THECO - zako - THE Performance COncert with COntemporary MUSIC COmposers & a DANCE ChOreographer

Stage photograph of THECO-zako 1

The Japan Foundation sends to show the contemporary dance and music collaborative piece "THECO-zako -THE Performance COncert with COntemporary MUSIC COmposers & a DANCE ChOreographer" to Luxembourg in the end of March 2009, as part of our performance abroad programme to introduce Japanese performing arts overseas.

This piece "THECO-zako-" shown at Centre Cultural et Rencontre Abbaye de Neumunster, is unique collaboration work choreographed and directed by Tsuyoshi Shirai, one of the most active and future-promising dancer/choreographer in recent contemporary dance scene in Japan. It consists of several parts which Tsuyoshi Shirai and each or collective of 4 musicians collaborate on live, with live-video projection.

Besides of the performance, Shirai offers 2days dance workshop at 3C-L, the National Center for Choreography Creation Luxembourg. The workshop focuses on the possibility of movement and sense which comes/emerges from both outside and inside body, and to develop the dynamic movement and sensibility and break down physical barriers in order to reach a greater comprehension and control of instinctive movements.

This tour is expected to provide people in Luxembourg an opportunity to get to know about the slice of the latest scene of Japanese contemporary arts and culture and share the mutual understanding in current cultural background.

Stage photograph of THECO-zako 2
photo by Yota Kataoka

Dance workshop

Dates: Wedesday, 25 and Thursday, 26 March, 2009 19:00-20:30
Venue: 3C-L(Centre de Creation Choreographique Luxembourgeois)

Show "THECO-zako-THE Performance COncert with COntemporary
MUSIC COmposers & a DANCE ChOreographer"

Date: Tuesday, 31 March, 2009 20:00
Venue: Centre Cultural et Rencontre Abbaye de Neumunster

Stage Manager Ayumu Okubo
Lighting Yuji Sekiguchi ( DESIGN)
Sound Norimasa Ushikawa
Video Projection/
Workshop assistant
Mariko Okamoto
Tour Manager Mikiko Takeuchi
Production Koichiro Takagi (Hiwood)

Premiered in Tokyo August 2007, at Theatre Tram/ Setagaya Public Theatre "THECO-zako-" was originally created in 2007 to commemorate Shirai's honor of the first prize of the Toyota Choreography Award 2006. It featured 7 musicians and garnered high reputation. For this tour, Shirai re-created the piece and selected 4 musicians.

Co-organization with Embassy of Japan in Luxembourg
Centre Cultural et Rencontre Abbaye de Neumunster
3C-L(Centre de Creation Choreographique Luxembourgeois) Promotion Culturelle " Japon-Luxembourg'95 "

*Special support for Tsuyoshi Shirai is provided by The Saison Foundation and Toyota Motor Corporation

Logo of the Saison FoundationLogo of TOYOTA

A performance concert by 4 musicians and a dancer.

Playing BODY and dancing BODY. Wondering what kind of music and dance would come out if the composition and choreography are created together... Undulation in human body and sound. Sight and auditory sense are different types of vibration. But dance and music might have been born together like twins, long, long ago, in the genesis of human being. Music and dance are phenomenon that cannot be distinguished--like identical twins. Since their birth, although each has grown up with a different character, a secret relationship between these two is eventually linked with our bodies.

Music and dance generate sympathy as if they are mutually attracting, opposing, become eating up and entangled. These two, which disclose one's innocence and desire in contrast, try to reach their invisible feelers to the other, as if it were some sexual impulse. Is this a kind of incest committed by two who used to be twins? If it goes right to the end, they give birth to a pre-verbal tiny world. Sound and movement. A slice of the moment has been freed, faded away, and vanished into space.

By the way, there is a Chinese character Chinese character meaning delight, which was developed in ancient China. This letter expresses "delight"and it is said that it symbolizes the combination of a drum and human lips. Musically speaking, in ancient times, when the human voice was the only instrument capable of creating musical scales and melodies, people created rhythm by drumming and sang a song to that rhythm. That came to express an idea of "delight", according to an ethnomusicology researcher. Ancient people's festivals.... Here, we can imagine a bunch of singing and dancing people can't we?

Physicality in music. Musicality in dance. Performative music. Musical body. Ancient twins to be carried into rebirth in the present day. How is the honeymoon between music and dance going on?

Anyhow, anyway, music and dance are exciting and interesting!

Text by Tsuyoshi Shirai 


Tsuyoshi Shirai (AbsT)


Tsuyoshi Shirai
photo by Ryo SHIRAI

Tsuyoshi Shirai is a former member of Kim Itoh + the Glorious Future. He received the Prix d'Auteur de Conseil Général de la Seine-Saint-Denis with his work "Living Room: The Room of Sand" in 2000. His performances include "Devil's Story" choreographed by Yuri Ng (Hong Kong), adapted from Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat" in 2004 and 2005 and "Kinjiki" (Forbidden Colors) based on Yukio Mishima's novel and created/ choreographed by Kim Itoh in 2005. In 2006 through 2008, he has collaborated with the famed Arditti Quartet for John Cage's "Apartment House 1776."
In 2006, he was honored with the first prize of the Toyota Choreography Award for "mass, slide, & ." which was originally created and presented in 2004 at Theatre Tram, Setagaya Public Theatre. He formed a new company, AbsT, in 2006 with which he works in a new style of collaboration. For AbsT he has created "Shihani-subsoil" and "THECO-zako" in 2007 to work with 7 contemporary musicians. In the same year he joined the production "true", directed by Takayuki Fujimoto (Dumb Type), which was premiered in 3 cities in Japan in 2007 and toured to Singapore and New York in 2008. Shirai just premiered the latest work "blue Lion" in Feb/Mar in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Yusuke Awazu (locolo code,BANETO)


Yusuke Awazu
photo by Akira Kasuga

Yusuke Awazu is a composer and musician who compose music and sounds for commercial and web content. He is also a leader of the band known as "locolo code", which has released its first album "Skew Lines" in 2008. He has collaborated with dancers and choreographers including Maki Morishita and others, and has won high praise from such prominent artists as Ryuichi Sakamoto and Keiichi Tomita for his original composed works.
In 1996, while attending Chiba University, he formed the contemporary dance group "Study of Live works-BANETO" with Tsuyoshi Shirai. In later years, he composed music for various performance groups such as the dance company "Leni-Basso" and contemporary theatre group "Sanjo-kai" and most of which has been shown in Japan and abroad. He has been collaborating with many performing artists and conducted numerous workshops. Since 2007, he has been teaching at Chiba University as a part-time lecturer.

Yugo Morikawa (Polygon Head)

Guitarist/Composer/Track maker

Yugo Morikawa
photo by Akiko HONDA

Yugo Morikawa started playing guitar when he was 13, and gravitated toward composers who have displayed unique and sophisticated styles, such as Frank Zappa and Igor Stravinsky, and taught himself how to write music. In his rock band �Polygon Head�, he produces exquisite pop-rock music of his own style, even while generating the technical aspects from his previous influences.

Hiroshi Obiki (VIONS)

Hiroshi Obiki
photo by Sakura ARISE

Hiroshi Obiki is a "harmonic overtone artist" mainly specializing in Khoomei, a type of throat singing that has its origins in the Republic of Tuva, in the very center of Asia. He also displays skillful command of the Jew's harp, igil (horse-head fiddle of Tuva), and other sounds and instruments that are characteristic of harmonic overtones. Seeking to hand down the tradition, he actively shares the fascination of harmonic overtones in events throughout Japan.


photo by GO

SKANK is a music director for the inventive artist collective "NIBROLL" and a member of "MEXI", a band known for its experimental music and mainly performs in clubs in Tokyo. He has participated in the music group "SSS,T" (awarded by the Japan Media Arts Festival) which features 6 guitarists playing a unique one-string guitar, and actively holds music sessions with various other musicians. He also provides music scores to many dancers, including Ken'ichi Tanno, Mika Kurosawa, and Tsuyoshi Shirai. He performs and collaborates with artists both inside and outside Japan and always pursues opportunities to work with artists in other genres.

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