Japan 2011: Wrap-up & Homeward Bound

Fumika-san and her assistant preparing ice installation.

‘Playing Moon, Dancing Flower’ (11.11.2011) was a great success, artistically and in terms of the audience reaction as well. I have never heard so many people exclaim “Sugoi!” in one evening.

The show went off perfectly: the overcast skies opened-up at show-time exactly, and stayed clear with an amazing view of the full-moon for the duration, mysteriously clouding over again as we were tearing down. The ice installation that Fumika Fujiwara prepared started melting onto the floor of the dance area just minutes before show-times, adding just enough unpredictable danger to the performance. It was great watching the pool of water grow over the 60 minutes of the show, and watching Hideo and Ita gracefully avoid it throughout the performance. I even managed to give a pretty good first performance of the gagaku piece ‘Bairo’ (thanks to the expert coaching of the Wakayama Gagaku-kai members). Long standing ovation to top it all off.

Rehearsing 'Bairo': Otani-san, Tanaka-san and Egawa-san.

Everyone was feeling the effects of a full moon.

I send my thanks to the staff at the Waka-no-Ura Art Cube, our indefatigable producer Matsuo-san, and all the artists involved. It was one of the most memorable and unique performances of my life. Thank-you to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for co-sponsorship of this project.

Thanks also to Hideo, Iku, Ita, and Shinya; Kosei, Yasuko and Michiru; and Yoshi and Haruhi for all the help, generosity and hospitality. I feel so lucky to have so many friends in Tokyo.

It is time now to head back to Montreal for shows this week and next with Oktoecho, La Nef, Small World Project and Ensemble Caprice.