IN THE RANGE OF A WAVE is revealed through a silent dialogue of listening and observation. The aesthetic experience of travelling materializes itself in a choreographic and visual composition of the invisible, the unspeakable, the immanent, the ephemeral, the fragile and the intuitive. On this first journey to Tokyo, I assemble a collection of images and imagery crossing references and impressions, works and narratives around the country of the rising sun. From my exotic gaze I let myself be guided by the accumulation of common places and clichés of a certain (western) image of Japan and simultaneously diving into a sea of discoveries and revelations swallowed by the megalopolis of Tokyo. From detail to ritual, from the symbolic to the abstract, I find myself in the fragility, ephemerality and potency of the materials that I propose to explore - body and paper.
A first initial single image generates the will for the creation of this solo, remaining invisible but present throughout the project - 'The Great Wave of Kanawaga', iconic work of Hokusai created in 1830 and reproduced from the mid -1870s through a series of lithographs using the traditional Japanese print technique known as Ukiyo (literally, "floating world"), which led to a time of great visibility and export of Japanese art in the western world and reciprocally, a contamination and influence of Western art in Japanese art.
In this floating world nothing is too small or insignificant to hold our attention. This solo of shadows, evocations and masks whose Hokusai wave allows to embody is an invitation to travel and stand still at the same time.
Artistic Direction, Choreography, Performance, Videos, Set and Costumes: Rafael Alvarez
Artistic Collaboration (video appeareance): Kotomi Nishiwaki
Technical Direction and Light Design: Nuno Patinho
Admnistration and Production: BODYBUILDERS / Rafael Alvarez
Press: Mafalda Simões
Assistance: João Leitão
Stage Photography: Elisabeth Vieira Alvarez
Graphic Design: Paulo Guerreiro
Coproduction: Festival Temps d'Images/Duplacena and BODYBUILDERS
Residencies: Ryogoku Bear (Tokyo), Ko Murobushi Archive (Tokyo), Micadanses (Paris), Le Carreau du Temple (Paris), Teatro Municipal do Porto Campo Alegre (Porto), EIRA / Teatro da Voz (Lisbon), O Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo)
Presentation Support: BUoY Arts Centre (Tokyo), Ryogoku Bear (Tokyo), TPAM 2018 /BUKATSUDO (Tokyo),Negócio / ZDB (Lisbon), Auditório Municipal Augusto Cabrita (Barreiro)
Partnerships: School of Arts / University of Évora, Superior School of Art and Design – Caldas da Rainha / Leiria's Polytechnic Institute,, Superior School of Dance / Lisboa's Polytechnic Institute
The re-appropriation of Hokusai's wave draws a symbolic and factual relationship between the cities of Lisbon, Paris and Tokyo highlighting a set of facts that involve this work and its dissemination in the West. Especially for the impact and influence this work has had on the work of the French Impressionists, on Debussy's musical work (La Mer) or on the fascination Baudelaire reveals for the work / author in question. Along with the fact that the first presence of Westerners - the nanban (the primitive and barbarian of the south) in the region of Japan is due to a Portuguese vessel lost in the seas of the Japanese bay. The Hokusai wave proves to be revolutionary in part by the choice of less usual colours in the Japanese (Prussian blue) context and by the development of the theme and genre of the landscape through its ukiyo-e (floating worlds), becoming one of the first globalized images, like in Pop Art reproduced to exhaustion but still special and introspective. Another interesting perspective in the analysis of this image is the presence of two opposing readings - the Eastern view, the sublimation of the omnipresence of Nature present in Buddhist philosophy and the balance of the vital energy of connection between heaven and earth. Inversely, the Western view - the revelation of the imminence of the catastrophe and the disaster and the heroism of the human who tries to conquer and manipulate nature.
These materials and sources of research feed the subtext of this solo contributing to the development of a contemporary look at these historical implications, calling for the exploration of new possibilities, new dramaturgies and new connections of these images leading to a conceptual and symbolic movement line.
WAVE Project is a multidisciplinary (dance /video/photography) an international dance project (Portugal-Japan-France-Malaysia) consisting of the diptych formed by the "IN THE RANGE OF A WAVE" (2017) and "A WAVE FROM A DISTANCE"(2018-19). This project directed by the choreographer Rafael Alvarez / BODYBUILDERS focuses on his research and artistic creation in Japan.
The WAVE Project also integrates a set of training/creation activities (laboratories, masterclasses and presentations) connected to the community, involving people over 55 and seniors, people with disabilities/functional diversity, students of artistic higher education and artists in general. It also included the edition of an author photo book and photography exhibition by Rafael Alvarez.