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"Odorinoba" Critique Session - Guests' Comments

“Odorinoba” is the stage section of 3331 EXPO now providing for a second year running a space for free physical expression beyond the bounds of genre. Here we have collated the comments made by the jury guests in their selection of the scholarship winners. Amongst the participants in 2012’s event were those who hoped to widen appreciation of Indian dance, those hoping to offer more exposure to traditional Japanese dance, as well as those hoping to win the scholarship simply to hold a big party at 3331; Performers participating for many different purposes presented work from respective genres. The two groups selected for the scholarship award have the opportunity to use the 3331 sports hall for 30 days up until September 2013 for their rehearsals. Furthermore they will also have the chance to present their own production at 3331 in the same year. So let us look forward to their upcoming events.

<Critique Session>
29th September 2012(Sat) 13:00~16:00
Guest Jury/Atsushi Sasaki, Kaku Nagashima

30th September 2012(Sun) 13:00~16:00
Guest Jury/Kim Itoh, Yasuo Ozawa

Atsushi Sasaki & Kaku Nagashima Award: Tori Kouen "Waiting, enduring"

Atsushi Sasaki (critic)

Comment: Atsushi Sasaki (critic)
I think this style of competition is really interesting. But there was much more diversity amongst the performances than I expected, so it was a very difficult task to make a selection. Tori Kouen stood out for their level of completion and their charm, but if there was any point of doubt it was whether I should select such a performance which involves very little movement and consists mostly of spoken word as the scholarship winner for an event called “odorinoba” (place of dance). But after consulting with Nagashima we agreed that even amongst those acts which contained a lot more “dance”, none of them showed the same amount of potential as Tori Kouen and so we selected them. In terms of the use of 3331, Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers were quite exceptional. That really was cunning. Personally I also liked Atsunori Kawamura’s "well executed incorrect dance, the likes of which haven't been seen in a long time" (a comment I actually uttered), and the tone produced at the moment when Kineko Masaoka's movements came to a pause also had a particular appeal.

Kaku Nagashima (Drama Talk)

Comment: Kaku Nagashima (Drama Talk)
Although it is called “odorinoba” this event is not just restricted to dance but included performances of all genres and styles, and this mix I found very interesting. There were theatrical performances, Indian dance, even sword performances, giving this event great value (both in terms of the participants and the viewers) in providing such a space to showcase work. But at the same time, in a space where "anything goes", I wondered what would be seen and how consciously the performances would be presented. There were a lot of challenges in being limited to the small space, where performances as short as just 5 minutes would not hold together as improvisations, and performances relying only on technique would be wasted. The group selected for the scholarship, Tori Kouen, consisted of a mainly static performance with a conversation between the two members, but as the words began to loop back a strange group was formed and I became dizzy with surprise at how one could dance like this. Their persistence, humour and high level of calculation (at how to bring something together) was very impressive. I hope the opportunity to present their work this year will provide a good challenge to both the group and the host venue.

Kim Itoh & Yasuo Ozawa Award: Ichiro Kojima (choreography) “No Pushing”

Kim Itoh (choreographer, dancer)

Comment: Kim Itoh (choreographer, dancer)
Overall I think the level of work was passable. There were many kinds of work including very personal works which seemed to be in search of the self, conceptual work which put the head first, slap-happy work which didn’t seem to have considered anything at all, work developed to show off physical technique with familiar themes, as well as work designed to entertain the audience, but each were "self-aware" in their own way. Self-awareness means having an awareness of the need not just to present what you want to do, but to bring some added value, just like a "product". Because this is a program in support of young creatives, a completed product is not necessary. But it is important whether the creators themselves have considered this. (To be honest there were a number of people who seemed uncertain about this). But whether there was a “resolution” which follows self-awareness, I’m not sure. Those who produce these works must have a resolution which prevents any turning back. They can not run away. There was noise coming from the surroundings, we could see the scene outside through the large windows, and it was rather incomplete as an environment to present and judge performances, but as it reduced the nervousness of the participants it might actually be said to have been a befitting space. And I felt, that together with fellow juror Ozawa, things were able to progress well in the way in which comments were made and the review took its course.

Yasuo Ozawa (Japan Performance/Art Institute, Producer)

Comment: Yasuo Ozawa (Japan Performance/Art Institute, Producer)
In recent years I have lost interest in Japanese “contemporary dance” and go to performances much less frequently than before. However thanks to being called to participate in this event and in encountering the 13 different performances, I was provided the opportunity to question anew “What is it to express yourself today?” Young people trying to break out into the world should begin by asking the question once more "What is the purpose of expression using physical performance?" or even "Is it necessary?", "What should be expressed?", and "Should it be expressed? I don't think it would be an over-exaggeration to say that the state we find ourselves in today is, in many different senses of the word, critical. And amongst this it was only Ichiro Kojima’s “No Pushing” which pressed itself upon my heart. It was the work which left me wanting to see the next performance. However, whether this is a sign of success or failure was something I struggled to judge, thus becoming my reason to push Kojima. If we talk of contemporary dance, it may be understood as a separation from the discipline of the body according to established interests, the conflicting art of how to return authority to minor physical movements. In other words it is the conflict which surrounds the initiative of bodily skill. The reach of this dancing body should become the starting point for the reconstruction of our society into a new alternative entity. And through the body which reaches beyond the mere level of learning doesn’t this achieve a metaphysics or philiosophy? If we think in this way, it is perhaps a task worthy of wagering a whole lifetime to. Maybe it will result in a life which, economically speaking, will not be so comfortable. However, I do not want the performers to forget on any account that the work they do is a thing which can have a great influence on human society.