Natsuko Tezuka / Floating Bottle
Floating Bottle Project vol.2
Dive into the point
Unraveling the boundaries ushered in by westernization and modernization, a bottle drifts around Asia and connects us through dance
“Setting westernization and modernization as one boundary, please observe the earlier performing arts in the region or community where you live. Repeat experiments and then launch the performing arts for living today.” Dancer and choreographer Natsuko Tezuka, who is engaged with the issue of dance archiving in her Dance Archive Box project, adapted Anatomic Experiment 6, one of a series she has developed since 2001, into several “instructions” and released them into the sea that joins up Asia.
The first person to receive the drifting bottle that contained these “instructions” was Venuri Perera from Sri Lanka, and then Yeong Ran Suh from South Korea. One year on from Floating Bottle Project Vol.1: Three points in the flow, the first staging in Yokohama of these instructions that all three dance artists interpreted differently, they now reunite for the next phase.
Tezuka says that one of the great changes brought about by westernization and modernization is the reinforcement of demarcation, from national borders to rights and the individual. Back when those demarcations were still ambiguous, how did people live? Through the collaborative work of three artists tenaciously building up dialogue, mutually unsettling the perspectives of period and region, an experiment is launched to share experience with the audience. Can we once again uncover the inner power of the body that has been bridled beneath these boundaries?
- North Hall, ROHM Theatre Kyoto
- Berlin, Germany / Fukuoka, Japan
Natsuko Tezuka is a dancer and choreographer born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. She shifted from mime to dance from 1996 and has continued her practice through a style of trial and error not based on preexisting techniques. In 2001, she started her Anatomic Experiment series in which she scrutinizes her own body. That same year she was a finalist for the Toyota Choreography Award with Anatomic Experiment—2. She then toured to New York, Berlin, Jakarta, and Rio de Janeiro, interacting with local artists and performing her work. She has continued experimenting and examining westernization from multiple perspectives, starting the Asia Interactive Research project in 2010 to observe folk performing arts and question the framework of the nation, and launching with ST Spot a folk performance survey club. In 2015, she staged Some Experiments in a Decade and a Half in Fukuoka, followed by at Singapore International Festival of Arts and then at the Our Masters—Tatsumi Hjikata season in 2016 at the Asian Arts Theatre in Gwangju, South Korea. Along with the Sri Lankan artist Venuri Perera and South Korean artist Yeong Ran Suh, she launched Floating Bottle, a new group that explores what westernization means for Asia. Its first performance was at ST Spot in Yokohama in 2017. Since 2018, she has added Berlin as a further base for her activities and is developing a new kind of nomadic practice.
Venuri Perera is an independent artist exploring contemporary approaches to performance making in Sri Lanka. Working in the fields of dance, theater, and live art, her practice converts her own body into a medium in which political problems are projected, based on the belief that performance is a revolutionary force. She has a Master’s in Psychology and in 2008, completed a postgraduate certificate in dance at the Laban Centre, London, where she received the Michelle Simone Award for ‘Outstanding achievement in choreography”. She has collaborated in a wide range of art projects in Sri Lanka and overseas since 2004, and staged solo work at numerous festivals and symposia in Europe, South Asia, and East Asia. She has been in residency researching connections between different cultures through regional rituals, such as at Indonesia Arts Summit: Yogyakarta/Bali and the Asian Arts Theatre (Gwangju, South Korea). She is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts and a member of the dance committee of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka. She was curator of the Colombo Dance Platform 2016 and Performing Arts curator for British Council and South Bank Centre London’s ‘Women of the World’ Festival, Sri Lanka edition.
Yeong Ran Suh
Yeong Ran Suh is a performance artist who researches ancient beliefs and myths. After studying fashion, she shifted to modern dance, choreography, and philosophy. She compares contemporary people’s fixed perspectives and logic with ancient beliefs, and then makes the differences ambiguous. In 2011, she started researching the traces of Korean shamanism that can still be found in Seoul and interviewed 22 practitioners of village ceremonies. This resulted in I Confess My Faith, which was premiered at Festival Bo:m. In the second half of 2013, she took part in a nomadic residency in Mongolia and researched the relationship between Korean and Mongolian shamanism. This experience then led her to consider the relationship between Korean shamanism and traditional Korean dance and music. With The God of Earth Comes Up Imperfectly, which was staged at both Festival Bo:m and Festival/Tokyo, she presented the possibilities of wild new approaches in art and education triggered by her resonance with the shamanism that remains in traditional dance and music. Her research and creative development is based on her personal travels, multicultural experiences, meetings, and interviews. She is currently conducting postgraduate research related to the origins of ancient religions.
Currently based in Tokyo, Japan, Tomoko Momiyama works internationally as a composer, artist, and translator. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Music and Human Biology and further pursued her study in composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, the Netherlands, under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists. Tomoko questions the relationships between people and their environments through her interdisciplinary and site-specific projects—such as collective compositions involving people from various backgrounds; music walks with a whole rice-farming village or a city itself as the concert stages; ritual performances in dialogue with mountains, seas, winds, and trees; audience participatory audiovisual installations; and so on. By carefully listening to marginalized voices and collaborating with specialists from different disciplines, Tomoko weaves diverse narratives into music of a new community that imagines the world from non-human-centric paradigms. Recent commissions include Perforacije Festival (Croatia), Asia Composers League Festival (Philippines), Earth Art Project (India), Unyazi Electronic Music Festival (South Africa), INA-GRM (France), and Tambuco Percussion Ensemble (Mexico), among others. Tomoko is the director of “minori-majorite travel” art initiative, a board member of Japan Association of Composers for Sumo Hearing Arts, and a founding member of Art Translators Collective.
|Direction||Natsuko Tezuka, Venuri Perera, Yeong Ran Suh|
|Performance||Natsuko Tezuka, Venuri Perera, Yeong Ran Suh (video appearance), Tomoko Momiyama (Interpreter)|
|Stage manager||Masaya Natsume|
|Lighting||Yukiko Yoshimoto (Mahiru)|
|Production coordinator||Kimiko Terada (ROHM Theatre Kyoto), Asami Hori|
|Original commission||Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015|
|Supported by||The Saison Foundation|
|Produced by||Floating Bottle (Natsuko Tezuka, Venuri Perera, Yeong Ran Suh)|
|Co-produced by||Kyoto Experiment|
|Presented by||Kyoto Experiment|