Various locations in Tokyo
June 23-28

In 2006 a group of Japanese contemporary dancers and choreographers toured Italy with a production titled “Katachi wo Koete (Beyond Forms).” Now, as a continuation of that project and part of the “Primavera Italiana 2007” festival, Japan’s 4th Skin Arts Network and Italy’s Danza Urbana have organized “Corpi Altri (Body Other),” a series of performances by emerging and established contemporary dance artists.

Running from June 23 through 28 at Session House, The Italian Institute of Culture and Kitazawa Town Hall (more info at www.4thskin.com), the performances will culminate with two Japanese/Italian dance collaborations: one combining the famed Italian group Kinkaleri with Japan’s Hiroaki Umeda; the other, Italy’s dance troupe MK with Maki Morishita. After the shows, “Politics of the Body,” a book of photographs and essays, will be published to commemorate the events and raise awareness of the Japanese and Italian contemporary dance scenes.

A new, untitled work by the up-and-coming dancer Umeda will premiere along with Kinkaleri’s “Otto,” which received the Italy’s UBU prize in 2002 for a distinguished dance theater performance. Yoko Higashino of Japan’s Baby Q will debut a new work with Kakuya Ohashi of Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers. The first united effort for the two will juxtapose their unique styles of “abstract high energy” and “meditative minimalism.”

Viewers of these cross-cultural experiments can expect a postmodern emphasis on the art-making process and the mind-body-soul interrelationship, as these artists look at the body in alternate ways, asking what it is to to be human.

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