In Japanese, the word ‘matou’ encompasses several direct meanings: to wear, put on, tangle and roll up. But used figuratively, ‘matou’ also describes the moment your life flashes before your eyes in a near-death experience. It sounds like ‘willing to wait’ in Japanese, while ‘tsuki-matou’ means ‘to haunt’.
In Ruri Mito’s solo performance of the same name, she explores the body as a mysterious, haunted vessel, unable to be understood or seen in its entirety as cells continuously die and regenerate. By placing her own body under the microscope, Mito explores the curious invisible fabrics of the human body.
Choreographer & Performer: Ruri Mito
Music: Yuta Kumachi
Lighting: Akiyo Kushida
Costume: Tomoko Inamura
Asia TOPA Dancehouse 2020
Dancehouse’s Japan Focus includes Japanese National Treasure, Akira Kasai, heralded as the ‘Nijinsky of butoh,’ with his critically acclaimed work, Pollen Revolution; in addition to phenomenal enfant terrible Takao Kawaguchi and exceptional emerging choreographer Ruri Mito. The Japan Focus delves deeper into how Japanese traditional forms find expression within contemporary dance and, by implication, within contemporary society. This program opens up multiple invitations: to perceive time beyond the linearity of Western thought; to conceive of tradition as a continuum of contemporaneity; and to understand specific dance forms and lineages as trans-national and trans-historical.
Ruri Mito was born in Tokyo in 1982. She started studying dance at age 5 at the Modern Ballet Institute, Tokyo. Later she studied dance at the Japan Women’s College of Physical Education, Department of Movement Science Dance Studies Major MA (2000-2004). She has performed in many countries and has received many prizes and accolades. From 2018, she became Junior of the Sainson Foundation, and from 2004-2010, she performed with Dance company Leni-Basso. In addition to being active as an independent dancer in Japan and abroad, she has performed as a guest dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet in works by Wim Vandekeybus and Sasha Waltz, as well as appearing in VESSEL by Damien Jalet and Kampei Nawa. Mito has choreographed solo works and has been invited to many festivals internationally. In 2017, she founded Co.Ruri Mito and received the Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award.
Dancehouse's Japan Focus has been supported by Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne.
Dancehouse would like to warmly thank THE SAISON FOUNDATION JAPAN and in particular Atsuko Hisano and Taro Inamura, for the most generous support during Angela Conquet's fellowship in Japan in 2019 which inspired this ASIATOPA program. Most warm thanks are also extended to our Japanese colleagues Mr. Shinji Ono and Mrs Ritsuko Mizuno for their insightful curatorial advice and to Yumi Umiumare for her committed assistance with production and logistics.