“A Change of Scene for the Kodo Apprentices” by Eri Uchida

July 26, 2018Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

After their regular training session yesterday afternoon, Kodo Apprentice Centre manager Gan (Yasuhiko Ishihara) took the apprentices to Sobama Beach.
That may sound like fun, but it wasn’t for leisure.

Photo: Yasuhiko IshiharaFirst, the apprentices ran along the sandy beach… and then they ran some more.
Running on sand slowed them down but it gave them a change of scene, with a different view to their training every morning. It feels different for them, too, running barefoot with gentle waves lapping at their feet.

Photo: Eri Uchida

After that, they all danced Onikenbai together, a demon sword dance. You’d expect dancing on sand to also be harder than usual, but dancing on the beach together looked liberating and enjoyable for them.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

They had some free time after their workout and they all took this chance to leap into the sea.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

At the Apprentice Centre, they may experience a lot of difficult challenges and tough times. I guess when you have fun times and happy experiences after such lows, the highs feel even higher.
Seeing them have as much fun as they could during this short break made me think about the spectrum of emotions they experience during the programme.

Photo: Eri UchidaMaybe this setting created that sense of liberation I noted.
Sado truly is an island filled with nature.

I’m glad Kodo is based on Sado. This island helps us grow everyday.

 

About the Kodo Apprentice Centre

Seeking Apprentices for the Kodo Ensemble Performer Development Course

Applications are now open for the 2019 intake!

[Application Period] July 6 (Fri)–Nov. 9 (Fri), 2018 *Note: Applications must be received by Nov. 9

[Application Procedure] https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/apr_en/research_students

*Please note that all apprentices require advanced Japanese-language skills.

“Michi – The End and the Beginning” by Kodai Yoshida

Photo: Erika UedaOne productions ends, and we head right into the next one. That’s the life of a Kodo member. It’s one endless challenge.

Photo: Erika UedaSomeone once said to me, “Don’t feel secure. There’s someone better than you out there.”

I realized that every time one event finished, I felt a sense of relief.

Somehow, I got really angry when I heard those words.
Angry at myself for knowing that I felt secure and just carried on like that anyway.

Photo: Erika Ueda
I strongly felt the truth in those words when I was on tour with “Michi.”
You can’t afford to rest on your laurels, because the moment you think “I nailed it,” you’ll find another obstacle right in front of you.
The next obstacle is often like a big wall that you can’t see past. So you never know how big the following obstacle will be; all you can do is face the one right in front of you.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Lately, I’ve been spurred on by this kind of insecurity, as I tried to climb up and over each new wall.
Sometimes I’ve had to go back to the start line, sometimes I got knocked down.
One thing is for sure: I’ll keep climbing. I wonder how far I’ll go.

Photo: Erika UedaThat’s up to me, right?
Bring on the next challenge!

 

Thank you for supporting our two-month “Michi” 2018 Japan Tour!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo ‘Michi’ Iwaki Performance” by Shogo Komatsuzaki

Aug. 1, 2018Photo: Erika Ueda

There’s only four performances to go on our “Michi” 2018 tour.
We had a cast change for the second half of the tour to swap over the youngest members. Every day is fulfilling for all of us.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Our physical and mental state is different for each performance.

We have to think about drumming, walking, singing, and standing naturally on stage, which is more difficult and nerve-wracking than meets the eye. We have to make sure our body and mind are in the right condition before the curtain rises each day, so when we take a good look at ourselves, we can say, “I am in good form.”

Photo: Erika Ueda

On stage, each and every one of us has different roots and brings our own unique experience to the performance. We give it all we’ve got, right until the last beat, sharing heart and soul as we play our resounding instruments together.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Today, we have a performance in my hometown, Iwaki.

I moved to Sado Island ten years ago to become a Kodo apprentice.

Rather that trying to say my feelings with a lot of words to the special people in my hometown, I’ll try to say what I want to say through my sound on stage.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

Upcoming “Michi” Performances

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Cast (July-Aug.)

Motofumi Yamaguchi, Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro MitomeKenta NakagomeMaya MinowaShogo KomatsuzakiMasayasu MaedaKodai YoshidaSeita SaegusaYuki HirataChihiro Watanabe, Taiyo Onoda, Shun Takuma

[Kodo Next Generation] “The Time of My Life” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Photo: Takuri Susaki

I’m not sure where to start.

It’s difficult to put into words how these past two weeks at the Théâtre du Soleil have been, but simply put, it has been one of the most interesting experiences of my life.

It has been a time of tranquility, but also a time of passion.
A time of exhilaration, but also a time of exasperation.
It was truly a much-needed time of self-meditation, and a time of self-reflection for each and every one of us.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

I’m still having trouble writing down my thoughts.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

One thing that is for sure is that we are truly grateful for all the support and love we receive doing what we do.

Photo: Koji Miyagi

To Ariane Mnouchkine and the wonderful people at the Theatre du Soleil: thank you for bringing us into your home like family. This has truly been an opportunity of a lifetime.

To our families, staff, and supporters all over the world; we are only here because of you. We appreciate all the love and support, and we promise to strive to continue to bring you our very best.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

Once again, thank you to everyone, and we hope we’ll see all of you very soon.

Kodo Next Generation (France)

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

[Kodo Next Generation] “Merci!” by Mio Teycheney-Takashiro

July 23, 2018Photo: Takuro Susaki

Our two-week-long residence at Théâtre du Soleil has flown by and our final performance is over.

Thanks to everyone’s support we welcomed full houses every day, in fact it was more than full on the final day with over forty people on the waitlist. So, we invited those people in to sit in the aisles and on extra benches so they didn’t miss out.

Photo: Mio Takashiro

When the curtain call rolled around, we saw many members of the Theatre gathered alongside the seating area. During our encore number, they looked like they were having a great time dancing and embracing each other.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

I am truly happy that we were able to carry out this performance series in Paris with the warm support of so many people.

Photo: Mio Takashiro

I am writing this post the day after the finale. Today we have been packing our instruments and bags, tidying up, and cleaning. While I am feeling grateful for the wonderful time we have had here, I also feel sad knowing that our stay at Théâtre du Soleil is about to end.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Both the cast and production staff for “Kodo Next Generation” are young, so my role was to support them. I watched over them every day.

They are the next generation of Kodo and they are brimming with passion, energy, and joy. I feel that the future is in good hands. This residence with them in Paris was an exciting, valuable experience for all of us.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

The time we all spent at this utopia, Théâtre du Soleil, is like a precious seed. I am already looking forward to seeing the fruit it bears in the years to come.

Lastly, on behalf of Kodo, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and respect to Ariane Mnouchkine of  Théâtre du Soleil for inviting “Kodo Next Generation” to France.
Merci beaucoup!!!

Photo: Takuro Susaki

 

Mio Teycheney-Takashiro, Production Manager

Kodo Next Generation (France)


Photo: Takashi Okamoto


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