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PEOPLEText: Ari Matsuoka

Please tell us how you started dancing.

My parents are a martial arts family. My mother teaches us Tai Chi, and sister is a very good player. I learned gymnastics and jazz dance in my parents’ education since childhood, but I didn’t start dancing in my own will. So I didn’t expect to live as a dancer like now. From such a trivial opportunity, I became more interested in contemporary dance that allowed me to express myself more freely in my teens. Now I am very proud of my profession, and now I can’t quit.

Flow acrobats movements research.

Where do you get your inspiration for dance choreography?

As with the “E T H E R E A L” and previous works, it is often based on childhood experiences. For example, this time in my solo part, there is a model that imitates the transformation scene and battle action of special effects Hero that I admired in my childhood. There are scenes that are mimic what I was crazy about when I was young and the heroes that I longed for.
In addition, there are scenes that are greatly influenced by my mysterious dreams with my passed grandfather.
When I was eight years old, my grandfather died. One day after that, I had a very deep dream.
In my dream, I stood at riverside that was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe it was in this world. There was no green around, but full of earthy landscape there, and the river water was beautiful enough to see the bottom clearly. I was standing at the riverfront and soon found grandfather in a distance.
They both embraced and cried because they had reunited after a long time. When they looked at their feet, a flower grew from the bottom of the river. It was so beautiful that I remembered it clearly even when I was young. The dream ended there, but I still don’t know if it was a dream or a spiritual experience.
When you incorporated such an experience as a choreography, you got very emotional.
Speaking of which, my family is also spiritual, my mother learns aromatherapy, and sends private photos of “Ove” in private (laughs). That’s why my dance may have a slightly unreal world.

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Do you have any dancers influenced by your approach to the body?

This is something that has often been asked. I have been studying how to use athletes’ bodies since I started dancing. Former baseball player Ichiro and tennis player Roger Federer think that they are using swings and tender to the body. In particular, soccer player Neymar uses the whole body as if he was dancing even during the game, so he often gets interests while watching sports.

Please tell us about your future activities.

In September this year’s performance “E T H E R E A L” will be performed for the first time in Greece with dance partner Emanuela.
In October, we decided to participate in a project with Sasha Waltz, and in November we will participate in the Constanta McLaus project “DER PALAST”. If you have an opportunity to come to Berlin, please experience the local contemporary dance.

Text: Ari Matsuoka

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