Being inspired by Ise and its influence on new work

How did the 2019 visit to Ise affect you?

The visit introduced me to the Ise Ondo Folk Dance Society (Houkakuren) and the Mie Prefecture’s Deaf community. There I learned the Ise Ondo folk dances, and that experience greatly influenced my subsequent choreography. Echoes of the dances are found in the choreography I arranged during my 2020-21 residency at the Barbican Centre in London.

What were your impressions of Ise after returning three years later?

My second visit to Ise felt new and familiar. I collaborated with Tom White, an accomplished sound artist, to conduct research that included elements I hadn’t considered during the 2019 visit; Tom and I experienced the sounds of Ise’s unique natural environment in new ways.

Please tell us about your new work.

During our stay, we held workshops with the D/deaf community in Ise using “SubPac”, a wearable device that allows the body to feel sound. The film and music Tom and I produced are composed not only from that workshop but also from interviews, the soundscapes of Ise, and inspiration from the Ise Ondo folk dances. The film ʼShore, Sea, and Land – Linesʼ includes ideas around the feeling of sound, Deaf culture, the natural world, heritage, new technology that meets ancient culture, and accessibility.

Image credit: Nicole Vivien Watson, Ise City, British Council.