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An exciting collaboration in progress! An interview with Yasuyuki Endo

刺激的コラボレーション、絶賛進行中! 遠藤康行さんインタビュー

Composer and pianist Kei Ichiyanagi is the general artistic director of the Kanagawa Arts Foundation. Akira Shirai is the artistic director of KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre, director and actor. This is the Kanagawa Arts Foundation Artistic Directors Project, in which two artistic directors who are active at the forefront of their respective fields jointly pursue new artistic expressions in three halls operated by the foundation. This time, for the third time, a dance performance will be held in the large hall of Kanagawa Kenmin Hall.
With the start of 2019, concrete creation has finally begun in preparation for the actual production. The Magcal editorial department heard the information and rushed to the rehearsal hall. We asked Yasuyuki Endo, who is in charge of the choreography, about the origins of the project and the highlights of the stage performance!

What was the origin of this project?

It all started when Akira Shirai asked me if I would like to meet him as he was looking for a dance artist. When we met and talked in person, I realized that Mr. Shirai has deep knowledge about dance and that he likes the same artists as me, so we hit it off right away. Kanagawa Kenmin Hall has a good relationship with the Yokohama Ballet Festival, where I am the artistic director, so the idea for this collaboration came together smoothly.
I've already had many meetings with Kei Ichiyanagi and Shirai, and we talk a lot about everything from song selection to composition.
We held a large-scale audition in November last year.

A wide variety of dancers gathered from a variety of genres, including classical and modern, as well as hip-hop, rhythmic gymnastics, and those with experience in cheerleading. I thought the Japanese dance scene was of a high standard, but I realized that the range is expanding. I really enjoyed meeting all the different characters.

Please tell us about the theme of this stage play “Memory of Zero”.

As the title says, the theme is "Memory." It will be made up of two parts, and Shirai will write a new script based on Paul Auster's novel ``In the Land of the Last Things'', so the second part was decided first. The story is about a world where everything is on the verge of destruction, approaching zero, a space that resembles ruins, and what remains in the end is ``memory.''
I delved into the images derived from this, and titled the first part ``Memories of the Body.'' Where will the dance and other forms of art that we're doing now go from here? Ichiyanagi-san, Shirai-san, and the dancers are currently searching for the answer.
We started working in the studio in earnest in January, so right now we're all in the midst of a chemical reaction. I have also gained a wide range of experience in classical and contemporary music, but I want to extract various things from that and create something new, how to develop it, and where to go. We are currently at the stage of considering such considerations. No one knows where it will end up (lol).
How is the atmosphere in the rehearsal room?

So many different dancers came together. Each one of them is unique and their dancing level is high, so it's very fulfilling to create movements together. We're so inspired by each other that we end up creating too much (lol). I made more and more, and then it developed further, and then I suddenly thought, ``Well, what should I have done in the end?'' and went back to the beginning. That kind of work is the most fun.

I've heard that the stage and audience seats will be "special" this time...

The performance will be stage-on-stage, with special seats set up on the stage. Is it an image of using the entire Prefectural Hall as a stage set? Because the dancers, performers, and audience members are all on stage together, the distance between the dancers and the audience is close, creating a very intense atmosphere.

This is a configuration unique to Mr. Endo, who knows Kenmin Hall very well.

That may be the case. I've been on stage at Kenmin Hall many times since I was young, and I've also performed at the Yokohama Ballet Festival since 2015, so I'm very familiar with the hall.
Ballet festivals are also a place for people from all walks of life, from young people to dancers who are active around the world, to gather and interact. When people meet, even if it doesn't happen right now, something huge will be born someday...I think the Kenmin Hall is a place like that.

What are the highlights of “Memory of Zero”?

I think it will be a very rewarding work. It's still a work in progress, but there's no doubt about it.
Mr. Ichiyanagi's music, Mr. Shirai's composition, Mimosa Koike and other dancers of various styles gathered through auditions, and the stage structure of Kenmin Hall. By colliding various elements together, a tremendous amount of energy is about to be born. I think it will be a rich and exciting work, so please come and see it!

>>>>>A glimpse of the rehearsal hall!

Kei Ichiyanagi x Akira Shirai Kanagawa Arts Foundation Artistic Director Project
"Memory of Zero"

[Date and time] March 9th (Saturday) 18:00 start (doors open at 17:30) / March 10th (Sunday) 15:00 start (doors open at 14:30)
[Venue] Kanagawa Kenmin Hall Large Hall
[Appearance]
Piano/Kei Ichiyanagi
Composition/Direction/Akira Shirai
Choreography/Yasuyuki Endo
Conductor/Yasuaki Itakura
Performance/Tokyo Sinfonietta
Dance/Mimosa Koike Kahori Torii Naoki Takagishi Fumika Hikima Yasuyuki Endo
Rui Kajita Nonane Kinouchi Mayuko Goto Alice Kodama Akika Sato
Ayami Suzuki Haruka Suzuki Hinako Taira Maria Airi Yonemochi
Naohiro Ueda Takeshi Ohashi Kazuyoshi Kakeba Mizuki Gunji Kouta Nagaya
Kotaro Mizushima Yuya Yoshizaki
[Contents] Part 1: “Memory of the Body” / Part 2: “In the Land of Last Things” (written by Paul Auster, translated by Motoyuki Shibata)
[Track list]
Kei Ichiyanagi: Symphony No. 8 Revelation 2011 / Recurrence / Resonant Space / Time Sequence and others
[After Talk]
After-talks will be held on both days.
3.9 (Sat) Cast: Kei Ichiyanagi, Akira Shirai, Yasuaki Itakura
3.10 (Sun) Cast: Kei Ichiyanagi, Akira Shirai, Yasuyuki Endo, Mimosa Koike
[Fee] All seats free (numbered/special seats) General ¥6,500, Students (under 24 years old/Limited number of seats) ¥3,000
*Special seats on the stage will be used for this performance. On the day of the event, please enter in numerical order. Details will be announced on our homepage, etc.
*Preschool children are not allowed to enter. (Childcare services available for a fee, advance reservations required)

***********************************

The giveaway application period has now ended. Thank you to everyone who applied.
[Application Summary]
Follow and retweet the Magcal.net official Twitter account " @MAGCUL " to receive 1 ticket to "Memory of Zero" to be held at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall on Saturday, March 9th (starting at 18:00). A gift will be given to 2 people in each group.

【Application method】
1. Follow the official Magcul.net Twitter account " @MAGCUL ".
2. From the official Twitter account, please retweet the ticket giveaway application post with "#Memoze0309" that will be posted during the application period below. The application above is complete.

[Application deadline] Until 24:00 on Friday, February 22nd
*Retweets made within the above period are eligible to apply.

[Lottery and Winner Announcement]
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On the day of the event (Saturday, March 9th), please tell the applicant's name and the fact that you have won the Magcal.net giveaway at the reception desk at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall venue. The staff will give you a ticket.
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[Application qualifications/conditions]
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