Interview with Shozo Ayaka

What interested you about THE鍵KEY?

One thing which interested me was that the performances were not staged in theatres but houses, including traditional Japanese houses and a contemporary architect’s stylish house. Another element which intrigued me was the concept of “peering in (voyeurism)”, which is absolutely essential to THE鍵KEY.

How did you become involved with THE鍵KEY?

I was introduced by the choreographer, the butoh performer Kae Ishimoto. 

THE鍵KEY is site-specific; what was it like performing in houses with a free-moving audience?

It was an incredibly stimulating experience. If I were to walk into a room, the audience would follow behind me. Therefore, I was always very conscious to direct my performance backwards when dancing as the audience members could see the room/space ahead through my back.

What was it like performing in London compared to Tokyo?

The Tokyo performances took place in an old, traditional-style house, the London performances in the stylish residence of a contemporary architect. The difference was enormous; in London, I was bewildered at first but then felt my body grow accustomed to the space during the course of the rehearsals. Because the corridors in the London house were particularly long, this was embraced as a way to split the dance’s expression; when performing in the husband, daughter and wife’s room, the dance was influenced by the other characters; when performing in the corridors, the dance showed Kimura’s own emotions. It became clear to me again how for THE鍵KEY, the performance space has a huge impact on the work itself. 

What future developments would you like to see for THE鍵KEY?

THE鍵KEY is an excellent work. However, as of yet not a great number of people have seen it performed live. Therefore, I feel it is really important to bring the work to more and more people in different venues when staging future performances.

(English translation: ‘Kagi’ Project Executive Committee)