"Last piece" found in Dusseldorf - EU・ジャパンフェスト日本委員会

“Last piece” found in Dusseldorf

Nao Ashimine|Dancer and Manager of YUKIO SUZUKI projects

The Corona Disaster has not only changed our lives, but also our thoughts and actions. Living in the world of contemporary dance, which has been changing with the times, we have been working for the past several years as if we were challengers to take on this great wave. People from all over the world can easily meet online and present their works on their computers, even if they are far away from each other. We have acquired visual technologies previously unknown to us. This challenge was not a bad one for us.

Yukio Suzuki’s solo performance©︎YUKIO SUZUKI Projects

 But there is always a “the Last Piece” in our hearts that is not satisfied somewhere. I thought so.

 About three years ago, the director said to me, “I want to see you dance in Dusseldorf again. I had no idea that it would take so much time to make it happen. In 2022, WELTKUNSTZIMMER, the venue of the festival, celebrated its 10th anniversary. We were finally able to participate in an event where many different artists contributed their work. Thanks to the support of the Saison Foundation and the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee.
Although it was a very simple tour, consisting of a two-day workshop and a performance in a gallery where art works were exhibited, I personally gained dozens of times greater awareness and inspiration from the project.

 The workshop participants, who gathered under the keywords “butoh,” “dance,” and “physical expression,” came from various backgrounds. It was only in the first few minutes that they said, “I’m not a dancer, so I can’t do anything.” Guided by Yukio Suzuki’s words, their thoughts and bodies were free. Their dance was so gentle and beautiful. And it was interesting to hear them tell each other in words what they thought of their own movement and what they felt when they saw others dance. They said, “Oh I noticed that too,” “Yes that’s what was beautiful,” “I see, so that’s how you see it. Sharing sensations is one of the most enjoyable aspects of a dance workshop. It is important to learn the technique of dancing, but when people share words and dance with each other, their world expands forever. It is a meaningful time.

The performance was same. This time, after arriving at the venue, we considered how to use the gallery space, how to stage the performance with simple equipment, and how to stage it in harmony with some artworks. This dance is created through interaction with the space and the artwork.
The fun of weaving “contemporary dance” while feeling the energy of the place was transmitted to the audience.

 I had met and exchanged words many times on social networking sites and online, with directors and audiences. Entering the Corona Disaster, I thought we had “met” more often than before, but this time, meeting in person and interacting through the tool of dance, I felt there was a “the Last Piece” that had never filled me. The world is much wider and much deeper. We cannot get there by ourselves. We can only reach it by mixing with others. To do this, we have to move our feet, move our bodies, think, and put our thoughts into words. Then, we must let them receive it directly and feel their reactions. There is no need for distance, after all.

Yukio Suzuki’s solo performance ©︎ YUKIO SUZUKI Projects

We have the tools to connect with the world through computers. However, “only online” does not expand the world. The importance of letting go of the computer and invading each other’s world, expanding and deepening the thought. While recognizing the dangers that exist in both, I would like to move forward without depending on either, always choosing the best path for the “expanding the world.”

The Dusseldorf tour was made possible by the support and encouragement of many people. We sincerely appreciate their warm support. And we are also glad that some of our next projects are actually starting to move forward.
To meet directly, a lot of waste and sacrifice may be necessary. But we realized that the “the Last Piece” is there.
We may be clumsy and wasteful. Still, we would like to keep moving with the help of many people for getting “the Last Piece.”