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