In 2015, choreographer Damien Jalet held a residency at Villa Kujoyama, a Franco-Japanese multidisciplinary artistic creation space in Kyoto for emerging artists working on projects related to Japan. Located high above the city, the centre was where Jalet met the sculptor Kohei Nawa, a creator and set designer who explores the relationship between the natural and artificial worlds. Sculpture and choreography come together in a performance that deals with the contradictions of the human body, torn between decay and regeneration, solid and liquid states, anatomy and mythology... Seven performers dance to a composition by electro-acoustic artist Marihiko Hara and pieces by Ryūichi Sakamoto. Playing with the dancers’ anatomical characteristics, Vessel’s choreography develops its own mythology, partly inspired by the Kojiki, the oldest Japanese mythological book evoking the creation of the world, and expresses the conflict between body and spirit through a very unique dance. Kohei Nawa’s sculptures and installations explore techniques and materials to offer us an organic vision of the world. Solids, liquids and gases make up the scenography of a show in which it is difficult to distinguish whether you are watching a male or female performer, such is their ability to hide their faces. In fact, the protagonists are anonymous beings who have no known gender and who may even suggest non-human creatures. A truly sculptural dance that blurs all lines between artistic genres.
This is the first show presented at the Grec Festival in Barcelona by the dancer Damien Jalet, whose creations often connect dance with other artistic genres, from visual arts and fashion to theatre, music and, as in this case, sculpture.
A Sandwich Inc and Théâtre National de Bretagne production.
Co-produced by Arario Gallery; Grand Marble Co, Ltd; Warehouse Terrada; Amuse Inc; Culture Convenience Club Co, Ltd.
With the support of Caisse des Dépôts and the Performing Arts Japan Programme for Europe.
Created at Villa Kujoyama / French Institute of Japan, Kyoto, in 2015.
Choreography: Damien Jalet. Set design: Kohei Nawa. Music composed by: Marihiko Hara, Ryūichi Sakamoto. Performed by: Aimilios Arapoglou, Nobuyoshi Asai, Ruri Mito, Jun Morii, Mirai Moriyama, Astrid Sweeney, Naoko Tozawa. Lighting Design: Yukiko Yoshimoto. Stage director: David Thébaut. Stage manager: Laurent Lebarbé. Sound: Cédric Alaïs. Lighting: Ronan Cabon, Sylvain Brossard.