In the fifteen years since the previous incarnation of the “Dance New Air” festival began, the environment around dance has undergone major changes, and the forms of expression referred to as “dance” have become more diverse every year. More and more people are watching dance or dancing themselves, making this art form more common and familiar, but at the same time there has been a trend toward preferring direct, easy to understand expression, and in response there is now a growing desire to convey to a broader audience the hidden appeal of dance’s more profound forms of expression that at first glance seem unapproachable.
Every one of the more than two hundred works we have presented since 2002 is a gem of expression that cannot be categorized or slotted into a single genre. With “What becomes visible when we see through the body” as our key phrase, for this eighth iteration we have assembled a lineup of works with a powerful capacity to sound the audience’s heartstrings. What is it that enters our eyes when the emotions deep in a creator’s heart emerge through their body?
As a form of expression with the body as its medium, sports is perhaps more familiar than dance. Just as “ars,” the Latin root of the word “art,” can be traced further back to “techne,” meaning “skill” or “technique,” there can also be said to be an intimate relationship between richly expressive dance, which falls into the domain of art, and sports, in which a strong emphasis is placed on skill. The “zone,” a state of intense concentration into which top athletes place themselves during competition, is related to the state dancers enter on stage in which it is as though something has possessed them or a deity has taken over their body. Two years before a major international sporting event comes to Tokyo, now is a good time to objectively appreciate both phenomena.
Centered mainly in Aoyama, Tokyo, Dance New Air presents new possibilities through the medium of dance, not only in theaters but also in outdoor spaces, cinemas, bookstores, and other venues. Looking toward the future, it also supports the activities of artists who focus mainly on expression through the body, moving forward as a platform for the invigoration of this art form.