Anna Lewis

Huws, Sioned

Voices of Tohoku - The Many Ways To Be Us, Japan

Sioned Huws

The Amori Project was initiated in 2008 by James Tyson (Chapter Theatre Programmer until 2011) and Teiko Hinuma (program director of ARTizan and Rikuzentakata Artist in Residency Program) as a residency exchange between Chapter, Aomori Contemporary Arts Centre and ARTizan. It was supported by my Creative Wales Ambassadors Award 2009, which enabled an in-depth research and choreographic development period, with partnership funding from the International Program, Saison Foundation, Tokyo. Wales Arts International also supported Aomori Project in its various stages and new developments over repeated visits 2010-14, and most recently as a part of Rikuzentakata Artist in Residency Program, Tohoku, Japan.

2010-11 Aomori Project: Of Landscapes Remembered

A performance created in stages, through a series of residencies in Japan and Wales, developing a new formal movement language of horizontality, placing the body in a landscape orientation. Within two weeks of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March, 2011, all our collaborators from Aomori in Tohoku travelled to Cardiff for performances at Chapter and Greenwich Dance, London; we believed that even in devastating circumstances people still need a sense of continuation and normality.

Meeting the Vitality of Tohoku – A Parallel Landscape Snowdonia Wales

Developed with dancers, musicians and singers from Aomori. It’s the vitality of life that produces song, dance and music in Tohoku, a region that reflects back to me a landscape already familiar from my childhood, growing up on a farm in the mountains of Snowdonia, North Wales.

(film Eilir Pierce)

2012 - Publication Collaboration

A research visit, making connections with arts organisations and independent artists along the Northeast coast of Japan; at the same time developing a publication collaboration with Sian Melangell Dafydd, ‘Aomori Project Book & Audio CD’, realized through residencies at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre and Ty Newydd Writers Centre, Wales Literature Exchange. It is a publication in three languages: Welsh, Japanese and English, including choreographic drawings, photographs and audio CD.

2013-2014 Rikuzentakata Artist in Residency, Iwate

A residency program initiated by Teiko Hinuma in 2013, which brings domestic and overseas artists who are drawn to Tohoku to reside in its community to gather important memories and to record their experiences. Mediated through video, music, photos and dance connecting traditions with the present, the artists research the thoughts or things that have been physically lost, attempting expression through visual or physical movement.

2013 - Aomori Aomori film collaboration

A documentary film in collaboration with Eilir Pierce and recorded at Aomori Contemporary Art Centre. Like Aomori’s never ending snowstorms, the project is revealed as both beautiful and physically challenging in this intimate film. The full-length documentary accompanied the Aomori Aomori performance 2014, touring to nine venues in Wales, England and Italy.

2014: Voices of Tohoku – The Many Ways To Be Us

On meeting new dance forms on my first day in Rikuzentakata at the temporary morning market, I set about developing a new choreographic structure, placed on a parallel with the traditional form. Each stage was introduced during presentations at Rikuzentakata Mirai Shotengai, Alios Performing Arts Centre, Iwaki, Nourinkaikan, Sumita Town and Japan Foundation, Tokyo.

Wales Arts International’s continued support has made a difference, recognising the value of developing local and international collaborative projects between Wales, Japan and Europe, in stages and over time. Aomori Project has established a long lasting partnership, between Wales and Japan, continuing an international dialog and creating a celebration with people through dance.


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