People in the Dunes (physical theatre work)

People in the Dunes is a work of physical theatre for movements, sound and their interactions. (See more details below.)

[Creators and Performers]
Choreograph: Bettina Hoffmann
Sound: Haruka Hirayama
Movements: Mitsuko Aoki (Butoh), Haruhiko Itoh (Butoh), Keke (Contemporary), Asako Kurematsu (Contemporary), Nana Suzuki (Contemporary) etc.

[Performance Dates]
7 July, 2018
Tamagawa Music Day Festival (admission free)
107 UCH, Tamagawa University, Tokyo

17 July, 2018
A Special Performance (admission free)
6-113, Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo

3 August, 2018
A combined performance with Atelier Beni (admission fee is uncertain)
Terpsichore theatre, Nakano, Tokyo

[About the Programme]
People in the Dunes is a work of physical theatre for movements, sound and their interactions.

People in the Dunes is just a title for the performances. It relates to a novel by Kobo Abe, The Woman in the Dunes (a film was also made in 1964) which conveys the feelings of a man that feels trapped in his live, his circumstances that he did not choose, that he cannot get away from but in the end finds himself in a place where he can live his live. This could be an interesting metaphor for our society, and an interesting development of the man away from job, position, prestige, and being adapted to society’s norms towards a live that is simple and that allows him to look at the basic elements of live to find pleasure and meaning in them, he finds freedom.

A “theme” here is notions of imbalance and balance, the exploration of disparate movements in an antagonistic environment with sound. The theme can be interpreted in many different ways, and this work consists of four key elements:

1)  Movements (Butoh, Contemporary, Break dance etc.)
Contrasting dance styles and qualities, (e.g. Butoh, inwards force and sustained movements, versus contemporary dance forms, outwards force, fast movements and sudden changes etc.) will be stimulating to address notions of balance/imbalance and will lead to versatile results.

2) “Office” as a Scene
The functional, efficient, bureaucratic, non-empathetic is opposed to the artistic, expressive dance. In this physical theatre, seemingly disparate movements are placed in an antagonistic environment and atmosphere of an office. Dancers who do unexpected, destabilizing movements in an office environment make their own humanness, vulnerability and individuality appear, in a system, that rather uniforms people to function, like soulless robots or machines. Common arid and extemporised sound such as machine, chairs-creaking, typing sound as well as speaking voices can be drifting there, and their rhythms or patterns may create a peculiar atmosphere, telling characteristics of an imaginary office. 

3) Sound
We would be using the evocative and sensual nature of sound to emphasis the immediacy of movement and its physical presence. Movements can generate various sounds, and if once they are separated from bodies or objects, they can drift like souls, surrounding a space with characterising it, and sometimes they could even have a conducting force toward bodies. Having for examples spoken words, we would comment on the physically individual and the dissemination of personal and identifiable data, while in the end, make the individual disappears in the noise, fulfilling multiple functions in a space defined as an office.

4) Motion Capture
The immediacy of movement, the presence and relations of the dancers and the space nature would be emphasised by the fact that they influence the sounds. Motion can be captured with a video camera and/or sensors in space and on the body. The intention is that sound-play-back or sound alterations should be initiated by the performers to follow and respect their movements (not the other way around), leaving space for improvisation.  

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