What is the “NEO uterus movement” which ties together sumo and menstruation?
Nanako Matsumoto and Kengo Nishimoto are the artists behind performance unit team chiipro. They were selected for Kyoto Experiment’s first open-call project and have been researching and creating for two years.
The two artists first began their research in 2021, centering it on the theme of the waltz. When the Covid-19 pandemic made people wary of physical contact, the duo presented a work in which they danced a waltz with an imaginary “other”––connecting prewar Kyoto to the present day, with the history of the dancing geiko*(1) in Kyoto as a departure point. This year, they are further developing their research surrounding women’s bodies and the theme of touching/not touching, and presenting a work on the theme of re-mystifying menstruation. Menstruation has been given meaning at the intersection of social customs and scientific discourse. In this work, while still emphasizing scientific knowledge and understanding, the group performs a ritual dance around the absurdity of menstruation, which is ungraspable through scientific discourse and understanding alone. What emerges is the shiko*(2) dance which involves opening and raising the legs before stomping on the ground. The performance, which the artists call the “NEO uterus movement,” takes inspiration from the motion of shiko to wittily transgress a social boundary.
In this work, Matsumoto and Nishimoto embody the vast amount of research they have gathered over the past two years. The two artists’ engagements in text and dance collide and respond to each other in calculated harmony. Through this, a new dohyo*(3) of lecture-performance may open up.
*(1) Another word for “geisha” in Kyoto dialect.
*(2) Traditionally refers to the ceremonial leg raising ritual done by sumo wrestlers.
*(3) Sumo ring
10.8 (Sat) 15:00 ★
10.9 (Sun) 13:00 / 16:00 ★
10.10 (Mon) 15:00
Doors open 30min prior to the performance.
★ Post-show talk
Duration: 75 min (TBC)
Japanese with English surtitles
team chiipro is a performance group currently made up of members Nanako Matsumoto and Kengo Nishimoto. The group's practice has centered around the theme of the body and gesture’s potential as critique. In recent years the group have found a particular movement or dance step from a specific place or time within a city and created dance works that deal with the intersection of the multiple contexts that these movements or dance steps evoke, as well as the physical sensations and memories of the performers. Major works include 20th Century Project (2017-18) and Kokyo Running Man (2019-20).
Choreography and Direction: Nanako Matsumoto & Kengo Nishimoto / team chiipro
Performer: Nanako Matsumoto
Choreographic Collaborators and Performers: Yuka Uchida, Kohei Maeda
Video Design: Daichi Abe
Stage Manager: Yuhi Kobayashi
Lighting: Kana Watanabe
Sound: Mina Hayashi
Costume Design: Kazuto Suzuki (islands)
Production Coordinators: Eri Shibata, Aina Okuyama / Taro Kimoto (THEATRE E9 KYOTO)
Production Manager: Kodachi Kitagata
Technical Adviser: Yukiko Yoshimoto (Mahiru)
English surtitles: Kyoka Kawai Arisawa
In cooperation with YURAKUCHO ART URBANISM, bench Co. and Toyooka Theater Festival 2022, Kyoto Women’s Sumo Club, Kikuno Daimyoujin, Ayari Ito, Masahiro Kato (College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University), Kai Fuyuki (kai who sometimes has the familiy register on her mind), Kiyoshi Murakami (Visiting Researcher at Institute of Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University), Yui Yamanaka (Link Dance Studio), Masanori Yoda (Chairman, Takenohama residents' association)
Produced by team chiipro
Co-produced by Kyoto Experiment
Supported by Japan Foundation for Regional Art Activities [Intergenerational Thinking]
Presented by Kyoto Experiment
Kyoto Experiment Staff
Intern: Tomomi Kinoshita, Noe Tanaka
Invited by The Saison Foundation as a resident artist in 2021/22 (Supported by the Agency of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in fiscal 2021)
Arts Council Tokyo, FY2021 Trial Project – Program for Dance of the Future: Call for Participants