Nibroll “see / saw” Malaysia Tour
About the event
collaboration with local dancer to be staged in KL and Penang in February 2014
Nibroll is is performing in Malaysia for the very first time, and it will mark the first international presentation of “see/saw” to be staged outside of Japan. The show will be held together with the local dancers who will be auditioned to join in KL and Penang.
We start from where you imagine as you go down,
the scene you saw as you went up whilst sitting on the other end,
when the seesaw eventually tips over.
And when asked “Did you see?”, you say “I saw”
A piece created by Nibroll, reborn as a dance company in 2012, on the theme of “life and death.” Normal everyday life was interrupted by March 11th 2011, and the work with its sense of plunging down into despair shook many in the audience. A one month-long show was performed at the Yokohama Creative City Center involving 4 main dancers and 15 extras. Subsequently, another version developed through collaboration with the local community was presented at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale.
“exploding anger, sadness, emptiness” Tatsuro Ishii
I had always had an eye on Nibroll for their seeming ability to condense an accumulation of discontent down to “physical scenery” of youth. They rely not only on existing dance terminology, but their methodology where imagery, sound and dance integrates whilst still retaining their distinct appeal is both pop, yet desperate. Mikuni Yanaihara had been flexing her singular talent as a playwright of late, receiving the Kishida Award for Maemuki! Taimon, but is it just me that feels a big gap in the Japanese contemporary dance scene when she steps away even a little from the world of dance?
see/saw is a full-fledged dance piece that more than fills the void. Anger, sadness, and emptiness explodes at the current times and society. It’s clear that March 11th 2011 is at its base but the piece rejects attempts to provide a concrete definition, and instead appeals with its strong imagery. Life and death, memory and reality, what one sees now (see) and what one saw in the past (saw). Two sides of a coin which oscillate, just like a seesaw — Kamiike Takuya’s stage design which plays white against black as if dividing the 2 worlds is superb. The seesaw at center stage wrapped up in bandages symbolizes this piece, and at the same time, the audience.
Emi Oyama’s neutral presence in the beginning, quietly moving at the back of the stage, is captivating. Quickly 3 young girls join in their white costumes touched with crimson, and frolic happily. But this is an omen of the catastrophe that’s about to occur. In the blackout the balloons burst violently, the stage goes from white to black. The costumes of the pack who move with ferocious intensity turns black. The housing areas and oceans projected onto the background, is that the scenery that used to exist there? Half way through, the scene in which everyone shouts continues forever. As if they have lost all other means of self-expression except to shout.
Keisuke Takahashi’s visuals, which has played a central part in Nibroll, skillfully makes use of real, animated, and abstract imagery, and adds vibrancy to the work. Also, the sound by SKANK pulls the piece along, penetrating into the souls of the audience. The fact that Yanaihara, Takahashi, SKANK, and Kamiike share a single direction and yet are able to exert the full force of their individual creativity is delicious.
With the death of family and acquaintances, destruction of familiar scenery, and when everything falls apart in front of your eyes, what can a person do? How about artists? Where should they gaze at, and what should they express? Some stage performers adopted these themes already, but Yanaihara, she has flung fifteen years’ worth of experience of Nibroll into it, brushing aside lighthearted sympathy and sentimentality. Contemporary dance in Japan has evolved through different path from Western or other Asian nations. A prominent piece like this makes me believe that it could only have come about from there.
Penangpac / Tel +604 8991 722 / 2722
KLPac / Tel +603 4047 9000
The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 51100
22nd February 8:30 pm start
28th February 8.30pm start
1st March 8:30 pm start
2nd March 3:00pm start
- Mikuni Yanaihara
- Visual Director
- Keisuke Takahashi
- Sound Director
- Set Designer
- Takuya Kamiike
- Light Designer
- Kei Ito
- Costume Designer
- Takayuki Suzuki
- Emi Oyama, Akina Kinukawa, Ayako Yamashita, Maki Kurita
- Produciton Manager
- Masanori Okuno