This dance archive project is for having artists archive their own choreography, not for presevation but for presentation, which was conceived and proposed by the Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen and started in 2014 involving Japanese contemporary dance artists. The project consisted of two stages: archivists* had discussions and created their archive boxes in the first stage, and Asian artsits as users** presented performances in response to the archive boxes in Singapore in the second stage. Dance is about physical movements that instantly emerge and disappear, so the notion of dance archive raises a question about ownership: to whom dance and its history belongs. As a dance dramaturg who was involved in this process, I would need to rebuild the question about dance heritage by layering it with the theme of “aging and dance” in order to present this project in Japanese context.Therefore, in this presentation, in addition to young and mid-career artists from Southeast and South Asia, we also invite artist of Japanese traditional performing arts as users who shall receive the archive box and respond to it. The presentation shall consist of three parts: performances plus dialogues by archivists and users, exhibition of the dance archive box project, and a symposium on archiving dance and aging.
*Archivists archived their own works and created archive boxes. The seven archivists in the first stage were Chie Ito, Ikuyo Kuroda, Tsuyoshi Shirai, Yukio Suzuki, Natsuko Tezuka, Mikuni Yanaihara and Zan Yamachita.
**Users received the archive boxes and responded to them. The seven users in the second stage were Rani Nair, Padmini Chettur, Chey Chankethya, Preethi Athreya, Venuri Perera, Margie Medlin and Mandeep Raikhy.
(Dance Dramaturg, Dance Researcher)
A fellow at Berlin Free University, Nakajima is engaged in research on aging and dance. Also a dance dramaturg, and teacher of the Fujima School Japanese traditional dance. Currently teaching at Aichi University. She has been the dramaturg for various projects including: Luciana Achugar’s “Echausting Love at Danspace Project” (winner of the Bessy New York Dance and Performance Award in 2006); and Osamu Jareo’s “Thikwa plus Junkan Project”. Nakajima organized the international symposium “The Aging Body in Dance” in Berlin and Tokyo in 2014. Co-authored “Dance Dramaturgy: Modes of Agency, Awareness and Engagement” (Palgrave, 2015).