Evoking the spirit of physical discovery and sensory connections to the “others” around us, two elements that have woven Seki’s projects together over the years, this new production conveys its power by bringing performers and audiences together in a shared space. As both sides spend time in each other’s presence, the program embarks on an unending journey into the nuances of visual information (the forms of the dancers’ bodies, subtle changes in physical position, and the delicate transitions in the shadows and colors filling the space), aural content, smells, and the full array of sensory input.
The title of the production, “Utu ri,” has roots in the Heian-era word utsuru (signifying the passage of time, fading colors, falling blossoms, possession by spirits, and manifestation, among other meanings) and utsu (a word, denoting “reality” and “emptiness,” which some believe to be the origin of the modern-day utsura utsura—the word for “dozing.”).
Things in the here and now, things from the past, things that can’t be seen as ghosts, things that escape our memory—in exploring the contours of the temporal realm, the program aims to create a time to experience, not just a place to inhabit.
Choreography and Direction: Kaori Seki
Interpreters: Shiki Kitamura, Yu Goto, Masashi Koyama, Shun Shimizu, Kiyotaka Suzuki, Kozue Takamiya, Yui Yabuki, Kano Yamada, Kei Yoshida, Kaori Seki
Assistant Choreographer: Yu Goto, Yui Yabuki
Rehearsal Assistant: Miharu Goto
Stage Manager: Chikage Yuyama, Yoshiko Haraguchi
Lighting Designer: Masayoshi Takada (RYU)
Sound Designer: Yuji Tsutsumida
Costumes: Kaori Tamura (HAReGI)
Perfume Designer: Toshifumi Yoshitake (Perfume Design Laboratory)
Publicity Design: Atsuki Kikuchi
Produce & Production Management: Dantai Seki Kaori, Dance in Deed!
International Contact: Yoko Kawasaki
Creation Support: Seataga Public Theatre
Presented by Dantai Seki Kaori
Co-presented by Setagaya Arts Foundation, Setagaya Public Theatre
Under the Auspice of Setagaya City
Supported by Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture); Japan Arts Council; The Saison Foundation
Kaori Seki began studying classical ballet at the age of five. She started dancing in modern and contemporary dance field from the age of eighteen. At the same age, she started creating her own choreographic works. Since 2003 her works have been showed in public and in 2013 Seki established her company KAORI SEKI Co. PUNCTUMUN. In her creation process, she explores the physical senses of human being, animals and plants and has created pieces evoking sensory stimulus of the audience using smells and fragrances. Seki was the winner of “the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer” at Yokohama Dance Collection EX2012 for “Hetero”, co-choreographed with Teita Iwabuchi, and received ”Next Generation Choreographer Award” grand prix at the Toyota Choreography Award 2012, ELSUR FOUNDATION Award for Young artists (Contemporary Dance Department) 2013 and Japan Dance Forum Award 2016 as well and a Junior Fellow 2014-2017 of The Saison Foundation. As a dancer, she has taken part in works by Ko Murobushi.
＊ PUNCTUMUN is a portmanteau coined by Seki, made up of words “punctum,” meaning a small point, a spot, or a puncture in Latin, and “un,” meaning one in French. It denotes that one is in fact a collection of countless small points.
Dantai Seki Kaori
Theatre Tram（Setagaya City, Tokyo）