Outline of the project
This project involves dancer/choreographer Hiroaki Umeda and young Japanese dancers working together to explore and experiment with their own respective physicality, developed according to Umeda’s movement method, “Kinetic Force Method.”
The project’s aim is to explore and practice new methods for nurturing the next generation of dancers and conducting creative activities. In cooperation primarily with Tokyo University of the Arts and dance organizations in France and Singapore, the project focuses on collaborations with other genres and overseas artists. In addition to performances in metropolitan Tokyo, Umeda has his sights set on the overseas market, working to develop his creative activities on an international scale.
Year 1 project outline
(1)Performances in Taiwan
Somatic Field Project’s first overseas performance presenting a new work at a festival which took place at the National Taichung Theater in Taichung City, Taiwan.
Date: April 14-15, 2018
Venue: National Taichung Theater (Taichung, Taipei).
(2)Kinetic Force Method research, workshops
Classes aimed at basic improvement to the Kinetic Force Method and research on movement, plus workshops in different genres (hip-hop dance, breakdancing, contemporary dance) designed to increase dancers’ vocabulary of movement.
Duration: 22 days
Venue: Dance studios in Tokyo and the suburbs
Year 2 project outline
Performances of new works presenting the fruits of the dancers’ training. As well as works by 9 dancers from Somatic Field Project with diverse professional backgrounds who were trained in the Kinetic Force Method, 3 guest street dancers were invited to produce and present works using the choreography method.
A performance making use of both movement and choreography methods developed under the Somatic Field Project, this was the first step towards utilizing the methods across dance genres.
Date: June 15-16, 2019
Year 3 project outline
Contemporary dance artists and street dancers from Taiwan and Japan created choreography using the Kinetic Force Method and choreography system in a collaborative work with the National Taichung Theater in Taichung City, Taiwan. Somatic Field Project’s aim was to create movement methods and choreography systems across dance genres and cultures, and the work embodied this aim. The coronavirus pandemic meant online creative work was incorporated into the process.
Date: March 20-21, 2021
(2)Showing of the work
A small-scale showing of the work was given featuring young dancers trained in the Kinetic Force Method. For the purpose of holding a performance focusing on movement, the event was switched to an online performance due to the state of emergency being declared, and other factors.
Date: June 25, 2021
Together with the Kinetic Force Method, workshops were held on different genres (capoeira, street dance, African dance). In order for dancers to be able to integrate movement in a variety of styles, workshops included dance styles from genres other than contemporary dance so that participants could experience different dance and movement. Posture classes were also offered for dancers whose style is not based on the Kinetic Force Method.
Date: February 16-23, 2022
(4)Showing of the work 2
Following on from the previous showing, a performance was streamed online. Streaming the performance will establish a working method that doesn’t rely on a theater setting and will create a foundation enabling performances to be held in an adaptable and speedy way going forward.
Date: November 14, 2021
A performance was given which concentrated on movement. Performers comprised Somatic Field Project dancers, dancers selected from workshops held in February which also functioned as auditions, and guest performers. Collaborating with the Movers Platform event which focuses solely on the fun of movement rather than a specific dance style or work resulted in a performance that focused on the appeal of diverse bodies and movements, including those of dancers trained in the Kinetic Force Method.
Date: March 12, 2022
Since 2002, Hiroaki Umeda’s choreography has been invited around the world including Chaillot National Theater in Paris, with performances in over 150 cities in 40 countries. His work goes beyond dance and choreography, encompassing sound, video and lighting design, earning him Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica. In recent years, he has also produced installations focusing on physical sensation. His full-dome dance-based video installation won an award at the Fulldome Festival and has since been shown at festivals around the world.