Under the auspices of Norwegian international touring company winter guests/Alan Lucien Øyen, New York-based FuturePerfect team members – producer Wayne Ashley and MIT inventor/artist Andy Cavatorta – spent ten days in Tokyo and the island of Tokushima in preparation for a new project titled Simulacrum.
Simulacrum weaves together the real and fictional journeys, histories and desires of two actual dancers, both of whom leave their countries of origin in search of “truth” and “authenticity”: Seventy-five year old Shōji Kojima left Japan for Spain in 1966 at the age of 31 to become a master of Flamenco; and forty-six years later, a young 31 year-old contemporary Argentine dancer Daniel Proietto traveled to Japan to begin studying Onnagata (the female Kabuki role). The project brings together the two dancers across geographical and cultural borders to examine what part migration, memory, age, passion, identity and mortality play in the making of art and the artist.
Other participants on the trip included UK playwright Andrew Wale, Norwegian/Argentine dancer Daniel Proietto, choreographer/director Alan Øyen, set designer Åsmund Færavaag, videographer Martin Flack, the Japanese producer Hisashi Itoh and Flamenco dancer Shōji Kojima. The team met with Kabuki specialists, saw performances of Jurobei Yashiki (a puppet performance of Tokushima Prefecture) and Awa-odori, sat in on Flamenco dance classes, toured one of the oldest Kabuki theaters in Kotohira and re-visted Shōji’s home town of Mugi. Simulacrum will have additional workshops and rehearsals with a premiere provisionally set for Spring 2016.