Aroundness of Place and Body.
The body in motion charts an imaginary map, reflecting on the past of each site and connecting memories of the present to the future.
WWFes2023—Connecting softly along indetermite lines will be held from January 14 to February 12, with SHIBAURA HOUSE in Tamachi serving as the main venue.
This new experiment in dance/performance, in which the body transcends time and space to connect the city and everyday life, will take place across several sites in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.
Whenever Wherever Festival 2023
Connecting softly along indetermite lines
January 14 (Sat) – February 12 (Sun), 2023
Ex-Noguchi Room, Keio University Mita Campus
Tokyo Tower (Shiba Park)
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park
Azabu Kids-to-Teens Hall, etc.
Body Arts Laboratory
With a grant from
FY2022 Minato Support Program for Art and Cultural Activities
Carator: Aokid, Kanako Iwanaka, Mei Satsuki, Mina Nishimura, Kota Yamazaki
Planning and Production Management Associates: Shu Ishimi, Keiichi Hayashi, Mari Fukutome
Graphic design: Naoki Matsumoto
Website: Yasuyuki Nakamura
WWFes (Whenever Wherever Festival) is a performance festival organized primarily by dance artists. WWFes2023 comprises three projects set in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Each project will start with research into the existing history, lifestyles and culture of sites located in Minato Ward, and will be followed by research presentations and workshops, showcases, talks, and other events from January to February 2023. In addition, the progress of respective projects will be regularly posted online.
In addition, “aroundness” is envisaged as the environment that emerges and takes shape when multiple bodies traverse a site (think of the area surrounding a place that extends from the word “whereabouts”). Here, a space different from a map, fostered by unique experiences and perceptions, should emerge. WWFes2023 is an attempt to make discoveries while observing various forms of “aroundness” in-between lived space and works of dance/performance. It also aims to softly connect multiple projects loosely related to one another along rasen (“indeterminate lines”) that transcend time and space.
The following three projects will be developed at WWFes2023.
- Triangle Projectis a new creative practice that focuses on three locations in Minato Ward and connects them through the body as it traverses the city.
- Dance Around comprises an exchange of the “teaching-learning-creating” process characteristic of Bon Dance and performing arts, in addition to an expanding talk series.
- How to Dance on Earth is a series of international dance workshops for elementary school students led by overseas students and dancers.
- Triangle Projectis: Kota Yamazaki / Mina Nishimura / Aokid / Kana Anayama / Kazuhito Tsuruga / Yuki Miyawaki / Nanako Matsumoto / Mei Yamanaka / Asuka Yamanobe / Tomo Mizukoshi / Ayano Yokoyama / Taku Yoshida / Eri Saito
- Dance Around: Yukiko Kitajima / Hajime Ohishi / Mizuki Tanaka / Daisuke Muto / Mina Nishimura / Aokid / Shu Ishimi / Arata Takagi / Eri Taito / Takumichan / Phyms (SKANK, Yuka Takahashi, Yaeko Yokoyama, Taku Yoshida) / Kota Yamazaki / Momoko Shiraga / Ikumi Otsuka / Kazuhito Tsuruga / Asuka Yamanobe / Yuki Miyawaki / Conan Amok / Ayano Yokoyama / Akio Kimura / Kana Anayama / Taishu Iizuka / Kim Itoh / Chieko Ito / Kanako Iwanaka / Mitsutake Kasai / Ayako Koyama / Yukiko Sakata / Aisa Shirai / Haruka Takahashi / Taiyo Tochiaki / Wataru Naganura / Nanako Matsumoto / Tomo Mizukoshi / Erina Yamai / Arihiro Yamada / Mei Yamanaka / Ippei Yonezawa / Miho Ryu / Amanda Hameline / Kitamari / Yukio Suzuki / Natsuko Tezuka / Mari Fukutome / Ayaka Ura / Kishodai Kageyama / Megumi Kamimura / Reiji Suzuki / Rick Yamakawa / Yurika Kuremiya / Un Yamada / Miho Kuwabara / Satomi Tanaka / Yuto Masumo and more
- How to Dance on Earth: BeiC (Kana Anayama, Tomohiko Kumagai, Nozomi Matsuo, Nanako Matsumoto, Mei Yamanaka), ICU overseas students, Glocal Mitaka (Yutaka Kakuma)
What does “aroundness” signify?—WWFes defines the word “aroundness” as the unique environment formed around a site when it is traversed by the body while accompanied by perception and memory. In WWFes2021, sensations gathered in Aoyama in Minato Ward, Tokyo, were converted into various performances. The concept for the 2023 edition is to discover new images by attempting to connect the rahen (“whereabouts”) along the rasen (“indeterminate lines”) of multiple sites in Minato Ward through dance/performance.
About Whenever Wherever Festival—WWFes (When Where Festival) is an event run by a collective of dance artists. Held in Tokyo for the tenth year running, the festival explores new forms of performance with “the body” as keyword. WWFes, which has come to feature a program emphasizing the creative process and cutting edge expression, is conceived as a place to exchange the spirit of experimentation through the process of creation, based on the concept of a festival that can grow independently as a network for artists to connect with one another.
Aroundness of the Body
Only moving the body vigorously, sometimes softly, is not dance. Dance can also be when one is on a train, watching the rapidly changing scenery without moving one’s body, or when one is walking on a street and sightseeing. Dance is not the result of logic or stories. Rather, it concerns the body forcibly and unconsciously connecting respective landscapes, which are, in a sense, unrelated. Dance and the body are a crossing-point in themselves. I consider the action of serving customers at a café, working at a construction site, and even taking a break as forms of dance. And that goes for ikebana and tea ceremony too. Dance begins when we feel the sensation of the body in the “present,” and experience time and space in response to that sensation. Dance is always present in our lives, and when we become aware of it, we can discern the body’s inner vitality even if only faintly, and sense the richness of time flowing through the body even when in repose. I hope to explore the diversity of physical modality and the landscape by revealing dance, which is everywhere in our lives.
Aroundness of Place
“Places” are disjointed. When I go to a certain rocky shore to fish, I make the effort to ride a train and boat with heavy luggage to get there, but upon arrival I always think that I didn’t come here for fishing. I somehow try to convince myself that fishing is not the main purpose of my being there. Of course, that may be to console myself when I don’t catch any fish. Yet still, I wonder why I went there; was it to explore nature or to find solitude? Any number of choices can be made, leading one to question one’s own identity in particular. Places stimulate identity. Setting out to explore various places, we will develop dialogues and performances based on our experiences. We go anywhere, as any place can be our destination.
01 Triangle Project
A project connecting the past and present in which, based on the history of three places with unique characteristics in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, words and stories inspired through the body will be made into performances at each site. The themes are “Dialogue” (Ex-Noguchi Room, co-sponsored by Keio University Art Center), “Memorial” (Shiba Park), “Transformation” (Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park), and “Fragment” (SHIBAURA HOUSE), which incorporates all three.
Choreographic structure and playwriting: Kota Yamazaki
02 Bon Dance Aroundness
Inspired by the Bon Dance culture that has taken root in Minato Ward, Tokyo, this project researches the key concepts surrounding Bon Dance, including the spirit of repose, the conditions of the form and rhythm, and its role in the local community. In the presentation and talk event, the participants will try traditional Bon Dance and a version specific to Minato Ward, while there will also be a presentation of (something like) a Bon Dance uniquely created by WWFes. Talk guests will critique the WWFes version and discuss the essence of Bon Dance.
In addition to an improvised dance performance inspired by Yukio-Pegio Gunji’s “Dasa-kakkowarui (Lame Uncool)” concept of inviting the outside/other world, there will be a cutting-edge showcase including an excerpt screening of the outdoor section of Mina Nishimura’s work presented in New York.
04 Talk Series
Talk sessions will be held on the respective themes of alternative/space, artists as ordinary citizens, and issues related to the continuation of dance activities. Focusing on various performers whose activities intersect cities, lifestyles and theaters, the series will highlight the existing conditions of dance/performance.
Aokid’s workshop/work in progress in which he will create a “tiny town experience” through walks around Minato-ku, and Takumichan’s physical expression workshop that will lead participants to find “sound” and “joy” through improvisation methods will each be presented at SHIBAURA HOUSE.
In “How to Dance on Earth,” in which elementary school students can experience dances and games from around the world together with ICU overseas students, the participants will also explore a park near the Azabu Kids to Teens Hall venue!
06 Online Program
In the Relocation Roundtable online talk, artists who are continuing their activities while relocating to regional areas will discuss the founding of a creative environment and the possibilities for transmitting their work from regional locations.
In addition, the fringe program Connecting Softly Along Another Indeterminate Line will feature an online playlist of poems, songs, and essays inspired by WWFes2023. The festival will be used as a medium to explore an imaginary network.
07 Scenography Project
As a new experiment in WWFes2023, the spatial design of the main venue, SHIBAURA HOUSE, will be developed through a competition involving recommended candidates. The theme of the competition will be “DIY accessibility,” with the condition that the design include the installation of a ramp at the stepped entrance.
Translated by Jaime Humphreys