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Hyakki Yakou at Durbar Hall, Hastings Museum. Photo: Sinan Bozkurt

Hyakki Yakou at Durbar Hall, Hastings Museum. Photo: Sinan Bozkurt

Hyakki Yakou

At the weekend, there are two more performances of Yumino Seki and company’s promenade performance piece at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hyakki Yakou. HOT’s Zelly Restorick asks Yumino about her inspiration for this project.

“Hyakki Yakou is a dance performance specifically made for the Durbar Hall at Hastings Museum”, explains Yumino, “taking place during the Coastal Currents Festival 2013.  It is also listed in the Japan 400 Festival to commemorate Anglo Japanese relationships.

“Hyakki Yakou, which translates as A Night Walk of A Hundred Demons, has been inspired by The Durbar Hall” continues Yumino, “its architecture and its darkened intimate quality. When I performed at the Durbar Hall last year as a part of the Telling Stories exhibition, I realized the potential of the space to highlight the architecture of the hall’s two floors and the architectural well in the middle. For instance, you can view from above when the dance is happening downstairs.  The sound and the light also can travel from upstairs to downstairs. Hyakki Yakou aims to create a kaleidoscopic illusion using Butoh dance, soundscape, light, costume and architecture.”

I asked Yumino to tell me something about the demon connection. Is it about overcoming personal demons?

“The starting point of the demons is actually from 17th century Japanese Hyakki Yakou illustrations.  They are the spirits of deserted objects.  After serving nearly 100 years those tools/objects are given lives. Most of them were depicted as hybrids of objects and animals. The hall being a home of objects perfectly matches with the theme of Hyakki Yakou.”

Can you tell me a little bit about Butoh – and about yourself and the other performers / creators?

“I am working with two other dancers, Aisa Boaa & Mai Nguyen Tri.  Our common thread is Butoh practice.  Butoh is a Japanese avant-garde dance form started at the end of 50s, early 60s when Japan was going through major change between the tradition and western influence.  Butoh did not follow either Japanese traditional dance nor western dance but found its own identity through the media of dance.  There are Japanese cultural references in Butoh at the same time it was influenced by German expressionism.

Nick Weekes is producing a highly original soundscape sourced from his nearby objects. Jim Roseveare is creating light, shifting the focus from the visible to the invisible and sculpting the space. Gary Rowe is mentor and producer. Costumes were designed by Anoushka Athique working with the idea of colours and patterns from Japanese kimono textiles. This collaboration has made Hyakki Yakou really special.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support from the Arts Council England, The Japan Society, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings Borough Council and all the people who worked closely with me to make this event happen.”

Two more performances will take place on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th September. Due to limited viewing capacity, audience numbers are restricted to 45 people.  Please come early.  The performance starts at 7.30pm, doors open at 7pm.

Links
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
Coastal Currents 2013

Posted 13:46 Saturday, Sep 28, 2013 In: Performance

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