What we do

TOUCH #1

  • Organization : Co. Ruri Mito
  • Section : Project on artistic and creative focus
  • Type of Grant Program : Long
  • Art Forms : Dance

Outline of the project

Under this project, Co. Ruri Mito, a dance company led by Ruri Mito, will develop the physical approach it has cultivated to date and the world vision of its works, conducting a sufficient amount of research and spending sufficient preparation time with the aim of creating works that are more comprehensive, and inviting diverse guests and artists from outside the company to build on the theme of “touch” through collaborative work. In this way, the company aims to present works that go beyond the framework of conventional dance works and shake up the sensibilities of the audience.
“Right now, I feel that within arts and culture in Japan, the field of dance in particular has stagnated. At one time there was a boom in contemporary dance which came from the West, and in recent years performances by actors have raised the profile of some contemporary dance, but I believe that art, the body, and contemporary dance are not confined to frameworks. By exposing people to things like the experiences and sensations of life, the sensory aspects that people are able to have contact with in everyday life, the emotional aspects, we aim to create works that can be felt or experienced rather than seen; and by leaving enough leeway for people to think rather than to be told, leeway that enriches people’s lives at a cellular level, and by placing importance on each person existing in a way that is true to themselves and on each person’s unique physicality, I believe it is possible to arrive at the particularity and individuality of the body. From body to body. From the performer’s body to the audience member’s body. What we feel with the body; how interesting our bodies are; the senses we possess: can the audience experience awareness of these? As individuals living in a group, how do we maintain a comfortable distance in our dealings with others? From how touching someone makes our very cells rejoice, from the fear of touching, from the inquisitiveness of wanting to get a hold on what is necessary and what isn’t – we are aiming at something that is impossible to experience alone. We want to share the sensations of cells and the body opening up. I’m convinced that sharing the sensation of our cells opening up will enrich people’s lives.”
Ruri Mito

First year
(1)Research (creation)
Details: through a series of online meetings and research between the creative members and artists involved in this project, the company gathered ideas and produced trial works for digging deep into and realizing the theme. On February 27, 2022, a presentation session (including performance) centering around Co. Ruri Mito dancers was held for participants in the project. Based on the results, the company is considering and preparing in terms of how to develop the theme of “touch” from the second year of the project onwards.
Date/time: October 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Venue: Public facilities in Setagaya-ku (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo)
Morishita Studio (Koto-ku, Tokyo)
Sumida Park Gallery Sasaya (Sumida-ku, Tokyo)

(2)Work-in-progress performance (TOUCH -#1)
Details: In this project Co. Ruri Mito, a dance company led by Ruri Mito, will continue with and develop the theme of “touch” over three years, with the aim of creating and disseminating works that combine dance performances and various experiential installations. The theme for the first year was “wind.” The troupe took an in-depth look at “touch” by focusing on the phenomenon of wind, which cannot be touched directly. Co.Ruri Mito brought in outside creative members for collaborative work, namely Mirai Moriyama (actor/dancer), Shintaro Oue (dancer), FUJIIIIIIIIIIITA (musician), Yu Takagi (curator), YANTOR (fashion brand), ULTRASTUDIO (architects), and Yann Becker (lighting designer). In 2022, when “touching” has become ambiguous, the troupe gave a total of five showings at Sumida Park Gallery Sasaya of the resulting six-hour experiential work which goes beyond the time axis of conventional dance performances.

Date/time: Friday, February 11 – Tuesday, February15, 2022
Venue: Sumida Park Gallery Sasaya (Sumida-ku, Tokyo)

Second year
(1)Research (creation)/presentation session(public rehearsals)
Details: In order to continue with and develop the theme of “touch” over three years, the theme for the second year is “time,” with activities revolving around research (creation) designed to expand on the theme. The troupe will hold auditions to recruit new members, and in the subsequent research (creation) period, it will consider candidates’ compatibility with company dancers and explore the possibility of new members joining the troupe. In addition, photographs and video taken during the research (creation) period will be actively utilized to shore up PR efforts. The troupe will strive to bolster its earnings capacity other than by admission fee revenue, such as producing and streaming video recordings of performances from the first year. To consolidate second-year activities, from April 2023 onwards the troupe will give presentation sessions (public rehearsals) at Morishita Studio (scheduled) for stakeholders.

Date/time: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
Venue: Morishita Studio (Koto-ku, Tokyo)

Third year
(1)Research (creation)
Details: Research (creation) activities to continue with and develop the theme of “touch” over three years.
Date/time: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024
Venue: Public facilities in Setagaya-ku (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo)
Morishita Studio (Koto-ku, Tokyo)

(2)Tokyo performances
Details: As a result of continuing with and developing the theme of “touch” over the three years, the troupe will give performances in Tokyo after March 2024.
Date/time: From March, 2024 (scheduled)
Venue: Theater Tram (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo)

Profile

Co. Ruri Mito
Co. Ruri Mito is a dance company led by internationally active dancer and choreographer Ruri Mito. Her work is always based on the philosophy of using the body as a starting point. Since her company’s beginnings in 2017, she has aimed to deeply explore the unique characteristics of each individual body, taking her time to create high-quality works.