Acclaimed Japanese contemporary dancer and choreographer, Akiko Kitamura, is the driving force behind this exciting new intercultural collaboration, Echoes of Calling – Encounter. Kitamura’s visit to Galway, Inis Oirr, and Connemara in 2019 began her process of enquiry into the co-existence of human beings and nature.
Inspired by the rugged landscape and traditions of the West of Ireland, this project takes a fresh look at ancient spiritual practices and rituals, exploring the relationship between prayer, shamanism, animism, and dance from a contemporary perspective, as it relates to the changing relationship between humans and the environment and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initially intended as a residency, development and performance of work at Áras Éanna and Galway City during 2020, this project, like many others, has been re-imagined for Galway 2020’s programme, in response to ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19 pandemic.
The online premiere for Echoes of Calling will take place on Friday 23 April from 1pm – 2pm.
Following a premiere performance in Toyko in January 2021, with an ensemble of Japanese dancers and Irish sean-nós singers Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde and Diane Cannon, further development of the project for Galway 2020 sees Kitamura developing new work with Irish contemporary dancers from her home in Japan. Through a series of workshops and rehearsals via zoom, Kitamura is directing a short performance with dancers Magdalena Hylak, Stephanie Dufresne and Mintesot Walde inspired by animism, sean-nós singing and other themes relevant to the West of Ireland.
A short film representation of this unique collaboration will be created, including Japanese and Irish contemporary dance and Irish sean-nós song connecting the performance in Tokyo with the wild and barren landscape of Connemara and Inis Oírr. The outcome will be an inspirational meeting between East and West, between Asia and Europe, between tradition and modernity, connecting the most westerly arts centre in Europe to the eastern metropolis of greater Tokyo in Japan.
Echoes of Calling – Encounter is presented by Áras Éanna, in association with Galway Dance Project and Office ALB Japan.
This project is funded under the Galway 2020 Small Towns Big Ideas programme.
Choreographer/Director: Akiko Kitamura
Music/sound design: Hiroaki Yokoyama –
Art / Video: Akihiko Kaneko
Dramaturgy: Seamus Scanlon, Daisuke Araya
Photography/Videography Inis Oírr: Cormac Coyne
Videography for Galway dance performance: TBC
Irish Dancers: Magdalena Hylak, Stephanie Dufresne, Mintesinot Wolde
Japanese Dancers: Naoto Katori (CONDORS), Llon Kawai, Yuki Nishiyama, Tatsuki Okamura, Naoya Nagai, Ayaka Kondo, Akiko Kitamura
Sean-nós singers: Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, Diane Cannon
Producers: Dara McGee, Áras Éanna; Jill Murray, Galway Dance Project in association with Satoshi Fukuoka, Catalyst LLC
International Liaison: Lisa Fukuoka, Catalyst LLC
Executive Producer: Siobhán O’Malley
Organiser: General Incorporated Association Office ALB