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A 20-day challenge for 14 people from 5 countries to notice differences and learn about free expression. Wharf Workshop 2019

違いに気づき、自由な表現を知る、5カ国14人20日間の挑戦。波止場のワークショップ2019

July 2019. Fourteen performers gathered at Wakabacho Wharf, where director and playwright Makoto Sato serves as artistic director. Their hometowns are Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Singapore, Nanjing, Chongqing, Beijing, Hefei, Xi'an, Lijiang, Shanghai, and Tokyo. They came to participate in the ``Wharf Workshop,'' which was being held for the second time this year.
What are they looking for here? We spoke to Sato, who is leading the workshop, and the two participants (Cheng Wen and Wei).
SatoThe first thing I want to do with this workshop is to build a new network of young people. I'm looking for connections from person to person rather than broadly.
The other is to convey a free methodology for creative activities. I want to convey that it's okay to create more freely without being bound by preconceived ideas.
My theory is that humans are 99% the same. Although they may have different qualities, they shed tears of joy over the same things. This is why it is difficult for us to recognize the differences, and we tend to interpret what the other person says in our own way, and automatically think that we understand each other.
However, no matter how small, “differences” are extremely important. I hope that by meeting various people here, learning that there are many different types of theater, and experiencing different things than before, we will realize the ``differences'' within us. That's what I value most.

I met Mr. Hoso Sato at a workshop held in Beijing. This is the second time since last year that I have participated in the Wharf Workshop because I am very attracted to Mr. Sato's theatrical method of exchanging opinions with people who have different ideas and creating works while confirming each other's differences. is.
Last year, I brought back the methodology of ``expressing using the body'' that I learned here and passed it on to actors in my hometown (Beijing) to create something.

Mamoru attended Mr. Sato's workshop for the first time last year, and was exposed to the method of ``exploring differences'' for the first time. Although I already had my own creative methods, learning new methods was very useful for my creative activities after returning to Japan.
We are currently planning a theater festival in my hometown (Chongqing), and groups that will perform Mr. Sato's works will also participate, as well as people who will create new works based on what they learned at last year's workshop and enter them. There are some too. I hope that from Wakabacho Wharf, Mr. Sato's works and creative methods will spread throughout Asia.

What kind of area is Wakabacho Wharf located in?

It 's a very friendly place. Even though I came here for the first time in a year, I didn't feel a time gap at all. The city is so kind to us that it feels like coming back to a house with a big family. I would like to create a place in Beijing where young people can gather like here.

I think attempts to revitalize a city through the power of art, such as the Koganecho Bazaar near Mamoru , are more meaningful than building skyscrapers. Construction of buildings and commercial facilities may allow the city to develop quickly. In comparison, it takes a lot of time to promote culture and the arts, but I think we can leave something good for the next generation.

What kind of works will be created this year?

Sato : There is no doubt that it will be completely different from last year (lol).
The stage work that I think of is something that is ultimately completed in the audience who see it, so I want to leave some "blank space" in what I offer. I'm always thinking about how the audience can participate in the work.

Mamoru : Up until now, my creative activities have focused primarily on stories. The method of pulling the audience through the story is simple and easy to understand, but the audience is always passive. Here, it is necessary for the audience to think together, and there is no right answer to the conclusion that each person comes to. If you think the person is white, it's white, and if you think the person is black, black is fine. It's all up to the audience to think and decide for themselves.
By learning these methods, I was able to realize the ``inclusive power'' that theater has. I think it is very important for young artists to be able to express themselves freely by being different from others.

In recent years, I have been increasingly involved in theater as a director, but in this workshop I will create and perform my own works. Acting is a lot of fun, and that's exactly what Mr. Sato says, ``Theater is freedom.'' I realize that new methods and ideas are born from freedom.
The world needs new art. To do this, it is necessary to discover and excavate new things, and being free here is very meaningful.

The Sato performance is meant to reveal the final process of the workshop to the audience, so I hope they will be able to witness it and think about it freely together.


Then, in early August, the final performance was held. The title is ``The One Who Came.''
A white stage resembling a runway was set up in a small theater on the first floor of Wakabacho Wharf. In the background, along with the cityscape, text written by Sato is projected in three languages.

The 14 performers perform freely as they feel, and sometimes work together. In a tense space, someone says a passage of text aloud, and someone else traces it in another language. It's strange because even though it's not telling a story and some of the language doesn't make sense to me, I feel somehow relieved when I hear a voice uttered.
What are they feeling on stage and what are they trying to convey? I don't think I ``understood'' anything, but I think I was able to feel a sense of unity and an intense time.

Once this performance is over, they will return to their respective worlds. It is also the beginning of the next step.

“This is a starting point, so I don’t think it necessarily has to be completed. What I think is amazing about this workshop is how quickly it spreads. I'd like to see the various completed forms."

The “something” that Makoto Sato wants to convey connects him to the world one step ahead.

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