A giant pink squid floats above a stage. Nearby, a video montage of vague shapes and colors contrasts with haunting portraits that frame a live performance of interpretive dance, droning, singing and spoken word — sometimes in Japanese, sometimes in an indecipherable language. A cluster of performers weave in and out of the audience, their movements partially improvised as they interact with guests and launch into impromptu duets with one another.
This mixed-media production, titled “Dream and Redeem,” is a collaboration between Bulgarian artist Elitsa Ganeva and DamaDamTal, a Japanese performing arts troupe led by Miki Tamaki and Akira Otsuka. The piece is an ongoing part of the ninth edition of the Nakanojo Biennale, which began in September and runs through Oct. 9.
Tamaki and Otsuka, both well-versed in ballet and contemporary dance, formed DamaDamTal in 2016, after meeting as dance instructors at the same school. “We stopped working at the dance studio at the same time,” Tamaki says. “That is to say, we were both fired. So we thought, why not pair up?”