CONCEPT – Introduction

When these two calls from the artists unknown to each other coincide and unite themselves to become more than coincidence in this project, what kind of world will emerge? What footprints will be carved and what wind will blow there?

Starting in 2011, the JCDN International Dance In Residence Exchange Project has carried out three projects in the previous years, promoting creation of works and exchanges among artists, audiences and performing arts professionals between Japan and overseas countries. This year, in 2014, we are inviting Nora Chipaumire, dancer and choreographer with African pride and background, currently based in New York City.

In the spring last year, when I first met Nora in Austin, Texas, I had a chance to watch her piece called Miriam, and had a brief moment to talk with her. She said, “I would like to do a project in which I could face what I believe is truly meaningful and work on it deeply.” I felt a deep sympathy with her quiet words. Roughly at the same time, the Japanese director Naoto Iina told me about his curious project called Neppu (or “Hot Wind”). It is about the kind of world where people’s hope and despair blend together and where the wind blows through people’s body. Iina said this piece was demanding Nora’s dance.

When these two calls from the artists unknown to each other coincide and unite themselves to become more than coincidence in this project, what kind of world will emerge? What footprints will be carved? I would like to see something that we have yet to see through the eyes of Nora and of the Japanese contemporary artists.

Ritsuko Mizuno / Program director


JCDN International Dance in Residence Exchange Project


This project aims at providing the participating artists from Japan and overseas with an opportunity for them to broaden their horizons through international exchanges encountering and learning about culture, history, traditional performing arts and other arts of the other country which they have never experienced before, and to create and share high quality, contemporary arts and culture through working together.


Utilizing JCDN’s international network, and working with theaters and art organizations around Japan, we aim to cultivate and develop opportunities and bases for dance residency programs for artists from overseas.

We link and build partnership with art organizations in overseas and invite dance artists from their countries to Japan to work with local artists and create new works. We coordinate the programs and provide support for funding and infrastructure of such programs. We also aim to market the works created through these programs in both domestic and international markets.

We aim to create an environment that enables two-way exchanges so that we not only invite and receive artists from overseas but also send artists from Japan to work with their counterparts at their home base. By implementing projects involving the countries, venues, people and artists of both parties, in the end we aim to build an environment where artists can work, create and present works internationally.

The Projects in the Past

This is the fourth year of the five-year project which began in 2011 with support from the Agency For Cultural Affairs Government of Japan
FY2011: Japan Finland International Exchange

Through the partnership between JCDN and Zodiak from Finland, two works have been created:
In November 2010, ZodiaK and JCDN selected Ervi Siren from Finland and Sakamoto Kosei from Japan who to stay in each other’s country, and work with dancers from the respective countries to create a piece each. (Subsidy: The Saison Foundation, for three fiscal years)
1st FY: Creation and premiere; 2nd FY: The pieces were shown at dance festivals in both countries; 3rd FY: Shown at Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting seeking further touring possibilities.

KITE, chor. Ervi Siren
In the summer of 2011, after she showed her own choreographies at the Bird Theater Festival in Tottori, Japan, Ervi Siren selected five Japanese dancers in Tokyo through auditions: Masaru Kakio, Takao Kawaguchi, Koji Tamamura, Takiko Iwabuchi and Yumi Tateishi. Together with Takayuki Fujimoto, lighting designer from Japan, and Aake Otsal, music composer from Finland, they began residency and creation in January 2012.
In February 2012, we did a work-in-progress presentation at TPAM’s Performing Arts AIR Meeting. Venue: BankART Studio NYK in Yokohama, Japan)
March 2012: Premiere at Kyoto Arts Center. Two performances. (Co-organizer: Kyoto Arts Center)

Haigafuru (Ash Is Falling), chor. Kosei Sakamoto
In the summer of 2011, after showing his own piece at the Full Moon Dance Festival in Finland, Kosei Sakamoto selected five local dancers through auditions.
In March 2012, together with Takayuki Fujimoto, lighting designer, and Toru Yamanaka, music composer, from Japan, they began residency and creation at ZODIAK in Helsinki. (Organized by Japan Foundation Performing Arts Japan Program)
In April 2012, the piece was premiered in Helsinki as Zodiak’s season program. Six performances.

FY 2012
June: KITE at the Kuopio Dance Festival in Finland. Two performaces, with subsidy from Japan Foundation. http://kuopiodancefestival.fl/en/home
July: Haigafuru at the Full Moon Dance Festival in Finland. One performance. http://www.fullmoondance.fl
September: KITE and Haigafuru were performed together as one program at the 5th BIRD Theatre Festival in Japan. Two performances.

FY 2014
February: KITE and Haigafuru were shown as one program at TPAM’s International Showcases. One performance.

FY2012-13: Japan Korea International Exchange
Invited artist: Jong Young-Doo
FY2012: baram
FY2013: Karasu to Kasagi (The Crow And the Magpie

While going back and forth between Korea and Japan, Korean choreographer Jong Young-Doo worked with dancers from Korea and Japan, musicians and artists of theater, fine art and visual art to create a dance piece as well as a theater piece, art installation and video works. On the theme of history, culture and races of Korea and Japan, they conducted research and interviews with people in Fukuoka, Japan for their creation. In the second year in 2013, together with dancers from Korea and Japan, Jong created a dance piece based on the story he wrote using elements from ancient legends and folk stories of the two countries. The piece is scheduled to tour in Japan and Korea in the coming years.