2019 Program Theme and Four Artists Revealed!

April 25, 2019

Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival Executive Committee presents the tenth edition of Kyoto Experiment: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival for 23 days from October 5 to October 27, 2019. This year’s festival will explore the theme of “Échos-monde: The Age of Ecology” through a packed main lineup of around ten pioneering artists from Japan as well as countries and regions other than Europe and the United States. In addition, the festival will also feature an open-call fringe program as well as symposia and workshops related to the lineup, and a “meeting point” space for audiences to gather after events. In this way, it forms a wide-ranging and comprehensive festival accessible to people with varied interests cutting across different kinds of genre, discipline, and culture. Moreover, the 2019 festival marks the last edition to be programmed by Yusuke Hashimoto, who has served as program director since 2010. From the 2020 festival, a collective of three directors will share the role of program director. We look forward to welcoming audiences to Kyoto Experiment 2019!

For information about the next program directors click here


Official Program Artists:
William Kentridge [South Africa]
Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre [Japan]
chelfitsch × Teppei Kaneuji [Japan]
Bouchra Ouizguen [Morocco] and others

※Full program to be announced at a press conference on July 11, 2019.


Program Theme
"Échos-monde: The Age of Ecology"

In order to cope with or express confluences, every individual, every community, forms its own échos-monde, imagined from power or vainglory, from suffering or impatience. Each individual makes this sort of music and each community as well. As does the totality composed of individuals and communities. (Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, translated by Betsy Wing)

The theme of the 2019 festival is “Échos-monde: The Age of Ecology,” taken from Édouard Glissant’s term meaning the world of things resonating with one another. Our discourse today frequently embraces idyllic illusions about nature to discuss environmental problems using such phrases as “eco-friendly.” However, doesn’t the actual response culturally and politically to the current crisis that exists in the relationship between humanity and its surroundings (that is, the environment) surely now lie beyond modernity and its objective treatment of nature? This is an idea that emerged out of last year’s festival.

For the main festival program in 2018, I introduced the work of female artists or artists and companies that identify as female. What this particularly foregrounded was that gender is not only cultural but also political as well as the way in which the body is seemingly controlled in society by the state and various systems. Moreover, we might regard this as a reflection on how Western modernity has regulated the world according to the perspectives of the “self” and the “Other,” or “center” and “periphery.”

Following this, I considered focusing the new festival on the East (as opposed to the West) or on nature (as opposed to the artificial), but any such approach seemed in and of itself a prisoner of dichotomies, effectively yet another perspective born from the principles of Western modernity, and so I came gradually to realize the importance of seeing beyond this.

How possible is it to awaken a composed sense of the world in which we are part of it, rather than of the environment as something objectified and detached from humanity? We will present several artistic practices that help us to envision responses to this question.

Kyoto Experiment Program Director
Yusuke Hashimoto



William Kentridge[Music, Art|South Africa]

Photo by Stella Olivier

William Kentridge (b. 1955) is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, his practice is born out of a cross-fertilisation between mediums and genres and responds to the legacies of colonialism and apartheid within the context of South Africa's socio-political landscape. His aesthetics are drawn from the medium of film’s own history, from stop-motion animation to early special effects. Kentridge’s drawing, specifically the dynamism of an erased and redrawn mark, is an integral part of his expanded animation and filmmaking practice, where the meanings of his films are developed during the process of their making. Kentridge’s work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world since the 1990s. Opera productions include Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2005), Shostakovich’s The Nose (2010), and Alban Berg’s Lulu (2015) and Wozzeck (2017). In 2010, he received the Kyoto Prize. Kentridge’s Winterreise performed by baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Markus Hinterhaüser will be presented at Kyoto Experiment 2019.


Yudai Kamisato/Okazaki Art Theatre [Theater | Japan]

Yudai Kamisato (b. 1982) is a director and playwright. Born in Peru, he founded Okazaki Art Theatre in 2003 and made his debut as a novelist in 2013. He won the Kishida Prize for Drama in 2018 with The Story of Descending the Long Slopes of Valparaíso which premiered at Kyoto Experiment 2017. Recently, he has been creating works that derive from a heightened interest in his own identity and reflect deep insights into problems confronting immigrants and workers, the relationship between the individual and national identity, and communication with contemporary others. Kamisato will premiere a new work at Kyoto Experiment 2019. Using the stroy of a certain fisherman as a starting point, Kamisato is conducting research on the "foreign fish collection boxes" at Lake Biwa, where the release of foreign fish is currently prohibited. Through exploring ideas of protecting an ecosystem and the fact that the life of a creature brought in by humans is in the balance, this work will consider issues of nationalism and immigration.


chelfitsch & Teppei Kaneuji [Theater | Japan]

Toshiki Okada. Photo by Kikuko Usuyama.

Teppei Kaneuji

Toshiki Okada (b. 1972) is a playwright, director, novelist and founder of the theater company chelfitsch. Founded in 1997, chelfitsch began to refine its textual aesthetic as that of colloquial language representing contemporary youth culture with Surprised by Their Hopes, premiered in March of 2001. The works of chelfitsch have been presented to great acclaim at international festivals worldwide. This time in collaboration with artist Teppei Kaneuji and co-produced by Kyoto Experiment, new creation Eraser Mountain will premiere at Kyoto Experiment 2019. For this new work, chelfitsch is taking aim at freeing itself from human-centered perspectives, yardsticks, and temporal sense, and acquiring entirely new theatrical language and methodology. Kaneuji collects everyday objects to create sculptures facilitating collage-like methodology, seeking new way of sculptural expression. In addition to the collaboration with Kaneuji, by incorporating a new "EIZO Theater" method that Okada has been working on in recent years, the work aims for a more multi-layered space configuration and bold new development in each other's creations.


Bouchra Ouizguen [Dance | Morocco]

Photo by Jean François Robert

Bouchra Ouizguen (b. 1980) is a Moroccan dancer and choreographer. Born in Ouarzazate, she currently lives and works in Marrakech where she has been committed to developing the local dance scene since 1998. Self-taught and an oriental dancer from the age of sixteen, she created her first experimental pieces such as Ana Ounta or Mort et moi based on her interest in film, literature and music. She co-founded the Anania association in 2002 and worked with the likes of Mathilde Monnier, Bernardo Montet, Boris Charmatz and Alain Buffard before founding her own company, O, in 2010. Her interest in societal issues, visual arts and popular arts in her country inform her work, which encompasses sound, performance and video. In 2010 she received the New Choreographic Talent award from France’s Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD). A new iteration of Bouchra's Corbeaux will be presented at Kyoto Experiment 2019. Moroccan dancers from Bouchra's company will be joined by local dancers selected through auditions held in Kyoto in July and perform the piece at outdoor venues around Kyoto city.


●Auditions for performers for Bouchra Ouizguen's work.
More information here

●Auditions for performers for Yudai Kamisato / Okazaki Art Theatre's work.
More information here


Period: October 5th (Sat) - 27th (Sun) [23 days]
Venues: ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kyoto Art Center, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza,
Kyoto Prefectural Citizens' Hall ALTI, Theatre E9 Kyoto and others
Organized by: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival Executive Committee
[Kyoto City, ROHM Theatre Kyoto (Kyoto City Music Art Cultural Promoting
Foundation), Kyoto Art Center (Kyoto Arts and Culture Foundation),
Kyoto Performing Arts Center at Kyoto University of Art and Design]

Press Release: Kyoto Experiment 2019 Initial Artist Lineup & Announcement of Next Kyoto Experiment Program Directors

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