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FY2021 Trial Project – Program for Dance of the Future: Call for Participants

To widely promote creativity around the art of dance, this trial program will create an environment that enables participants to closely reexamine their own activities and carry out more vigorous projects. With the two foundations of lectures and laboratory experience, we will aim for a deeper grasp of approaches to future dance arts in terms of both thought and practice. The program is meant for people involved in various aspects of dance, regardless of the field in which they work.

Course A: Lecture

With invited instructors from various artistic fields, the course will explore possibilities in dance from multiple angles, through cross-genre lectures offering new perspectives on dance arts, presentations on past examples of unique creativity in dance works, and more.

Number of applicants accepted
About 20

People with at least three years of experience in arts/culture-related activities regardless of art genre, including choreographers, dancers, performers, directors, actors, visual artists, musicians, video creators, dramaturges, producers, researchers, and critics.

Project period
December 2021 – January 2022 (total of 7 sessions / weekdays, 19:00 to 21:30; projected duration, 2.5 hours including question and answer period)

Arts Council Tokyo (Kudan First Place 8F, 4-1-28 Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
*May be changed to online viewing, depending on the COVID-19 situation.

■No. 1 – “Dance and Animals” Friday, December 3, 2021
[Comment by instructor]
For example, our ears perk up when we hear the cawing of a crow. We’re enthralled by the movements of its head and neck. When we’re captivated by animals’ movements and cries, what is actually happening? Why are we moved by the forms and sounds of other species, even though they are not directed towards humans? How should dance engage with these things? We will consider these questions using specific examples while expanding the location and definition of dance.
Instructor: Kei Hirakura (art studies researcher)

■No. 2 – “Kudanshita Dance Classroom – Reconsidering Groove” Monday, December 13, 2021
[Comment by instructor]
Anyway, it’s all about “groove,” right? That’s what I always end up thinking. The “essential element” that makes it dance (whether it’s ballet or street dance or contemporary dance) is groove. That’s what I’m thinking in the pandemic year 2021 when I’m watching BTS or TXT. So in this class I’d like to reconsider nothing but groove while watching various types of dance with all of you.
Instructor: Keisuke Sakurai (musician, dance critic)

Guest: Yuya Tsukahara (artist / contact Gonzo)

■No. 3 – “Reality melts away in practice and becomes a work of art. I call this ‘extraction’” Friday, December 17, 2021
[Comment by instructor]
A performing arts production is not created by one person alone. It’s completed through interaction with various “others” including performers, staff, theater people, producers and audience members. Bearing this “responsibility” comes with risk. You need to be prepared. It’s the same for the people you’re working with. In this class I’d like to talk about the creation process of “akakilike,” with Atsushi Sasaki’s perspective as a key to the discussion.
Instructor: Midori Kurata (director)

Guest: Atsushi Sasaki (thinker, writer)

■No. 4 – “The Feeling of Being at the Tip of the World” Friday, January 7, 2022
[Comment by instructor]
While introducing mainly my own creations, I will talk about my endeavors up to the present, including my reasons for starting performance activities while a student in the crafts department of an art university, my first encounter with [artist collective] Dumb Type, differences between art exhibitions and theaters, and collaboration.
Instructor: Tadasu Takamine (artist, director)

■No. 5 – “A Reply to Butoh” Friday, January 14, 2022
[Comment by instructor]
The specter of Butoh is prowling the streets. A kind of “Butoh” revealed by an image blending the real and the artificial. An avatar of [the late Butoh dancer] Tatsumi Hijikata that is still dancing in virtual reality—why is it ugly?
Female students say the image of [the late Butoh dancer] Kazuo Ono dancing in a kineograph (flip book) is “cute.” What are the questions that have been posed by Butoh for over half a century? After Butoh, what should in fact come next?
Instructor: Kazuko Kuniyoshi (dance researcher and critic)
photo: Hiroshi Nakamura
Guest: Takao Kawaguchi (dancer, performer)

■No. 6 – “What is thought that does not depend on language?” Thursday, January 27, 2022
[Comment by instructor]
As beings with physical bodies, humans do not think with language alone. This is something that many creators and critics don’t understand. That’s why, in the face of art, music, and dance, they say things like “Please explain.” Everything is explained by the expression that they’re seeing and hearing at that very moment. What is thought that does not depend on language? As a “novelist who doesn’t believe in words,” I will communicate this in a way that is possible only in a face-to-face setting.
Instructor: Kazushi Hosaka (novelist)

■No. 7 – “Inquiries into ‘Yamamba’ of Classical Theater – on Female Performers and Gender” Monday, January 31, 2022
[Comment by instructor]
It’s believed that the “yamamba” (mountain witch) originated in the concept of the goddess Izanami as described in the “Kojiki” (Records of Ancient Matters), and came about through its transformation over the centuries. The image of the powerful woman has—because of that power—been a presence that is shunned and hated, and at the same time feared; and as such, it has influenced the circumstances of female performers over the history of Japanese classical theater. From the perspective of contemporary creators, we will consider the background and creation process that led to “shuffleyamamba,” a yamamba-themed work currently in production, as well as ways of thinking on the subject of gender.
Instructor: Yasuko Yokoshi (director, dancer, video creator)
photo: Miana JUN

Course B: Lecture & Laboratory Experience

– Participants will select either Yuya Tsukahara or Takao Kawaguchi as their mentor and divide into two groups for the course.
– Participants will each bring their own idea for a creative project, and carry out repeated trial performances and discussions facilitated by the group mentor.
– Rather than the pursuit of a work’s final form, the project will be an opportunity for repeated questioning of one’s own creative methods, emphasizing the process of attempting aggressive experimentation and discovery on a daily basis.
– Along with mentors and other participants, we will look for ways to deepen creative concepts and link them to output, from a perspective informed by objectivity and critical thinking.
– On the final day there will be an opportunity for participants to present their laboratory projects to people active in the dance world (including dance supervisors and creators for theaters, foundations, etc.).
– The Lecture program will be the same as in Course A.

Number of applicants accepted
6 groups (individuals or groups of 10 or less)

People who have been involved in at least three publicly presented arts/culture-related activities regardless of the art field, including choreographers, dancers, performers directors, actors, visual artists, musicians, video creators, dramaturges, etc.

Project period
Lecture: December 2021 – January 2022 (the same as Course A)
Laboratory: January – February 2022 (for a ten-day period; participation on all days is required)

[Group I]
Mentor: Yuya Tsukahara
Monday, January 17, 2022, 16:00-21:30 Participants will present the creative project ideas they bring to the class. (Groups I and II will both attend.)
Time on all dates: 18:00-21:30
Tuesday, January 18 / Wednesday, January 19
Tuesday, February 1 / Wednesday, February 2 / Thursday, February 3
Wednesday (holiday), February 23 / Thursday, February 24
Presentation for people active in the world of dance (including dance supervisors and creators for theaters, foundations, etc.) and talk [Groups I and II will both attend.]
Friday, February 25, 17:00 / Saturday, February 26, 15:00 *Starting times are subject to change.

[Group II]
Mentor: Takao Kawaguchi
Monday, January 17, 2022, 16:00-21:30 Participants will present the creative project ideas they bring to the class. (Groups I and II will both attend.)
Time on all dates: 18:00-21:30
Thursday, January 20 / Friday, January 21
Thursday, February 3 / Friday, February 4 / Saturday, February 5
Tuesday, February 22 / Thursday, February 24
Presentation for people active in the world of dance (including dance supervisors and creators for theaters, foundations, etc.) and talk [Groups I and II will both attend.]
Friday, February 25, 17:00 / Saturday, February 26, 15:00 *Starting times are subject to change.

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre rehearsal room (Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-8-1, Toshima-ku, Tokyo)

Group I
mentor: Yuya Tsukahara (artist, member of contact Gonzo)
photo: Lieko Shiga
In any case, I hope to work cooperatively with people who distrust all existing assumptions, and with those who enjoy them. This is surprisingly difficult. I’d like to try out and discuss possibilities for implementing all sorts of ideas. What is art, and what is dance? Don’t leave the decisions to others; create your own future. I’ll do everything I can to help.
Group II
mentor: Takao Kawaguchi (dancer, performer)
photo: Hiroki Obara
I always wonder, how do people conceive and create works of art? Going down a trackless path and feeling one’s way in the dark—sometimes there are unexpected finds, but solutions don’t just appear from beyond. Long ago, when I’d just started in dance and was creating a work where I simply made circles with my knees, shoulders and nose, William Forsythe came to Japan for the first time and I went to see his workshop “Points become lines become planes become three-dimensional bodies.” I couldn’t help but run over to him, shake his hand and say, “I’ve been thinking about the same things in my work.” For the past ten years I’ve been watching videos of the dances of Kazuo Ono, who is called “the soul dance,” and attempting to copy them exactly. In the end, what and where is originality? I desperately want to know the ways in which you are all attempting to create “dance of the future.”

[Rehearsal rooms provided for creation]
In order for participants to bring their creative ideas into the laboratory, rehearsal rooms at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre will be provided on the above laboratory dates—from Monday February 7 to Saturday February 12, and from Tuesday February 15 to Monday February 21—as spaces where each group can work on their creation. Though the time period is limited, we would like to provide an environment where participants can concentrate on creation from morning until night. We hope you will make full use of this opportunity to use practice venues.

To apply for use of a rehearsal room, please fill in the requested date and time on the Excel request form.

*The requested time may be unavailable in some cases, as the schedule will be arranged on the basis of all groups’ requests.
*For information on each rehearsal room (size, etc.), please see the following.

Class fee, other conditions, etc.

Class fee

Other information
No monetary compensation will be provided for participation and creative activities in the project, expenses related to creative activities, transportation expenses, etc.

*Lecture and laboratory content is subject to change.

Criteria for participation

Participants must meet all the following criteria.

  1. Understanding of the program’s aims and the intention to carry them out actively and independently.
  2. The intention to communicate in a positive way with other participants and to develop one’s own creative activity.
  3. A wish to carry out long-term activities in the future that are oriented towards the advancement and innovation of dance as an art form.
  4. In principle, the ability to attend on all days. *If attendance every day is not possible due to unavoidable circumstances, please indicate on the application the date/time of and reason for absence.
  5. Ability to cooperate in the filming of an interview and production of a report for archive creation after the program concludes, and consent to the video and report being made available to the public on the Arts Council Tokyo website, etc.
  6. In case lecture is held online due to COVID-19, the ability to take the lecture through an online communication setting including a PC equipped with webcam/microphone, Wi-Fi, etc.

Application information

Application documents
Please fill in the required information on the application form for each course.
Course A: Lecture [Application form (Word)]
Course B: Lecture and laboratory [Application form (Word)]
*If you would like to participate only in Course A (Lecture) in the event that you are not selected as a participant in Course B, please apply separately for Course A as well. (Applying for both courses is permitted.)
*Personal information received in the application process will be used by Arts Council Tokyo only as required for selection screening and implementation of the program, based on the privacy policy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture. Thank you for your understanding.
*Please note that information provided on the application form may be shared with the lecture instructor and mentor. (This applies only to materials of those selected as participants in the program).

How to apply
Please apply to the following e-mail address and write “Application: Program for Dance of the Future” in the subject line. mirainoodori@alfalfalfa.net

Application period
Wednesday, September 1 – Friday, October 1, 2021, 17:00

Selection process

Selection process and method
Document screening by the selection committee established by Arts Council Tokyo

Notification and announcement of selection results
Notification of selection results will be sent by e-mail to the application representative (whether or not the application was accepted) by around Thursday, October 14. Please note that we will not respond to inquiries by phone etc. regarding selection results. Additionally, the list of participants will be posted on Arts Council Tokyo’s program description page. Thank you in advance for your understanding.


Program for Dance of the Future Administrative Office (NPO alfalfa)
Tel: 080-4670-4520 (weekdays, 10:00-18:00)
E-mail: mirainoodori@alfalfalfa.net


Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre



Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)



  • 2021年度 トライアル事業 未来の踊りのためのプログラム|FY2021 Trial Project - Program for Dance of the Future