People meet and work is born. Wharf workshop
August 29, 2018. 18 young people from China, Singapore and Japan gathered in a small building in Wakaba-cho, Yokohama. The call was made by Shin Sato, who hosts the “Wakaba Town Wharf”. They came to join the 20-day workshop with Liu Xiaoy, a director invited by Sato from Singapore. How do they communicate and create a single piece of work if they don't speak each other and have different cultural backgrounds? The creative process and cross-cultural exchange can be said to be the biggest theme of the workshop.
Sato: I've been working with Nanjing 7 years ago in Nanjing, so I had no worries about Singapore. But it was my first attempt to recruit participants in China. I couldn't predict the reaction, so I decided to start early, and when I posted it on SNS last December, I was surprised because many applications gathered in just three days. "
In recent years, the development of modern drama has been remarkable in China, and its momentum is reminiscent of Japan's 60s. With the emergence of privately-run theaters, the term “independent theater” that does not belong to the state-run theater was born, and excellent works were announced one after another.
Liu: “Wakaba-cho Wharf is not just a theater but an interest in being a base for cultural exchange I was attracted. I have worked with Mr. Sato many times, but this time is a little different. Various people come from various cities and make works while living together. This is a cross-cultural exchange. I don't have the environment right now, but someday I would like to do it in my country, Singapore. ''
A workshop is a means of solving problems. The theme to be solved this time is how members who do not speak each other cooperate to create a work. Languages used are Japanese, English, and Chinese. Of course, interpreter volunteers will be provided, but you cannot rely entirely on communication at individual training sites. Participants will make every effort to understand each other, including smartphone translation software and gestures.
Sato: The important thing is that each person can speak out in their native language. Otherwise, people who speak English despite international exchange tend to be the center. At the starting point, words are also needed to convey the concept However, when you actually start making a work, there is almost no need for words.In the first place, there may be cases where Japanese people have been fought for an hour, and they cannot really understand each other. I think that is why we can communicate the most important issues deeply. "
During the 20th, there were workshops in Tokyo, Koenji and Yokohama's KAAT (Kanagawa Arts Theater), and invited theater and dance instructors. At the workshop that invited Koji Shimizu, a Noh performer, she was inspired by Mr. Shimizu's improvisational dance and experienced sharing a special space with all participants.
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Liu: There was a clash at first. But I think it was related not only to the problem of not being able to understand the language, but also to the lack of theatrical language. We may have met through theater. You may have met through art, but there is always a work of “translation” in the process.
I think Mr. Sato is in a trial and error situation, but I don't think it's just a language problem. Cultural exchanges and performance exchanges are also necessary, so interpreters in various ways are required each time. And that is the most interesting for me. ''
Sato: Although preparation was hard, the whole process was interesting since the workshop started. It is a great learning place for me as well as for the participants.
“Teaching” is the Japanese translation of “teaching” into Chinese. Retranslating this, it feels like words where “teach” and “learn”, “teaching” and “learning” coexist. It seems that teaching is also learning.
While teaching young people, incorporate the reaction into them and continue to learn by developing them. Liu is attracted to Sato because he can see the attitude.
Liu: “Cultural exchange requires a certain amount of time. It ’s difficult and difficult to continue in the same environment, but I ’d like to continue for a while.The In addition, a network may be established among the young people who participated, and new things may start to move. Since there is only training here, there may be a feeling that “I want to do something more fun” (laughs) ”
The performance as a comprehensive summary that was greeted was "No Boat in sight-". The performance will only be held twice on September 15 (Sat) and 16 (Sun). Wakaba Wharf's small studio was filled with the enthusiasm of full customers on both days. Eighteen young people who tried to convey the whereabouts of "flowers / or riverbed rubble" to the audience with their own expression against the background of texts in three languages projected on the wall. They sail to the world through the open doors.
In the curtain call, they kissed a song that was born spontaneously during the 20 days of eating and sleeping together. Japanese, English, Chinese, and Tamil. Overcoming the frustration of language, the time when we talked about environmental issues and the global situation using gestures and smartphone apps was the end.
Sato: I don't know what it means to be doing in the middle of the process. What happens when you meet is something that happens everywhere. But we are one step ahead. There is a pain that cannot be understood in the process.It's very stressful, but this time their motivation was so high that I was able to resolve various stresses on their own. ''
Liu: “How to solve the problem in front of you in a language- insensitive environment. Writing on paper, gesturing, and living together seemed like a beautiful stage.”
Sato: This workshop will continue from next year, and we will also launch a follow-up plan to create future works. We need to summarize the contents as soon as possible and start recruitment. Because I'm waiting for dozens of young people "
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