KEISUKE SUGAWARA

PEOPLEText: Ari Matsuoka

Have you had any changes in your mind during this time?

Before, I used to give shape to ideas that came to me one after another, but after the lockdown, I started to plan and consider the depth more importantly of each work. Also, since the pandemic, I have had more opportunities to get involved with many artists, so I have become more focused on the overall space of the place.

Also, I used to have a tendency to push my own ideas and opinions, but now that I’m involved in everything from scriptwriting to direction, I’m trying to pay more attentions to the personalities and race of the people I’m collaborating with and the artists I’m working with.

Rather than following a requested script, I find it more interesting to pick an abstract theme and work together with artists to create a piece through communication.


“2379”, Performance at Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte in Berlin, 2019   Photo: Bermd Kumar   © Keisuke Sugawara
Direction: Keisuke Sugawara   Performance: Takayoshi Tsuchida and Keisuke Sugawara   Music: Tatsumi Ryusui

Didn’t you find that themore people you interacted with, the more difficult it was to accept others?

Yes, it is a high hurdle. But going out of the box that you thought you were in is something that you can never do alone. It is easy to create a work of art exactly as you want, but the finished work is only as good as your own expectations. By bringing others into the mix, the work itself, whether good or bad, can be reborn as something bigger, more dynamic, and more interesting. These ideas also grew in me after the lockdown, and I think I spent many days on repeating “subjective” and “objective”.


“mellem to – en mand, der sidder navnløs, en kvinde med en Lanterne”, 2019

Please tell us about the stage show “Kukoku no kyouon” which will be held in Japan in October 2021.

Kukoku no kyouon” is a spin-off from Lige så stille…(*), which is the second piece of the “mellem to” project that I started creating in 2020.
*Meaning “quietly” in Danish, this stage work focuses on “establishing oneself” and “relationships with others”. The first performance was scheduled in February 2021 in Odense, Denmark; March 2021 in Berlin, Germany, but the performance was postponed due to COVID-19.

Apart from Christina Dyekjær and Keisuke Sugawara, a Germany-based musician, Makoto Sakamoto, will be visiting Japan from Europe and will be in residence from September. We will perform in Japan for two days on October 23 and 24. With actor Ryota Tsuchiya (leader of the theater company Tremble Theater) as the guest artist, we will create a comprehensive stage work that mixes theater, dance and live music.

The damage caused by COVID-19 continues to affect many people today. Nevertheless, I believe in the power of the arts and have decided to carry out a performance project in Japan in October. I would like to use this opportunity not only to create and present cultural activities, but also to take actions for the good sake of society. We hope to use this opportunity to build good relationships with many people and create a system that will allow us to cooperate with each other in future activities.

Kukoku no kyouon
Date: October 23th 18:00, October 24th 14:00- & 18:00-, 2021
*Online streaming will be held at the same time
Place: Kagurazaka Session House
Address: 158 Yarai-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Price: 3,000 yen
Performers: Keisuke Sugawara, Christina Dyekjær (dancer), Makoto Sakamoto (musician)
Guest Artist: Ryota Tsuchiya (Theater company, leader of Tremble Theater)
Script and Direction: Keisuke Sugawara
Production: MOLS magazine, Myrtle Arts
Planning: mellem to project
Organizer: Tremble Theater
Co-organizer: Kagurazaka Session House
Grant: EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee
Support: Royal Danish Embassy
Sponsor: beans farm, BridgeBamboo, knew as new, Roots Project Tokyo, Otonari Coffee, Sato Farm

Text: Ari Matsuoka
Translation: Satsuki Miyanishi

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