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日時：１１月１日（土） (A) 午後１時開演（３０分前に開場）
１１月２日（日） (C) 午後１時開演（３０分前に開場）
ボイス： きむらみか （声楽奏者）
音 ： 牧原トシ （パーカッショニスト）
'Izu House' tells story of fabled home in dance
BY KAZUE SUZUKI, STAFF WRITER
2008/10/10East and West, old and contemporary will meet at a 200-year-old traditional Japanese house in the town of Ohito, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the Izu Peninsula. The floor of the huge house will be the stage for a collaboration by U.S. and Japanese dance artists on Nov. 1-2.
Titled "Izu House," the performance tells the story of the house and its residents, as presented by current owner and project coordinator Nobuko Awaya.
"I didn't want to keep the house, where my maternal ancestors had lived and where I was born, just as a museum. I wanted to restore its cultural vitality by actually using it," said Awaya, explaining how she came up with the idea of an experimental "site-specific" art project. "I started thinking of the meaning of the house when my uncle died and I came to take care of the house."
"Both the performer and the audience can experience the art only at one specific place," Awaya said, defining site-specific art.
The collaboration is called "Chihan Project" after Awaya's grandfather's pen name and the house's nickname "Chihan-an."
Home of a wealthy landowner family since the Edo Period (1603-1867), the house provided a space for community events, haiku contests and cultural exchange among novelists and artists. Grandfather Chihan acted as a patron to artists and novelists. Among the luminaries who stayed in the Chihan house were playwright Mantaro Kubota, novelist Fumiko Hayashi and filmmaker Heinosuke Gosho.
Artists in the upcoming performance are dancers/choreographers Leah Stein and Roko Kawai, percussionist Toshi Makihara, dancer Hideo Arai and vocalist Mika Kimula. Stein, Kawai and Makihara are based in the United States.
The dancers and Awaya stayed at the house for three weeks last year to prepare for the performance. There, they ate, slept, discussed, danced and synthesized Awaya's story.
"Izu House" starts with a scene in the entrance of the house, then moves to a tatami room where go stones are scattered.
"When I was about to be born in the inner room, my father and grandfather were waiting in the next room playing go," Awaya explained while showing a DVD made of last year's gathering of artists.
Kawai describes her astonishment at the rooms partitioned with fusuma removable sliding doors. "Inside this cubicle, women participated in the bloody red, chaotic messiness of birth, while, on the other side of the fusuma, the menfolk concentrated on a game of go."
The dancers use lattice doors as curtains or to shift from one act to another. As the dancers move from a living room to a kitchen to the corridor and into the garden, so does the audience.
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Two performances will be given each day, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Each performance will last 50 minutes. 3,000 yen in advance. 3,300 yen at the door. For more information, visit < d.hatena.ne.jp/chihan_project_jpn/ >. For information in English, call 090-8306-9766.(IHT/Asahi: October 10,2008)