image description

Takahiro Yamamoto's reflection on artistic exchange in Nairobi, Kenya with Opiyo Okaach

December 4, 2014 Uncategorized

Portland-based dance-performing artist, Takahiro Yamamoto, reflects on a three week creative/artistic exchange in Nairobi, Kenya with Opiyo Okaach (Ga’ara Arts Project) and the GoDown Arts Centre:

“Opiyo
 and 
I 
often 
talked 
a 
lot.  
Often
times, 
we 
just
 forgot
 how
 late 
it 
was.  
We 
talked 
about
 each
 individual 
dancer, 
working 
philosophy,
 a 
concept
 that
 I
 threw
 out,
 Opiyo’s
 process
 of
 working,
 different
 ideologies
 between 
Kenya/Europe 
and 
the 
U.S., 
etc.  
We 
have 
this 
beautiful
 rapport 
and 
curiosity 
toward
 each
 other.  
We 
talked 
about 
this 
concept 
of 
‘invisibility
 on
 stage.’  
Is
 it
 possible 
to 
abandon 
focus 
and
 presence 
on 
stage 
while 
staying
 on 
stage?
  Can
 we 
manipulate 
the
 presence
 on 
stage 
by disappearing
 without 
physically 
disappearing?

One
 dancer
 asked 
if 
I 
would 
come 
back 
to 
Kenya 
because 
usually 
guest 
artists
 usually
 don’ t
really 
come 
back.  
Opiyo
 and 
I 
said 
ideally 
’Yes, we 
will
 really
 need 
to 
find
 funding 
for 
it,
 but 
our 
intention 
is 
to 
continue 
this
 conversation.
  This 
is 
just
 a
 beginning.’

It 
was 
very
 refreshing 
to 
witness 
Opiyo’s 
process, 
improvisation‐oriented
 process,
 of 
making 
his 
performance.
  He 
has
 a 
beautiful
 way
 to 
construct
 a 
framework
 for
 dancers 
to 
explore 
without
 being
 stale.  
I
 would 
be 
curious 
to 
immerse 
myself
 in to
 his 
process
 sometimes 
in 
the
 future.  
I
 would
 also
 maybe
 find
 an 
opportunity 
for 
him to 
choreograph 
a 
piece 
for 
me 
as 
a
 solo
 dancer.

I
 am 
determined
 that
 this
 residency
 needs 
to 
be
 only 
the 
beginning 
of 
our
 conversation.
  I
 am 
eager 
to
 continue 
this dialogue 
with
 Opiyo
 and 
his 
dancers 
in 
the 
near 
future.
”

Photos from Opiyo Okaach and Takahiro Yamamoto’s artist exchange

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>