry and inspiration,” he says. And this means thinking laterally about how we use the technology.

By appropriating illusion and narrative, designers are rediscovering modes of communication that have evolved over millennia. Products and buildings are being infused with the power of storytelling and dialogue. “The choice is between the familiar and the abstract; the practical task-based design versus an enjoyment of aesthetics that is closer to art,” says Moggridge. “Any product has to sit somewhere on that scale. It’s happening not because we didn’t always want it, but because it’s now much more possible. Because of the dispersal of technology you can make magic with almost anything.”

I have been working on performance with technology for four years, with five projects including two ongoing and one to come. These comments reflect so well what I have been thinking (Or do I just interpret in a way I wish because I already have some opinions?).

My big question is WHY TECHNOLOGY???
I keep asking this question as I work on a project.
It cannot be there just because it's cool.

What I want for performance with technology is.....
Maybe a unique poetry and inspiration?

Then aren't they anyway what a performance aims at?

Then can technology let a performance engage the audience more direct way?

But is that the way you want to go?

Saturday, 7 April 2007



近所を通っているカナル(運河)。どこまでも続いていて,カナルをずっと移動して,イギリス中巡れるという話。今まで散歩で1時間半くらいしか 行ったことがなかったけれど、自転車でたらたら1時間半行くと,なんとロンドンの外まで行って,いくつもの湖がある地域に出るのです!カナル沿いからいく つも小道が出ていて,適当にたどっていくと,両側水に挟まれた野道になっちゃったりするんです。すごーいー。

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Glow, Woking Dance Festival (and some thoughts on myself)

I have been dancing professionally for 12 years, and for the first time, I have had a FULL TIME contract as a performer.

Such luxury life. Focusing on one project without bothering with other activities like taking classes, teaching etc. No need to rush between a few places either. A day can be as simple as this.

After four weeks of rehearsals, we just finished the performances yesterday.

Glow, Woking Dance Festival 2007

How strange that my fellow dancers who spent four weeks together go completely different ways from today. Or maybe the other way around. How strange that all these different people happen to meet and work together for a project.

It was quite unusual project for me to work with nine other dancers, as I tend to work much smaller numbers of dancers. The group was absolutely intriguing. Everyone has an original nature as a person, and unique way of working as a dancer. I was blown up. I am too quiet. I am too shy. I am too held back. I am thinking too much. I am too serious... All these negative feelings let me down, and anyway these feelings do not help me, so I fought back and kept myself up.

This is somehow familiar place to be. I used to have this struggle always, but since I left a college, I did not have much chance to be there. My mood goes up and down. I like challenging myself though. I make a little challenge like a kid, like "Today I try to say whatever comes up in my mind", or "Today I try to chat with people"...etc.

So on this personal sideway along the main way of the creation of the work, I have experienced a lot. And this is what I needed right now.

The month before this project, I had Pilates teaching 4-5 days a week. Six hours a day. Being a Pilates teacher, I feel like I need to be almost perfect person. We teach people with injuries or problems, and we are dealing with someone's body (and also mind). I am not supposed to be very emotional either. Neutral presence. That's what I am aiming for.

This attitude does not work as a dancer. A dancer needs to have more subjective view, which can bring the one's input in the creation.

How can I balance these two positions?

This is my current question.

A Craniosacral therapy session has given me a good idea for this (and probably this is not a usual reaction to the therapy). If I think the neutral presence in Pilates teaching as zero, it is not an ideal to stay at the zero point all the time though I was probably thinking that way. It is important to come back to zero sometimes to find a ground for myself, but the ground would become harder if I jump up and down or sift side to side widely.

So this is what I want to practise from now on, being back to my less exciting life... No, let's make it more exciting.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Glow 3週目


Glowはロンドンから25分ほど電車で行ったWokingという街でのプロジェクト。ここに新しくできる美術館のオープニングのために,プロ フェッショナルダンサー10名と地元のコミュニティーダンサー約30名と、共に,美術館内外でのパフォーマンスをするのです。お客さんは美術館内をツアー しつつ,うちらのパフォーマンスを発見する,という仕組み。いわゆるサイト・スペシフィック、ってやつです。


振付家 Carol Brownもストレスたまりまくり。こんなところでパフォーマンスしても,本来の意味がない。リハーサルするのもちょっとしんどい。騒音の中,コンクリの上で,ホコリ,ゴミまみれになってゴロゴロしております。

Sunday, 28 January 2007






Saturday, 13 January 2007





結局,次の段階(朗読らしい)に進んだのは男性ばかりだったけど,もとからスケジュール上このプロジェクトは無理とわかっていた私にとっては未練 なし(エージェントの手前上行ったのです)。楽しんで1時間のコンテンポラリーダンサー用カタック講座を受けさせてもらって感謝。




Thursday, 11 January 2007



ということが最近はっきりわかって、昨年9月に偶然TVコマーシャルの仕事が舞い込んできたのがきっかけで,とあるエージェントに「所属」するこ とに。「所属」といっても、たまにエージェントから「こんなオーディションあるけど履歴書送りましょうか?」って情報が来るくらいで,それ以外何の束縛も ないんだけど。

今日はいつも通り突然,しかもlast minute、「明日あるこのオーデション、興味ある?」とやってきました。





Tuesday, 9 January 2007



今まで、興味深いプロジェクトの仕事をゲットしよう,と試み続けてはいたものの,機会はやってくるときにはまとめてやってくるし,やってこないと きには全くやってこない。しかも,人のプロジェクトの中でやっている時は,「自分だったらこうするのになぁ」とか「えー,こんなのやりたくなーい」とかい ろいろ心の中で葛藤があるので,この際,自分で思う存分,思うようにやってみようかと。




Sunday, 7 January 2007







Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Happy 2007







New Year 2007

Happy New Year 2007!

Looking back 2006, my major events were:

March- Performing in Beijing and Shanghai in China.
May and September- Wedding and moving house
August and onwards- Finishing Pilates teachner training course and getting a new job

Yes. It was full of events although I did not feel so. A slight feeling of the regular dance activities being taken over by change of my circumstances, supported by lack of luck for more dance oppotunities.

In the new year, I am going to focus more on dance. To begin with, I want to spend more time for some creative activity and want to be inspired. I need to be inspired constantly so that I can enjoy myself and appreciate the life more. For me, dance is like a window to look at other things happening around me. Probably because I have spent so much time to practise and think about dance, I often realise how things and facts are related by working on dance.

To be honest, having got regular and well-paid job as a Pialtes teacher, I have had a big question about my commitment on dance. How long can I keep going like this? Sometimes no work at all, and other times whip myself for too many works. Always less income than friends in other careers. Anyway what is dance? Why do I dance? Does anyone appreciate it at all? More and more questions.

After several months of this endless questioning, I realised that I miss dance. I can live without dance but my life is not as exciting as with dance. I have more appetite for knowledge or experience, with dance. As a person, I want to keep going forward, so my life is better with dance.

So that's why I want to spend more time on dance this year. I am going to start a personal exploration this month. Not aiming to produce something, just looking at details and finding some dialogs between my thoughts and my body... Step by step...