People meet and people create works. 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 here by Shin Sato, who hosts the Wakabacho Wharf. They came to attend a 20-day workshop with Sato invited director Liu Xiaoyi from Singapore. How do they communicate with each other and have different cultural backgrounds and communicate together to create a single work? The creative process, intercultural exchange, can be said to be the biggest theme of the workshop.
Sato: "I've been with Liu since I worked together in Nanjing seven years ago, so I wasn't worried about Singapore, but it was my first attempt to recruit participants in China. I was surprised to see that the response was unpredictable, so I decided to start early, and when I posted it on SNS last December, there were so many applications 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 1960s. With the rise of privately owned theaters, the term "independent theater performer", who does not belong to state-run theaters, was born, and excellent works have been released one after another.
Liu: Wakaba-cho Wharf is not just a theater, but an interest in cultural exchange. I was attracted. I have worked with Sato many times, but this time it is a bit different. Many people come from various cities and work together to create works. It's really a cultural exchange. The environment isn't ready yet, but I'd like to do it someday in my country, Singapore. ''
Workshops are a means of solving problems. The theme to be solved this time is how members who do not communicate with each other work together to create a work. The languages used are Japanese, English and Chinese. Of course, there are volunteer interpreters, but you cannot rely entirely on communication in individual practice rooms. Participants will pursue mutual understanding through all means, such as 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 while talking about international exchange tend to be the center. At the starting point, words are needed to convey the concept However, once you actually start to create a work, there is almost no need for words, but in the first case, the fact that Japanese people fought for one hour in a heated discussion may not be truly understandable. That's why I can convey the most important issues deeply. ''
During the 20th, there were tours of Koenji Temple in Tokyo and KAAT (Kanagawa Arts Theater) in Yokohama, as well as workshops for theater and dance instructors. In a workshop inviting Noh actor Kanji Shimizu, he was inspired by Shimizu's improvisational dance, and all participants experienced sharing a special space.
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Liu: At first there were clashes, but I think it wasn't just a matter of language incompatibility, but it was also related to the theatrical language incompatibility. We might have met through theater You may have met through art, but there is always a process called "translation" in the process.
I think Mr. Sato is in trial and error, but I think that is not just a matter of language. Cultural exchanges and performance exchanges are also needed, so each time you need an interpreter in various ways. And that's the most interesting for me. ''
Sato: "It was hard work, but the whole process was interesting since the workshop started. It was a great learning place for me as well as the participants."
Translated from "teaching" in Japanese into Chinese, "education". When translated again, "teach" and "learn" and "teach" and "learn" seem to coexist. It seems that teaching is also learning.
While teaching to young people, incorporate the reaction into yourself and continue to learn by developing it further. Liu is attracted to Sato just because she can see that attitude.
Ryu: "Cultural exchange takes a certain amount of time. It is difficult and challenging to continue in the same environment, but I want to continue for a while.You. In addition, a network may be established among the young people who participated, and new things may begin to move. There's only training here, so I'm starting to want to do something more fun (laughs) "
And the performance as a comprehensive summary, "No Boat in sight-". The production is only twice, on September 15 (Sat) and 16 (Sun). The small studio at Wakabacho Wharf was full of enthusiasm for packed customers on both days. The 18 young people tried to convey the whereabouts of "flowers / rubble at the bottom of the river" to the audience in their own way, with texts in three languages projected on the wall in the background. They sail from their open doors to their respective worlds.
What they hummed at the curtain call were songs that spontaneously emerged during the 20 days of bed and breakfast. Japanese, English, Chinese, and Tamil. Overcoming the annoyance of the language, using gestures and smartphone apps to talk about environmental issues and the global situation, the time has come to an end.
Sato: "I don't know what it means to do what you're doing right now, in the middle of the process. It's everywhere that you get along the moment you meet, but we're a step ahead There's an incomprehensible pain in the process, a two-week communal lifeIt's a lot of stress, but this time their motivation was so high that I was able to resolve all kinds of stress independently. ''
Liu: "How do you solve the problem at hand in an environment where you can't communicate? Writing on paper, making gestures, and living together seemed like a beautiful stage."
Sato: "This workshop will continue after next year, and at the same time, we will launch a follow-up project aiming to create future works. We need to collect the contents as soon as possible and start recruiting. China only with this recruitment Because we have dozens of young people waiting. ''
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