It has been a wonderful trip, made special of course by the people we have met. Having the chance to share my knowledge at a university, elementary school, special school and in the community has been given me such a wide range of experiences.
Dance at Fukushima University with students and special needs support school students
The translation of my practice has gone so well, of course with language translation from Kumi. But once the task or game was set up it invariably ran without a hitch.
Taisei Elementary School
So many parallels to the work in the UK, such as uninhibited 10 yr olds compared to shy early teens, the post lunch/break slump and that journey from the beginning of the workshop to the end when the air is charged with familiarity and warmth. Whatever the reason for each person being in the room, such as disability, curiosity, family connection or support worker, everyone got involved. It was quite beautiful.
Tokuyama Community Hall
Mihota Hureai Community Centre
And of course differences. The community spaces were exceptional and according to Kumi cost around £10 a day to hire. That’s definitely a reason to return. Embraces at the end of the workshop were received a little stiffly but it feels so natural to me so I side stepped the cultural barrier for once.
The intergenerational practice worked so well. As it is widely known Japan is an ageing population, a quarter of the population is over 65. At the same time the technology revolution is widening the generation gap. So to work intergenerationally seems significantly important in Japan.
As a result of this visit a monthly workshop will be set up in the Koriyama area. I will support the group as it grows, emailing and film exchange, and hopefully returning in the near future for a longer creative process into a performance. Well. That is the dream.