Greetings from the Chairperson of the Executive Committee
The festival started in 2005 as the “Odoru Akita” International Dance Festival in commemoration of Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata, and is now in its 8th year. In 2020, the festival was cancelled due to the Corona disaster that struck the world. Although we barely managed to hold the festival for the following two years, we were unable to organize a program worthy of the name “International Dance Festival”.
With the Corona Disaster finally beginning to show its exit and restrictions on overseas travel becoming less restrictive, this year we will hold the “Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial International Dance Selection” as a program worthy of the name “International Dance Festival”.
From the world to Akita. And from Akita to the world.
The Executive Committee is making every effort to make Akita a cultural crossroads of the world, and we are preparing to welcome you all.
We look forward to seeing you in Akita at the end of October, when the autumn leaves are in full bloom.
Hiroshi Takado, Chairperson of “Odoru Akita” Executive Committee
President and Representative Director, Akura Co., Ltd.
President, Akita City Omachi Shopping Street Promotion Association.
Greetings from the Artistic Director
These three years, during which various restrictions were imposed on performing on stage due to the Corona disaster, have been a truly difficult period not only for the creators, but also for the audience, and for us, the festival organizers. However, these three years have not been a standstill. Some of the creators took advantage of this disaster to try new methods of expression, while others used it as an excellent opportunity to reconsider the origin of their artistic expression.
The most notable examples are “Peeping Garden/re:creation” (see archives of 2021), a moonlit mobile theater performance that was the only official program of “Odoru Akita” in 2020, when it had to be canceled due to the Corona disaster, and in 2022. The theater for this performance, named the “Circular Social Distance Theater,” was a circular theater made up of 30 doors. The audience was partitioned off and alone in the space, looking at the stage through peepholes in the doors.
This was truly a style of expression that “reversed the once-in-a-century disaster”. The audience was made aware once again of the obvious fact that the emotions and excitement of ordinary theater were caused by the oneness of the performers and the audience.
Such attempts, trial and error in one’s own expression have been repeated by everyone involved in the performing arts.
We, too, have continued to reflect on the path we have taken and what we need to make a new step forward.
Through a process of trial and error, we will change the name of the festival, which has been held as “Odoru Akita” International Dance Festival in commemoration of Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata. We have decided to remove “in commemoration of Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata” from this year. This is an expression of our determination to take a new step forward to make Akita a cultural crossroads of the world, without relying on the name of the intangible cultural heritage born in Akita.
I have also decided to change my job title from “Festival Director” to “Artistic Director”. The position of “Festival Director” was assumed by the “Odoru Akita” Executive Committee as a commissioned position. However, since Akita Prefecture and Akita City withdrew from the Executive Committee this year, I, as a member of the Executive Committee, will continue to work for the survival and development of this festival together with the chairperson of the Executive Committee, Yutaka Takado.
We look forward to your continued support and encouragement.
Santa Yamakawa, Artistic Director of the International Dance Festival “Odoru Akita”
Born in Akita City in 1953. In 1972, he moved to Tokyo and entered the Aoyama Sugisaku Memorial Actor Training School attached to the Theater Center. After graduating in 1975, he formed and presided over the theater company Kukyoucho, and has been active as a playwright, director and actor. 2015 he became the artistic director of the “”ODORU-AKITA” festivals at the request of the executive committee. His publications include a collection of plays, “Bone ring” and educational book, “A book that will make you a master of cultural anthropology,” and a non-fiction book, “The Legend of Swan Lake: Masahide Komaki and the Age of Ballet.”