Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Interview with Ismarea Takeo Ishii by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy

“I would like to approach death in dance” 
interview with Ismarea Takeo Ishii by Zsuzsanna Komjáthy

Ismarea Takeo Ishii is a Paris based Japanese dancer with highly unique and experimental dance style; from Butoh to African dances, he uses a lot of techniques in his performances. His choreographies – just as his actual solo, Ki Do Ai Raku that you can see for free on 15th of September in the Japanese Garden at CEU – are loaded with darkness, secrets and spirituality. On the same day, he will also teach a workshop – from 11 a.m. at the Hungarian Dance Academy –, using the full body and full energy in order to approach death in dancing.

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The title of your solo, Ki Do Ai Raku is a Japanese idiomatic phrase that covers a range of emotions that a person might have. Would you tell us something further about the title? Where does it come from and what does it mean?
It is a Japanese expression that means a lot of emotions that the human has.

How does the title apply to your performance?
It represents how the dance changes with each emotion. I will try to express that clearly.

Do you think that the readings of emotions are culturally coded?
The Japanese have strong emotions inside, but most of them do not show too much from it to the outside.

Do you often improvise to make your performance more acceptable for the current audience?
I cannot fix the movement. So my dance changes by each place, each day and each audience.

You have learned several techniques or ways of movements: Butoh, break, hip hop, house, contemporary, jazz, modern and African dances. How is it possible to balance these various views of dance in yourself?
I have never thought about the balance. I guess it came automatically and has changed my dance.

Is there a common denominator of these different dance techniques?
I do not know exactly. You just need to use the body to express something in a different way.

You will lead a Butoh based workshop during the festival. Butoh is often labelled as ‘the dance of darkness’ or as ‘the dance of death’. What are the most important challenges for you to teach about Butoh?
My workshop will be a little bit different from Butoh. But it is highly the same how I would like to approach death in dance.

Would you tell us something further about your dance background? What companies/choreographers have you worked with? Do you have any idol and master?
My principal dance is the African dance of Senegal, namely the Sabar dance style.
I am working with Carolyn Carlson (Paris based American contemporary dancer-choreographer) and David Zambrano (Amsterdam based American dancer, improviser, teacher, famous for his Flying Low technique).

If you should choose 3 words to describe your art, what would they be?
Death, Kill, Hell

What do you know about the dance life of Hungary, and what are you planning to do in your free time during the festival?
I know some very good dancers from Hungary, yes.
I would like to meet with people there in the free time.

KÖM by L1 Association

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