Purpose of the Festival

Akita is a place where two great dancers grew up. One is Baku Ishii known for a winner of the Medal with Purple Ribbon and a pathfinder of Modern dance. The other is Tatsumi Hijikara who started dance affected by Baku Ishii. He created a dance unique to Japan known for “Butoh” in the world with Kazuo Ohno. They are awesome creators not only in the dance scenes but also in the art scenes. In honor of those forerunners’ prominent achievements, we will announce Akita, where two great dancers were born, as the holy ground of Butoh all over the world. With this, we will continuously hold International Dance Festival Baku Ishii and Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial, “Odoru Akita” to look for and develop talented dancers and contribute to the global dance scenes.

Future Events:
  • 2019: Themed Festival
    We will decide the theme and invite programs in adherence with the spirit of the set theme from inside and outside of Japan.
    The 2019 theme is “Border between Dance and Drama – Present State of Dance Theater” (tentative).
  • 2020: Announcement of Baku Ishii Memorial Award, Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award International Competition
  • 2021: Performance by Baku Ishii Memorial Award winner and exhibition performance by Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award winners

Greetings from the Executive Committee Chairman

Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial International Dance Festival called “Odoru Akita” started out of the huge success of “Buyo/Butoh Dance Festival” which was held as a part of the “29th National Culture Festa, Akita 2014”.
Without knowing the ABC of the festival management, we felt our way to host the pre-festival in 2015. We invited two major dance companies from Tokyo, the world renowned “Dairakudakan” and the young dance company named “Idevian Crew”-the front runner of the contemporary dance, and stirred well over 1,000 audience filling the Main Hall of Akita Culture Hall into a frenzy.
Given the success, we invited six companies from Korea, one from Taiwan, two from the US, and Dairakudakan from Tokyo once again for the fully-prepared and ready 1st International Dance Festival in 2016. Total 7,000 audience during the six-month period from the opening reception in June to the main festival, or 3,000 audience for the one-week main festival from October 31 alone visited the event. The 1st Festival closed its curtain in a roaring success.
In the third of the International Festival in 2016, we publicly solicited the performers inside and out of Japan to start the “Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award Competition”. Out of 219 works entered from 16 countries/regions of the world, 16 companies were selected by the strict and impartial video screening and performed for the memorable “1st Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award”. Twelve guest judges were invited from nine countries/regions of the world for this event, and Guest Judge Awards were established to invite the winners to the dance festivals in each country. The Taiwanese dancers were invited to the Canadian festival and the Korean dancers were invited to the Costa Rican festival. Akita became a hub of the international cultural exchange through dance both in name and reality.
“Odoru Akita”, the event taking place in Akita where two great dancers/artists named Baku Ishii and Tatsumi Hijikata were born, is now widely recognized by the entire world as the leading international dance festival of Japan, both in the scale as well as the quality. In order to establish this internationally renowned event, “Odoru Akita” as the homemade festival of people of Akita Prefecture/Akita City, and position Akita as the true hub of international cultural exchange, we are committed to doing everything we can to plan/implement the Festival once again this year.
We would like to humbly ask for your support and cooperation to grow this festival even more prominent for this year and in the years to come.

Yutaka Takadoh, Executive Committee Chairman
  • Santa Yamakawa, Festival DirectorDance critic, non-fiction writer

    Started a theater company in 1976 and worked as a playwright, director and actor until dissolving in 1986. After that, he worked as a freelance writer and an editor.
    The author of “The legend of Swan’s lake ~the era of ballet with Masahide Komaki”.

  • Takao Norikoshi, Official AdvisorDance critic

    Calls himself an author/sulky dance critic. Frequently contributes articles, publishes and gives lectures on the contemporary dance. Published four books of his own on the contemporary dance. Norikoshi has introduced the contemporary dance of Japan to overseas and vice versa, and increased the awareness of the contemporary dance in the Japanese society through his articles and lectures. Having broad overseas network, he served as the producer/advisor for foundations, theaters and festivals.

Executive Committee

Executive Committee Chairman Yutaka Takadoh
General Manager Nobutaka Tomihashi
Operations Department Member
Kasumi Adachi
Jun Kagaya
Hitoshi Gotoh
Masahiko Muto
Secretary General Keiki Abumi
Committee Member
Yuko Abe
Shu Ishibashi
Yuki Ueda
Mitsuhiro Saito
Nobuaki Sato
Kenji Suehiro
Osamu Takado
Ayuko Tanahashi
Junko Hatakeyama
Muneo Yamazaki
Ayumu Watanabe
Shigetomo Tozawa
Nobuhiro Naya
Tomoko Nagahamaya
Production Manager Miwa Kaneko

Festival Overview

Title International Dance Festival Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial 2018 “Odoru Akita” vol.4
Sponsor The Committee of International Dance Festival Baku Ishii & Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial
Cosponsor General Association PAL
Subsidy Agency of Cultural Affairs, H.30 Creating Culture and Arts Base Project
Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities, H.30 Local Culture and Artistic Activities Grant Project
Han Chang-Woo・Tetsu Cultural Foundation
Authentication beyond2020
Cooperation Seoul International Choreography Festival (SCF), NDA International Festival, NPO Hijikata Tatsumi Memorial Akita Ball Association, NPO Kamaitachi Association