Whenever Wherever Festival 2021


Conceived as a performance festival that creates a new image of the city and Aoyama through the body, WWFes (Whenever Wherever Festival) 2021 will be held over four days at Spiral Hall. The first half will feature experimental projects by co-curators, while the latter half will feature the choreographic works of Kota Yamazaki and twenty-seven collaborators. Bringing together up-and-coming artists, a rare session will take place in Aoyama at the year’s end.

Whenever Wherever Festival 2021

A performance festival where the city becomes a dance

2021.12.23 [Thu.]−26 [Sun.]
Aoyama Spiral and surrounding area / 7days Sugamo Shop / Online

WWFes (Whenever Wherever Festival) is a festival run by a collective comprising dance artists and specialists in architecture, film and various other fields. Now reaching its ninth year, WWFes has continued to explore new forms of performance in Tokyo, taking “the body” as keyword. WWFes2021 consists of two programs: Mapping Aroundness and Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project – Aoyama Version. Characterized by its emphasis on the creative process and a cutting-edge approach, WWFes is conceived as a space to exchange the spirit of experimentation, where the festival itself becomes a network of connections between artists within the creative process.

Mapping Aroundness

Mapping Aroundness is a performance festival based on “the body sympathizing with the urban landscape,” a theme shared with Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project (abbreviated as BIC, held 12.25 [Sat.]–26 [Sun.]). The festival will feature performances and workshops by ten curators over four days at two main venues. Mapping Aroundness expands on the concept of the “invisible city” in BIC, with each program using the city as an intermediary to imaginatively locate a unique territory that escapes easy definition. In respective locations, which include meditative spaces, remote areas connected by time signals, desktops, city streets, a temporary satellite named “the waiting tower” at the 7days Sugamo Shop, and an online platform, participants will be immersed in a multi-layered experience of the city, sometimes together with the performers.

As part of the WWFes series, work-in-progress performances by emerging choreographers will also be presented. In addition, there will be showings and talks that bring together artists working in dance, theater and other fields to question the present state of performing arts and show the whereabouts of cutting-edge creativity.

Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project – Aoyama Version

Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project (BIC) is a dance project that brings the city and the theater together. BIC has attempted to bring about the coexistence of the body in the city, assimilating it into the urban landscape while recognizing that it has a different orientation. Existing in one sense as an invisible part of the city, dance/the body rises to the surface, its traces delineating a new worldline in Tokyo.

In BIC – Aoyama Version, around thirty performers will conceive Aoyama as a blank space in the city, gathering unseen yet real perceptions and awareness from an empty landscape to create scores that are presented as dance forms. Taking place intermittently over two days (thirteen hours in total), the performances will be experienced by the audience in a manner similar to that of walking through an exhibition space, in which fragments of the city will gradually be deposited in the theater. In addition, a group of sculptural works will be exhibited in the performance space, based on the theme of mapping various consciousnesses, perceptions, memories and signs onto three-dimensional forms. In a sense, BIC is a project that aims to create an “invisible city.”

At a time when the Coronavirus pandemic is calling into question the meaning of staging works in theaters, this project, which aims to discover the possibilities of performance by venturing into public space, will also reflect how dance forms a part of the artists’ lives.Dance/the body, which in a sense is invisible in the city, rises to the surface, and its traces delineate a new worldline in the city.

Curator: Mina Nishimura, Aokid, Mari Fukutome, Yutaro Murakoso, Kei Shichiri, Kanako Iwanaka, Keitaro Sawabe, Masako Immaki, Kota Yamazaki, Toshikatsu Kiuchi, Rick Yamakawa
Stage Manager: Takashi Kawachi 
Lighting Design: Yukiko Yoshimoto 
Sound Design: Tasuku Konomi, Takashi Aikawa
Production Cooperation: Yuko Takeda, Keiichi Hayashi
Graphic Design: Tezzo Suzuki

Whenever Wherever Festival 2021
Organized by: Body Arts Laboratory
Venue cooperation: Wacoal Art Center
Planning cooperation: KOBAYASHI PRODUCE INC.
With a grant from: Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Mapping Aroundness
With a grant from: Minato City Sports, Culture, and Health Foundation (Reiwa 3rd year Minato City Cultural Arts Support Project)
Supported by: Dance Base Yokohama
Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project – Aoyama Version
With a grant from: ARTS for the future!, Agency for Cultural Affairs

Mapping Aroundness

Program Features

Several cutting-edge and experimental showings, including works-in-progress by promising new choreographers. A special program of collaborations between leading artists in dance, theater and comedy (12.23–24)

In the performance space, a four-day exhibition of sculpture and video works that echo the festival’s theme will be on display.

Bilingual (Japanese and English) workshops with sign language interpretation based on physical communication spanning various contexts, South Asian dance culture, and other themes.

A program by multi-disciplinary co-curators will present the current state of physical expression.

Site Features

Three ticket types are available: half-day, one-day and two-day set tickets.

Free admission to the 7days Sugamo Shop located in the shopping arcade.

Online program available from December 1. It will include the streaming of video works (dance and art), essays and talks, expanding the range of experiences and creating a different time axis.


Becoming an Invisible City Performance Project – Aoyama Version

Theater and city, the exterior and interior of the body—a space develops in which several improvised structures are instantly replaced. BIC is a choreographic experiment transcending time and space, where the city becomes a dance.

The project comprises a total of thirteen hours of performance works by twenty-eight artists, who create numerous scores and texts from sensations gathered in and around Aoyama Spiral and present them as dance forms. Excavating the overlooked places in Aoyama, the artists will construct their visions through their bodies to render an original worldview. Replacing the theater with the city, an unimaginable secret Aoyama will be unveiled.


Translated by Jaime Humphreys

Photo: Photo:Body Arts Laboratory