Saturday, 18 December 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

"I'm Here" at Feedback Forum

Hello Friends,

I am showing the third version of "I'm Here" at Feedback Forum at Independent Dance.

Friday 19th November 2010

Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St. George Road, London, SE1 6ER

Feedaback Forum is FREE to attend. Places are however limited so please RSVP on 
020 7091 9662/

The first version was performed at Cafe OTO on 5th October.

The second version was performed at Stranger than Fiction event on 30th October.

I continue working and developing the work...

I would be great to have you there and receive some feedback.

Keep warm and stay well.

Best wishes,

Thursday, 11 November 2010








芸術家の場合,プロフィールのほかにartist statementというのがあって,


コラボレーション: collaboration



例えば,振付家の指示のもと振りを創ったり,インプロした場合− collaborationという。
振付家がステップを創ってダンサーに振り写しをした場合− collaborationとはいわない。







私自身も最近"Fragments"と"I'm Here"という二つのcollaborationの作品を創りました。"Fragments"は版画家と。"I'm Here"はサウンド・アーティストと。コラボレーターとの関係はそれぞれ全く違うものになりました。









Tuesday, 9 November 2010

To practise dance practice

Chrysa Parkinson self interview

I'm always wondering that there is no much knowledge of performers discussed and talked in dance. There are lots of talks by choreographers but not performers. I believe that performers have very unique knowledge on creativity and strategy, apart from how to prevent injuries and keep fit.

Here, at the link above, Chrysa Parkinson digs a discussion about what performance means to her.

This gives me enormous energy to keep going. Rather than where I get to in future, the important thing is to practise practise practise every moment. Even I am not dancing physically, even I am teaching Pilates for six hours in a studio, let me think that I am practising.

Writing is very important part of practice, and I wish I can develop the skill better.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Ukiyo 2 Creation Scene Short Version

The Creation Scene (slim down version), a small abstract from Ukiyo 2.

UKIYO 2 - A mixed reality installation fusing dance, sound, design and digital projections.

European premiere: Friday, June 8, 2o:oo
KIBLA Media Art Center / Maribor, Slovenia

presenting dap-lab / dans sans joux.

Conceived and directed by Johannes Birringer.

Performance by : Katsura Isobe
Costume Design : Michèle Danjoux
Real time 3d Graphics by : Doros Polydorou

In this scene the dancer, by using physical movements, is navigating and changing the virtual 3d environment in real time.

UKIYO 26th November 2010 at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells

We have been working on UKIYO since 2008. Premiere at Brunel University in June 2009, then a performance in Kibla Art Centre, Slovenia in June 2010. It is a collaborative project beyond art disciplines and also countries. Needless to say, UK team consists of many nationalities (including me), but also we worked with artists in Japan. For this performance, three Japanese Butoh dancers will join us.

So many people have been involved and so many things are happening there. But for me it seems "ephemeral" is the key...
Well that's what UKIYO 浮き世 means anyway...


p r e s s  r e l e a s e                     27/ 10/ 2010

[Moveable World]

a choreographic installation fusing dance, sound, design and digital projections


directed by Johannes Birringer & Michèle Danjoux

Friday, November 26, 2010
8:oo  pm
Lilian Baylis Studio 
Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Ave, London, EC1R 4TN
Ticket office:   0844 412 4300
Tickets: £ 12.00 / £ 10.00 (concession)

"Ukiyo" explores the layers of perceptions in an audiovisual world that constantly shifts and fragments. The audience is invited to move in and around the space which features five hanamichi (runways) and several projection screens for the virtual world graphics and animated photography. The dancers and musicians perform simultaneously with digital objects that mutate. Live sound, music and visual choreography for "Ukiyo" are designed for real-time gestural interaction to animate feedback and generative processes through which virtual space and physical performer movements are intertwined.

A European-Japanese collaboration directed by Johannes Birringer, “Ukiyo” is a choreographic installation featuring audiophonic design concepts and wearables by Michèle Danjoux, and choreography by Katsura Isobe, Helenna Ren, Anne-Laure Misme, Yiorgos Bakalos, and Olu Taiwo; choreography on screen by Biyo Kikuchi, Yumi Sagara, Jun Makime, Ruby Rumiko Bessho and Mamen Rivera; photography, video and 3D digital designs by  Paul Verity Smith, Doros Polydorou and Johannes Birringer; original music composed by Oded Ben-Tal, with live digital sound and sensor processing by Sandy Finlayson. Live music composed and performed by Caroline Wilkins. Scenography & lighting by Johannes Birringer. The Second Life graphical interface is designed by Takeshi Kabata and Yukihito Obara. Additional engineering by Eng Tat Khoo (Keio-NUS CUTE Mixed Reality Lab).

This performance by an international ensemble of artists from the DAP-Lab was developed in collaboration with butoh dancers and digital artists in Tokyo, Japan, as part of cross-cultural research into virtual environments directed by Birringer (director of DAP-Lab, and Center for Digital Performance, Brunel University, School of Arts) and coordinated in Japan by Yukihiko Yoshida (Keio University Tokyo).

For further information or photos, call +44 (0)1895 267 343

The European première of UKIYO took place in June 2010 at KIBLA Media Art Center, Maribor, Slovenia.  This project is supported by a grant from The Japan Foundation and The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance at Brunel University, West London.

Small feedbacks around "I'm Here"

On 5th October 2010, at Cafe OTO

Ms.J: "So did you enjoy the evening?"
Me: Ah yeah...? (I want YOU to enojy the evening!)

Mr.D: "I want to see more!"
Me: :) :) :)

Mr.J: "You looked exhausted when you were running."
Me: ... (shit I don't want people to see me that way).

Mr.B: "How did you meet Manabu? He's really good!".
Me: I know.

On 30th October 2010 at Stranger than Fiction

Ms.R: I love the awl!
Me: It's made by my granma:)

Mr.G: They should have bow with you at the curtain call.
Me: (Oh I never had the idea they were my co-performers, wicked!).

Ms.X: I thought a toy was speaking everytime when you took out a figure from the bag, but they were not!
Me: (Thank god! I wanted that illusion to happen!).

I'm Here, evolution. 進化中

夏以降「I'm Here」というタイトルの作品に取り組んでいて,2回の全く違った公演の機会に恵まれました。一つ目は10月5日にあったCafe OTOでのパフォーマンス。10月末だろうと勝手に思っていた日程が早まり,あわててサウンド・アーティストの島田学さんとご対面し,話し合い,メールを送り合い,スタジオでの作業を重ね,やっとの本番では多くの人たちに来ていただいて,好評のまま終えることができて、やれやれでした。

このときにやったのは,振りや音との関係が90%決まっている,I'm Here,バージョン1。

その後,たまたまStranger than Fictionという即興のパフォーマンスをやっているグループの定期公演に招いていただき,折角この2ヶ月I'm Hereのテーマでいろいろ考えて来たので,その同じテーマで即興のパフォーマンスをすることにしました。Cafe OTOでのパフォーマンスの後,見に来てくださった高校の大先輩,原由美さんとお話してて,私が考えていることが作品に反映されていないということが課題に残ったので,その点をとくに改善すべく。それからOTOの時の振付けが,私らしくなく,ガチガチに決まったもので,音との関係も「この動きでこの音」ときつかったので,その決まり事から解放されて,その場の素直な身体と頭脳でパフォーマンスしたら,一体どうなるのだろうという好奇心もありました。

これが2つ目のバージョン,I'm Here- improvisation version。





2つのパフォーマンスをやったあとで,さらに自分の尻をたたき,前進するために,来週の金曜日,19日にIndependent Danceの主催するFeedback Forumというものに参加することにしました。文字通り,創作中の作品に対して意見感想をもらえるというものです。ここでの,私の課題は,第1と第2のバージョンをどううまく合体させるかということです。






For non Japanese readers, this is the summary of the this post.

How can I make the 3rd version of "I'm Here" as the result of the 1st version, a set choreography at Cafe OTO and the 2nd version, an improvisation at Stranger than Fiction?

Friday, 5 November 2010

I'm Here- improvisation version @ Stranger than Fiction

"I'm Here" an improvisation performance was performed as part of Stranger than Fiction event at Church on the Corner, Islington on 30th October 2010. This work shares the same concept as the original choreography "I'm Here" that premiered on 5th October 2010 at Cafe OTO. It deals with the gap between one's actual physical existence and one's imagined existence in mind. Filmed by Gigi Giannella.

Picture by Eleanor Sikorski

Improvisation performance event "Stranger than Fiction"

Dear friends,

I am excited to be involved in 'Stranger than Fiction' event for the first time. The evening will be all improvised performance from several artists. It would be great to share the moments with you there!

Best wishes,

A Monthly Celebration of Improvisation in Performance
Last Saturday of the Month

"Stranger than Fiction..."

Saturday 30th October at 7.30pm
Church on the Corner
64 Barnsbury Road, London, N1 0ES
£5 (including refreshments)

Katsura Isobe
dig, delve, sift, touch,
an international dance artist traverses the world
through improvisation

Mary Pearson
creep, sneak, explode, leap

a woman explores wild truths, characters and songs
that emerge from the moment


The Stranger than Fiction Collective
climb, flip, count, snip
Kate Hilder
Seke Chimutengwende &  Alex Crowe

reverse the fiscal deficit in a series of free flowing maneuvers

Doors open 7.15pm.
Please note - we may be unable to admit latecomers.
Further information and directions at

'I'm Here' at Cafe OTO- video

I'm Here
Premiere at Cafe OTO, 5th October 2010
Dance: Katsura Isobe
Sound: Manabu Shimada

"I'm Here" deals with the gap between one's actual physical existence and one's imagined existence in mind.

Filmed by Gigi Giannella.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

'I'm Here'- what people saw

I had the premiere of I'm Here on 5th October at Cafe OTO. It is a collaborative work between a sound artist, Manabu Shimada and myself.

What I intend in a work and what the audience receives are not same.
And what I felt in the performance and what the audience felt would not be same.

Thanks to Yumi Hara, who is a musician and my senior from the highschool, and Johannes Birringer, who is a scholar in technology and performnace and the leader of UKIYO project I'm involved, I have received some feedbacks from the outside eyes.

First, pictures by Yumi.

Then a note by Johannes Birringer.


Cafe Oto, East London, a comfortable spacious hang out, the kind of writers-or-musicians-cafe where you go with your book and laptop and read or meet other artists, a cool crowd showed up,  late of course, the space just tables and chairs, a bit f junk, a grand piano, sofas on the side (where I sat), bar, etc.  about 50 people eventually hung out there, now candle lights burning on all tables, ,and 45 minutes late,  the show starts:  3 pieces  first Katsura & Manabu,  then break, during which they played Je t'aime moi non plus,  then a sonic DJ artist doing a heavy ambient metallica set, and then a dancer with a pot on her head that was made of clay filled with water, and it melted into her.

Katsura performed a very well structured/choreographed piece; it had a definite compositional structure, probably leaving tiny spaces for improvisation, open-nesses within the loopular structure. The "stage" is the cafe, and not just the small 3 x 3 meter area lit in front of one wall with the bedroom curtain.  (oddest space this OTO).

Katsura’s dance has numerous  sections, the first is running a circle like a flip flop wing bird, arms up and down in circles, feet tap tap, then she arrives back up front. we heard her run in the silence, tap tap, arms spread, a quizzical blank expression in her face, but then  suddenly there she is standing in front of us after stopping abruptly, "Here I am"  (or was it "I am here!") and as if being cut off from explaining further, the sonic music starts, loud and powerful, but only for, maybe, 10 or 20 seconds, then Katsura is now doing something else, so this system is being establish, as series of different movement patterns, "I am here:", sound, and the sound montage/collaged,  acousmatic musique concrète (Japanese-inflected), sometimes  harsh and strong,  Ikeda-like "cracked" media, almost filmic sound,  as Katsura is making a strange sequence of repeated arm movements, then foot movements, then shoulder over head downturns, later stomps, then (as a perverse shift) a soft ballet like arm swivel, well, the music also has fragments that repeat or seem modified (foot steps, seagulls, drops, ice breaking, electronic crashes, clicks, crackles, muddles, silence,  and on one of Katsura's gentle flow arm movements I thought i heard a 2 second piano concerto broken to industrial sound, silence: a wonderful cubist sound  collage) Katsura always goes back, now and then, to the flapping bird circling the room, tap  tap, tap,  then she is suddenly on the floor, side push up, side push up, then she (quizzically) shouts, "I am here!"?, as if a question, and then music becomes (near the end of the approximately 20 or 25 minute long piece ) denser, more layered, continuant, as Katsura is in her final section, performing very hard, strong effort shapes, repetitive motions that are exerting, exhausting and energizing and paff, it has ended, silence.

Thus, like the DAP experimentations with  some of our scenes between dancers and musicians,  I AM HERE is a concise, well composed live interaction, with brilliant accent shifts in Katsura's last sections, small dynamic changes in the rhythmicized repetitions, and most movements at the same time not "danced" but seem real, gestures coming in that moment, from a living person who is there right there,  the fingers itching, the arms rotate a little, now she's got to run off, it is quite humorous , seconds, moments of memories flashing in, what is she thinking of, well, here we heard the door of a car, how strange, we are in some movie too?   

well done, katsura !!

My collaborator Manabu also has left some record on his blog. It contains the sound recording from the performance too.

Monday, 4 October 2010

'I'm Here' premiere at Cafe OTO, 5th October 2010

Dear everyone,

I am showing my new work "I'm Here" made in collaboration with a sound artist, Manabu Shimada. It would be great if you could come and support us!

Elliott Dodd / Katsura Isobe / Manabu Shimada / Mildred Rambaud
An evening of dance, electronic music and visual performance.

TUESDAY 5th October 2010

Door Times : 8pm
Tickets : £4 adv/£5 on the door (For advanced ticket, please find a link on the website below)

The Venue: Cafe OTO

18 - 22 Ashwin street, Dalston, E8 3DL

London, United Kingdom

The details:


I look forward to seeing you there.

Best regards,
Katsura Isobe

Thursday, 9 September 2010


' Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ' ~ Goethe

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I'm Here, my new work

Last week from 16th- 22nd August, I was doing a summer residency at Space@ Clarence Mews. I was in the studio 3-4 hours a day to develop my new work I'm Here (working titile). It is a solo work at the moment with no sound. I am hoping to collaborate with a sound artist to put another layer on top of what I'm doing. It is about places and about a person.

Here I put a video from the sharing on 22nd Aug. It's 10 minutes long at the moment and I feel I just finished the introduction part (though I'm out of breath already). Eventually it will be 30 minutes long.

It was such precious experience to have the intensive period of creation, which does not happen very often. I have found so many small things about myself, dance and other things in life. I have learnt how I can be strong to work productively alone in a studio. I have started to distinguish how I can experience the work as performer and how I can watch the same work as choreographer. I feel this is the first work I am actually 'choreographing'.

My creation still goes on...

I wish I have more of this kind of opportunities soon.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


'Life keeps challenging us in ways that, if we just stay with it, will lead to our freedom.' ~ Cheri Huber

Thursday, 19 August 2010

What I saw these days July-Aug

Here are performances I saw these days.

24/07/10 Confluence Akram Khan& Nitin Sawney, Sadler's Wells
Akram's dancing always make me feel the presence of God. Together with live music by Nitin and his band, the performance was very delicious. I don't need to think and analyse. Nothing is complicated. But I just had such a great time. Thinking about my own practice, I want to reach that level. Like the quotes they used in the performance (quotes from the programme):

Jung spoke of a collective unconscious.

Michelangelo referred to the discovery of his sculptures within the stone.

Musicians of ten speak of acting as mediums for music to manifest itself and dancers contemplate that it is through Shiva's dance that our universe was created and will be destroyed.

25/07/10 Festival of Paper- unfolding the journey of art through paper, BHVU Gallery
Mildred Rambaud was performing Butoh with a huge piece of pleated waxed paper that she created. I am sharing a night with her in October at Cafe OTO. Very focused performance as intense as Butoh should be. Sexual in sophisticated way. She is a strong woman though she always smiles like a boiled potato outside her performance.

29/07/10 Mark Kozelek, Union Chapel
One man show. He sings and plays guitar of the songs he made although he improvise at some degree too. It took for a while for me and perhaps for him to get really into it. A few songs at the beginning I felt the performance was flat but after a point, the magic started to work. I can hear (and even see) the thread of sound coming out from his body, which extends and tangles with other threads. Another level of music and performance that really make me appreciate the art, spirituality and human.

Union Chapel is a chapel so people sit down on the hard wooden bench with soft drinks. It is a famous music venue and it was surprising for me to discover the fact. This also make us appreciate the music more.

15/08/10 Tanguera, Sadler's Wells
The summer show at Sadler's of course target very general public, who may be tourists or people who go theatre once a year. Tanguera has a story to follow, which I did not follow as usual when I watch musical theatre. For me, the dancing and singing happening on stage now is more exciting  than the simple story. I used to watch musical theatre a lot- two or three a month. Then there was a time when I had enough because I figured out all the template in musical theatre. I saw the template here again. The notable fact is one of the dancers was 72 years old. Wow. I thought she was in her 40's on stage.

17/08/10 Lost Villages, Sam Seager, The Orange Dot
Photography exhibition of an English man who spent three months travelling and shooting abandoned or dying villages in Japan. He writes nice text for each picture too, which shows the warmth of elderly habitats and also himself. This is not how I see Japan and its people but the objects in the background of the figure triggers some nostalgic feeling of me. Why do they always wrap everything with plastic carriers from a shop? My mother always do. There was a picture of abandoned hotel in Kozushima island. Many hotels were made in 80's when they were in boom but now they have few people who visit the island. I don't know exactly where Kozushima is, but I have heard the name a lot everyday basis in 80's. My father made an architecture there, perhaps a hotel. Does he know that they are abandoned like this? It could be that my parents are still living in that era, without changing or decaying. Or I just don't know the change and decay because I have been away so long.

Strange Pull

' Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray. ' ~ Rumi

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


' When one door closes another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened. ' ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Sunday, 8 August 2010

FRAGMENTS: codes, invitations and sound

FRAGMENTS: video 5mins excerpts

FRAGMENTS: the audience feedback

FRAGMENTS: pictures by Gigi Giannella

FRAGMENTS: pictures by Fabio

What I saw these days, June-July 2010

OK. Here are 11 events I have attended, and 7 of them are outside of theatres. They are in a bunker, abandoned building, square, historical house, hotel converted from town hall, and open space. Any place can be preference space. This is the current tendency in dance and performance, and I am very much interested in this kind of performance.

10/07/2010 Nederlands Dans Theatre, Programme 2, Sadler's Wells
I saw only the second piece by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, as I was working as an usher. Great body and technique of the dancers, great scenography but it did not touch me.

10/07/2010 The Bunker Thing, Bootstrap Bunker, Dalston, presented by East London Dance and Avant Garde Dance
Site-specific street dance. I felt powerful commitment of the performers and the site, bunk had very specific humidity, smell, dust and darkness, which were also powerful. I cannot deny the feeling that the performance is still the extension of 'community dance'. It may come from the fact that the majority of the performers were young probably in their early twenties. But I appreciate the project that conjoined the bunk and these young street dancers, who seem to share particular kind of anger and darkness.

08/07/2010 You Me Bum Bum Train, LEB Building, presented by Barbican
I am totally overwhelmed. And I had to face on my lack of confidence on talking and also lack of awareness towards social issues. It was painful, in the end.
The performance itself was really well done. It's all about you. You are forced to go through different rooms, to play different roles, and to talk about your opinions... It's meant to be fun experience, according to the programme note, which gives you a sense of achievement.
For me, it turned out to be painful experience due to my strong nature of self-accusation. I have realised the fact that no one actually accuse me but myself, and this is happening always and this is how I exhaust myself...

06/07/2010 Slow Dancing, David Michalek, Trafalger Square, presented by Sadler's Wells
There are several stages to appreciate this work in Trafalgar Square. There are three massive screens that anyone who passes by would notice. And the screes show three figures in unusual poses on each screen. This is the best advert for dance.
Then if anyone who decided to stop by, they notice the figures are moving very slowly. In my case, I felt luck of patience here.
I tell myself to stay and wait to settle down for actual watching. I stay and watch. Then I notice the relationship between three dancers, that may be happening or not. Sometimes I just amazed by lines of dancing body, sometimes elegant, sometimes powerful and sometimes unnaturally straight.
Someone tells me to have closer look at the images. I go under the screens. I see muscles of the dancers. They are all beautiful. I feel something organic at last.
I look around in the square. There are many people standing, watching, chatting, and relaxing and sitting on steps. It is the power of a square to gather people in this way, and also the three massive screen hold them there.

06/07/2010 Nederlands Dans Theatre, Programme 1, Sadler's Wells
I had not watched conventional dance for long time. I simply enjoy their great physicality and pay respect to their techniques that has been established after years and years of training. I know the enjoyment of dancing difficult steps in precise way, but I don't get excited by watching them as much as by doing them. I question what dance wants to achieve? I want to achieve strong communication through dance. So the steps really does not tell me things. Careful gestures and a way to stand that reflects the dancer oneself mean more to me. And scenography. The environment a performer is placed tells me more stories. Watching one of the best companies in the world, I have noticed where I stand and where I want to go.

04/07/2010 Lauder Dance House, Carlos Cortes, Lauderdale House
I went to see my friend Fumi dancing in this. On sunny summer Sunday afternoon, Lauderdale House is full of families with children. I like the opportunity for dancers to be exposed to the community and for the community to be exposed to dance. It is like a small gift in life, nice meeting point of people.
I have heard the director Carlos has visual art background. At some point, I started wondering what's the difference between dance and visual art. What's the difference between still figures and moving body? What's the difference between tasks or games and genuine action-reaction? What is special about dance with living bodies?


01/07/2010 Town Hall Artworks, walkwalkwalk, Town Hall Hotel & Apartments,  produced by Artsadmin
I like going to unusual architectures and that was the reason I attended to this event. Town Hall Hotel and Apartments is a luxury designers hotel converted from the historical town hall. They commissioned several young artists to make works for the building, and walkwalkwalk is one of them. They are a group of poets and their poetry based on some description of local community in old times (80's?) are engraved on plastic plates and placed on walls in many different locations in the building. The event was a tour of the building following the poets reading out each of the poems.
The concept of the hotel itself and the artwork commissions are interesting. But poetry is not my favorite form. Maybe because English is not my mother tongue, I tend to miss some of the information in a poem and cannot read between sentences.

26/06/2010 In Pieces, Tim Etchells &Fumiyo Ikeda, Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler's Wells
On the other hand, this performance is more like reading between sentences. Tim Etchells made fragmented text with Fumiyo that take a form of lists counting from one. For example,"one, I don't like garlics""two, I saw it" etc. Fumiyo combines talking, moving and dancing. There is something word can express, something between words and something dance can express. Emotion tend to go with words, which expresses more concrete fact and direct impact. Dance can take this fact further into the universe. I enjoyed the evaporation of meanings as I jump to different places with different emotions, each of which led by the text.

26/06/2010 Dalston (un)folded, Origami&Memory, London Festival of Architecture
I just happened to participate this event one Saturday afternoon. I saw hundreds of Origami cranes connected in lines and hanging in front of a building in Dalston. It's organised by architects. They also had a huge map of the area, where each of us can put a sticker at a place one has some memory. Everyone was also given a sheet of paper, part of which one create a origami crane to add the sculpture, and other part of which one write what memory one has with the place marked on the map. Dalston is rapidly changing last a few years with its redevelopment. An architect explained me that they are also interested how people feel and live in the area, as well as making buildings. I am impressed by the approach of architects who look at more human side and I liked how they explain their idea through this event where they communicate with residents by giving the instructions of the activities.

10/06/2010 Kabuki, Sadler's Wells
I was most happy to experience the special gentle atmosphere in the theatre with lots of Japanese people, some of them in traditional Kimono. I appreciate the form and style although I look at the opposite side in my own practice.
For the first time in watching Kabuki, I realised how the whole thing- sound and visual are well composed. I had never paid attention to the sound before. Kabuki 歌舞伎 means singing- dancing - skill. It is a form of musical theatre, indeed.

09/06/2010 Electric Hotel, Kings Cross, A pop-up out door dance performance presented by Sadler's Wells
They built 'Electric Hotel' for this show in open space in Kings Cross. People watch the performance taking place in the building from the outside through hotel's large windows. The audience wear a head set to listen to the sound.
What I enjoyed the most was the scenery and change of light around the hotel building. It is outside and we can see the church and Kings Cross Station behind the Electric Hotel. The show started at 9.45pm, when the sun was not completely gone and as the performance progressed it became dark. That was beautiful experience. I enjoyed some of the sound I heard through the headset. The distance of sound is somehow more remarkable on the headset. When we hear very close sound, we are not sure if it's actual sound in live or recorded sound in the headset. I see more potential in this matter.

My imperfections

' My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet. ' ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


' Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ' ~ Buddha

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Albert Einstein

' There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ' ~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, 10 June 2010

They and I

' When it comes to the whole subject of loving others, you must know this:
how you handle your own heart is how you will handle theirs. ' ~ John Eldredge

Monday, 31 May 2010

Performances I saw these days

Here are the performances I attended these days.

27/05/2010 From Morning, A day of dance curated by Florence Peake, Christ Church Spitalfields
I generally like a performance in non-theatre space, and improvisation. So this event seemed right for me. There were four pieces, each of which we watch and experience from different views; one facing the entrance of the nave, one facing the altar, one in the crypt and one from the upper gallery. If I can ask more, I wanted to see the piece adapted more responding the architecture and the space they have chosen to perform. Maybe I say that because I have seen Nikki's piece before in another venue, and I thought that space was more effective for this work. The church is obviously not build for a dance performance and there were lots of moments that I struggle to watch the performance beyond other people's heads or pillars. But once if I accept the fact that what I can see is what it is, I can let it go with the missing parts. Anyway I would not get EVERYTHING from the event. What I experience is the event... I fall into the thoughts on performance I have been playing with these days.

18/05/2010 Babel (words), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet & Antony Gormley, Sadler's Wells
People make so much fuss about Sidi Larbi, and I have seen many works by him. To be honest, many pieces have faded out from my memory and the only one I remember is Sutra, the last piece hi made. On the other hand, I remember every work that Antony Gormley did in dance, with Sidi Larbi and Akram Kahn. I really enjoy such simple objects he makes create different spaces and meanings in relation to its uses in performance. The objects really get life.
In Babel (words), I saw this again, as well as other aspects in dance, physicality and humanity. The new thing in this work from Sidi Larbi is that there are more sense of humor. I have heard from other people that they did not like it because they are just kitsch and not funny. I don't disagree with them but I still like the stupidity because I think it is also part of human. A dance performance in a big venue like Sadler's Wells do not need to pretend 'high-art'. A real moment of creativity inhabits in people's playfulness, and it is OK to bring it on the stage, I think.
Including these stupid moments, the work had so much in it; great physicality of performers, abstract beauty of movement created by dance and the objects, social message and historical references. I enjoyed it every single moment.

16/05/2010 Would Like to Meet, non zero one, Barbican
It seems that it is becoming popular to provide a MP3 player and a headset to an audience member, who tours in a building following the direction given by the recorded voice. As far as I remember, this is the third time for me to have a headset to take a part in a performance, and this is the most well culcurated and completed one. There were probably two performers from the company who performs different roles in different time for different members of the viewers of six. So it is not about 'watching a performance'. It is about commiting yourself in the performance and interact with other audience members as the recorded voice pushes you to do so. There are some more activities you are told to do. In those moments, I felt the existace of myself feeling powerless as I have no other choices than folloing the instraction and trying to relax and enjoy myself doing the activity. It was very unique state of mind to be, and very powerful experience at the same time. I am very much interested in a performance in this kind of form, which the audience members really participate and create a performance for themselves in their own way.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

FRAGMENTS creative process

I am working towards perofrmances of FRAGMENTS.

The project is aiming to involve the audience or others in its creative process, and launched a blog where people and read and leave comments.

Please visit the blog:

We look forward to communicating with you.

FRAGMENTS: freedom and responsibility

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Our neighbour

There is a couple of foxes living in our garden.
We see them from a window when we cook pasta for lunch.


' You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! That is the basis for telling the truth. '
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Monday, 3 May 2010

Great Words

The secret of health for both mind and body is not too mourn for the
past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment
wisely and earnestly.

What I saw these days

I go and see performance very often and sometimes go to an exhibition. I happened to see much more performances especially in April. I have feelings and thoughts for each of them but no enough time to write now. So here is the list. I will write down something later.

At the moment the ones I am especially moved and inspired are:
Philly Steak(s)
The Catastrophe Trilogy

1/05/2010 Philly Steak(s), March Dance Theatre@Candid Cafe
1/05/2010 Relay, Donatella Cabras&Gabriele Reuter @Goodenough College
29/04/2010 Psy, The 7 Fingers @Peacock Theatre
26/04/2010 Gnosis, Akram Kahn @Sadler's Wells
24/04/2010 Pictures from an Exhibition @Sadler's Wells
24/04/2010 Leaving, Simon Ellis @St.Pancras station
22/04/2010 Birdsongs, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot @The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery
17/04/2010 Delusion, Laurie Anderson @ Barbican Theatre
10/04/2010 What If... @Siobhan Davies Studios
04/04/2010 Kontakthof with teenagers over 14, Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch @Barbican Theatre
3/04/2010 Kontakthof with ladies and gentlemen over 65, Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch @Barbican Theatre
20/03/2010 Go Public@Tate Britain
13/03/2010 Akane Abe @St.Pancras station
11/03/2010 The Festival, The Catastrophe Trilogy, Lone Twin Theatre @ The Pit, Barbican Centre
06/03/2010 Dansdubble#13, SNDO4, @Melkweg Theatre, Amsterdam
02/03/2010 Alice Bell, The Catastrophe Trilogy, Lone Twin Theatre @ The Pit, Barbican Centre
28/02/2010 You Are Here, Deepblue, @Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells
16/02/2010 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, @Olivier Theatre, National Theatre
13/02/2010 Solos choreographed by Deborah Hay, @Siobhan Davies Studios

Sunday, 25 April 2010








Saturday, 20 March 2010


気づけばこのブログから1ヶ月以上もご無沙汰になっていて、それは書くことがなかったのではなくて、書くことがありすぎて何から手を付けて良いのかわからなかったからというのは、既にgood newsか。


まずはClod Ensembleという、なかなか興味深いカンパニーからお誘いを受け、2週間ほど来年末発表予定の新作のR&D (research& development)に参加した。そう。常に継続してではないけど、こんなに長い期間、作品作りのための準備をする環境が与えられているとは、なんとも恵まれたプロジェクト。そして、私にとっては、「ダンス」の領域に限らない身体の動きと表現、ルコックを基本とした演劇に足を突っ込むという、大変貴重な経験をさせてもらった。


Clodの終わった日、そのまま直行でアムステルダムに飛んだ。実はそこでコースを受けていて、2ヶ月に一度、5日間の割合でアムスに行かなければならない。やっているはPatricia Bardiという人のやっているコースで、Vocal Dance & Voice Movement Integrationという名のついている。要するに身体のことと、それが声や動きにどう関係しているかということで、解剖学などをお勉強するというよりは、それを体験して感じてみよう!といったもの。このコースは私にとってリトリートとのようなもので、吸収するものは多い反面、素直な自分のままでいれる場でもある。



Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stranger Than Fiction: improv dance and comedy

I noticed a collective called Stranger Than Fiction probably several month ago. They do improvised dance performance once a month. Last Saturday, finally I managed to go and see their performance in a little modern church in Isligton.

There were three solos for 15 minutes each or so, and a duet for 20 minutes or so. The most remarkable point is that THEY ALL TALKED! It is not too unusual to talk in improvised dance but I would say it is one corner of improvised dance. They talk quite a lot, not only words, lots of lots of sentences. So basically they are telling absurd stories with talk and movement. It's funny. I laugh. But I can feel that the performer is trying to do something interesting so that people don't get bored. This brings me a question.

When I go to an improvised music gig, it seems that they are more going with the flow. They are not afraid of waiting until something comes up.

The approach in Henry's class is also like that. All the improvisers has gone through this kind of slow process for the body so that you can let the body's own intelligence come out.

But when improvisers perform, do they have to be out from the deep state of the body-centred? I don't mean that they have to stay in that state. The state always shifts and we go one to the other even in a second.

In a way, I felt a danger of improvised dance performance becomes comedy. Too much concern of the audience response changes the nature of improvisation.

This is an developing area, and we can try so much.
I feel I need to have a regular platform of improvisation dance, inspired by Amsterdam.
How can I make it happen?

Henry's class: jelly body

Following last Thursday, I went to a class with Henry Montes at ID. Henry is one of my favorite dancers. I admire his gentle careful fluid soft movement quality. His class description is the below:

Henry’s class is informed by his ongoing studies in Craniosacral Biodynamics. Focus of the class will be inquiry into the quality of the breath, tuning into our midline, grounding and orienting to space, how our fluids support our tissues, organs and how they in turn support our structure. Class will consist of open explorations, puzzles and culminate in set material, sometimes complex.

'how our fluids support our tissues, organs and how they in turn support our structure'
This is new concept to me. Structure means the skeleton and perhaps muscles. When we think about moving, we think about muscles moving bones. But the real quality comes from much subtler system in the body- fluid.

I was feeling pretty heavy this morning, but after the first exploration, I was tasting my movement.
I feel like I can keep moving forever.
I feel my body like jelly, and a flow in the body moves my body, so I don't need to make myself move.
I can feel some of my body parts has less flow than others.
Touch by a partner is a magic.
Then after a while, I don't need a touch any longer.
I keep getting stimulation from other people anyway.

The whole class was well thought and everything we did made a sense. With a great care of how the body feels, the building up of the class was smooth. It is art to deliver such a class. Rooted on experience and knowledge, I would like to be able to teach like that.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Giovanni's class: yoga, movement and the world

On Thursday 28th, at last I managed to go to a class at ID by Giovanni Felicioni, whose classes I am always interested in but don't make it often for some reason. Here is a description of his class:

Giovanni Felicioni
Mon 25th – Thurs 28th January
Finding The Ground Finding The Sky | This Body -- No Body
In these morning classes, which help us orient for the day, we will take the Tonic Function Theory of Hubert Godard as the main theme of our embodiment explorations on ourselves alone and on ourselves with others.
We will look at how context and perception are the basic continuum in which human movement takes place in space and time.
How this gives rise to our resource and our missing gestures and all the before before activity that goes on to finally blossom as movement in our changing world.
The experiential nature of the class will hopefully satisfy our need to move and our need to know. The small pools, puddles and rivulets will hopefully satisfy our need to know and our need to move. Yoga

Well, I actually did not read this carefully before I went and because I went only once I have no idea what the Tonic Function Theory is. For me, it felt like what we looked in the class was something really broken down from yoga. I recognise this rotation of the shoulder or that extension of the leg from this and that yoga asana (position) but what we did was just the initiation of asana and we repeat slowly to understand with the bones and deep tissues, which leads me to the state of a half sleep, like I used to feel in a Pilates session. A half sleep must be a good state to work on the body deeply.

Yoga tends to be alone practice even in a class. What I liked in Giovanni's class was that we did a kind of duet work. How do I tune in or not tune in to my partner. Then another good thing here was that we kept swapping a partner so that it was more like encountering a person and have a little conversation, rather than sitting down with a cup of coffee and talk for hours. I like this not-so-deep communication. This is more like the world. I remember what Deborah Hay said in her workshop; "here and gone. here and gone." about a moment in time that we never be able to catch and hold.

From a simple movement we tried in the class, I realised a clear fact that I tend to forget. As Giovanni pointed I tend to initiate a movement from my core, which is the essence of Pilates. But in fact, that is not only kind of movement. There is a movement that is initiated by a push with the feet or a swing of the arm. I do know these from dance but do they exist in Pilates? I guess not. Then suddenly I see this small box of Pilates as movement. Movement has much more varieties and there is no right or wrong in the end (unless you hurt yourself). The complex brings the expression and the identity of the person.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Ivana Müller, what is real?

Today I watched this show at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells.

Ivana Müller
Playing Ensemble Again and Again (2008)

For 70 minutes, all is about only bows at the end of the show. Six performers in line move slowly but precisely. They repeat walking downstage, bowing, walking back upstage then going out in the wings. Slow-motion with the facial expression consists of a sequence of moments that have concentrated expressiveness like still images. My eyes and brain keep working busy to pick up their psychology behind the roles as performers they are playing, or their psychology behind themselves who were tortured by the slow-motion. What is real?

They utter some sentences that may describe real themselves or could be made-ups.
"three of us are homosexual, two of us are heterosexual and one is not sure" can be true, but
"we are between 35-60 years old" is clearly a lie. Then,
"we went to Big Ben at 11am to listen" we don't know if it's true or not.

Who can tell what is real.
And does it matter?

UKIYO: the Artangel Podcast

Talking about sound and sound theatre, I have no much experience and knowledge in this area but I found this podcast by Artangel interesting. Very well edited. Also they talk about some idea that sound can take your imagination beyond the actual physical space where you are now. Sound can take you to another country or time. In this sense, there is a common idea between sound and what Maki Ueda explores with her smell. And this has something to do with virtual space and physical space...

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Stretch left hip flexors
Stretch and strengthen right gluts med/ min
Feet massage and strengthening
Stretch and strengthen quadratus lumiborum






ー 身体を部位ごとに分けてみて足りない筋肉を強化する
ー 身体全体を通しての連鎖運動をスムーズにし、無理な力の入らない動き方を学ぶ







Friday, 22 January 2010

Rosemary's class: Deep, honest, simple

Rosemary Butcher is one of the greatest choreographer in UK, and I would always go and see her works.

I was fortunate to have her as my choreography teacher when I was studying at Laban, then I did her workshop at Independent Dance in winter 2008. First two weeks in January, she led professional morning classes at ID. This is quite unusual because she normally does not 'teach' a dance technique class like other teacher would do. She 'leads' a class where each participant explores their own identity in movement. Her class is very much based on her idea of dance, which is further beyond what most people would think. But it is like searching for the golden rule for human, not only dance. The truth is applicable to many other things and communicative to many other people.

The classes were very satisfying experience for me to explore movement, the body and the mind in the improvisation (if I may call it) clearly led by Rosemary's vision. It was challenging as usual to understand or interpret her abstract directions and suggestions. I like the state of mind I reach through the process, somewhere very deep, honest and simple.

How Rosemary leads and where I reach seem to be quite mystery to me and I would love to know more about it.

After the experience, I try to break down the journey in the classes so that the idea may be crystallised.

1) Starting point
We start from any comfortable positions, often lying on the floor. Rosemary gives some simple focuses on the body eg.) shoulder joints and hip joints, all the surface on the body, which part on the floor and which not, vertical line and horizontal line etc.

I would just do whatever the body wants to do following the instruction. The movement gradually gets more dynamic, and I start to see some kind of pattern of movement or the idea behind of some movement.

2) Defining vocabulary
Then I can consciously be aware of my vocabulary in this session. I will keep this in my mind and will come back to the vocabulary when I feel lost. On the other hand, the door is half open for anything new to come in. The vocabulary map keeps slightly changing according to the new comers.

3) Change of energy
This is the most challenging part. Rosemary suggests to change the focuses of what we are experimenting in very abstract way. The interpretation of her words is up to the individual, and I always a bit of struggle in myself asking 'is this what she is asking for?'. I can do only what I have understood. It is quite easy to give up here and stop moving. But the most important things would be not to loose trust in myself. After the struggle, the cloud gets clearer in myself and start seeing different games and qualities emerging. If lucky, I can have some imagination and some kind of narratives, which would probably make very strong performance if you see from the audience point of view.

4) Letting outside come in
Up till here, the journey is pretty much personal. There are no connection to other people around. After working personally for a while, there is a point where I can keep the personal connection inside me without caring too much and can open my eyes to people and space around me. This gives me other possibilities of movement that does not belong to my vocabulary map, and it will trigger the map to be broaden whether the movement stays in the map or not. I have a danger to loose my own internal journey and go with the new stimuli from outside so I will remember to anchor myself down.

5) Abandon the memory, and start again
This is optional. Rosemary once told us to stop and leave the memory of the journey behind. Start from the blank campus. But can it be completely blank? What is remained?

6) Reflection
At the end, just remembering and digesting the experience. We can do whatever- move, write, watch... I try to retrace the journey.










Happy 2010

It is already 22nd of January and there are so many things that I thought about writing here but I did not.

I have realised that dancing and writing are the key to have happy days for me.

So I will dance and write this year.