|A four-day event at the Daiwa Japan House, Japan Foundation and The Place, London
ResCen (Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts at Middlesex University) convened Artists Open Doors: Japan/UK to celebrate and investigate the state of the art – contemporary dance in Japan and England. Artists Open Doors included performances, panel discussions, workshops and presentations to stimulate debate on key issues: understandings of ‘contemporary’; contemporary practice in Japan; structures, support systems, agencies and artists; community arts practice; and cultural policy. It was attended by artists, arts professionals, academics and students from the UK, Japan and beyond.
Leading Japanese artists Un Yamada, Natsuko Tezuka and KENTARO!! joined UK-based artists including Saiko Kino, Chisato Minamimura, Shobana Jeyasingh and Rosemary Lee. Other contributors from Japan included Saori Mikami, Setagaya Public Theatre; Yuko Ijichi, MUSE Company; Norikazu Sato, Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN), Shoji Shimomoto, Japan Foundation for Regional Art Activities (JFfRAA). They were joined by John Ashford, The Place; Emma Gladstone, Sadler’s Wells; and Ken Bartlett, Foundation for Community Dance (FCD), who contributed to discussions along with academics from Waseda University, Tokyo and Middlesex University, London. Artists Open Doors: Japan/UK was one of the largest gatherings of Japanese dance specialists ever held in the UK.
The event was held at the Japan Foundation and The Place in central London. It was complemented by an evening seminar on Thursday 25 September at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House, Regents Park and the Saturday evening performance of the Final of the Place Prize which included two Japanese semi-finalists.
Artists Open Doors: Japan/UK arose from ResCen’s current Japan-focused research projects that forge new connections with Japanese artists and agencies by examining their engagements with audience and policy, funded by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, British Academy, Sasakawa Foundation and the British Council. This was an accredited Japan-UK 150 event.