Category: Dis Tanz Solo III

Research : Tanz und Tonalität des leeren Raumes
(Dance and tonality in the void space)
Mentor : Boris von Poser
Supported by Dachverband Tanz Deutschland ‚Dis-Tanz-Solo‘ program
[ Neustart Kulture, BMK (Bundesregierung für Kulture und Medien) ]

Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverband Tanz Deutschland

Reminiscence – solo for the void spaces 01

Research | Dance and tonality of the void spaces.

I thank you for :
Mentoring for research | Boris von Poser
Music | Koa Lament by Ukulelezaza.
Location | Tanzfabrik Wedding Studio5 at Uferstudios Berlin
Technical support | Martin Pilz (Tanzfabrik) and Henryk Weiffenbach
This research is supported by the DIS-TANZ-SOLO (stipend program for the freelance dance professionals) and Tanzfabrik Berlin (cooperation)

Reminiscence – solo for the void spaces 01 from Yuko Matsuyama on Vimeo.

The Void – solo for the void spaces 02

Research | Dance and tonality of the void spaces.

Mentoring for research | Boris von Poser
Music | A Silent Room remastered by Joshua Tennent
Filming | Henryk Weiffenbach
Technical support | Martin Pilz (Tanzfabrik)
Location | Tanzfabrik Wedding Studio5 at Uferstudios Berlin
This research is supported by the DIS-TANZ-SOLO (stipend program for the freelance dance professionals) and Tanzfabrik Berlin (cooperation).

Concept and performance | Yuko Matsuyama

The Void – solo for the void spaces 02 from Yuko Matsuyama on Vimeo.


Terezín Memorial-360° Virtual Tour

The Terezin Memorial (Theresienstadt Ghetto) is located near Prague, Czech Republic.
This year the memorial started offering 3D/360° virtual tour.
The English guided tour is 220 CZK (ca 8€).

This afternoon I call the office and went to the virtual tour.
I book the guided tour (220 CZK/ca 8€) but maybe my mistake nothing happen on the site,
and I went the tour alone from my studio in Berlin Mitte.

On the tour each page you have option to open short explanations and moving though the place by your cursor keys.
The technique is surprisingly smooth yet it was very eye-exhausting to have 360° virtual tour,
so few times I had to stop and went to other sites to search for further information,
eventually my tour went four hours.

There’s (of course) no comparison between the virtual tour and the real visit,
but I could spend enough time for read and further search, I found the tour very informative.

photo above: screen shots from the website:

There are two more links I found online:
KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau (The Dachau Memorial) Virtual Tour
(photo and text, free of charge) 
Holocaust Education Centor’s live virtual tour for Auschwitz
(Group tours are available for $30/person with a minimum of 25 people. )

The online resource I went today was mainly at the Holocaust Encyclopedia of the Holocaus Museum in Washington,
where they also have many topics related to the Holocaust and WWII.

Because I skipped the High-school and went to theater academy at 15, I am not able to talk about how WWII is taught in Japan.
Honestly I do not remember how and how much I’d learned about the Japanese militarism in school.

Besides the theme ‘dance and tonality of the void spaces, in context of the German Culture of Remembrance’,
my research has allowed me to touch the topic connected to the history of my own country.
Also each meeting with my mentor Boris von Poser have let me find an emotional distance with my own country,
to be able to open my eyes for the negative, brutal and tragic history.

I’ve always been impressed in Berlin, that when I talk about WWII with German friends and acquaintances (age between 13 – 55),
they talk about the fascism of the Nazi Germany, persecution and massacre, the Holocaust which connected with clear guilt.
It seems to me they have acquired critical viewpoint against the history of their own.

On the website I found the page about the Japanese attack on Pearl-Harbor.

At the Tanzfabrik Wedding St.5

Due to the Netherlands’ new Covid19 restriction concerning the variant B.1.1.529, the Omicron,
I had to postpone ( eventually canceled ) my trip to the Camp Vught National Memorial, the former Herzogenbusch concentration camp.
And I decided to spend the budget and time to create two solo video, as the final results of this research.  
On Monday 13.December I went to the Jewish Museum in Berlin to experience the architect and the following Tuesday I went to the studio.

As soon as I entered to the Studio 5. at the Tanzfabrik/Uferstudios, the vast emptiness embraced me.  
The technical adviser Martin Pilz kindly helped me to set up the lights and on the third day
my partner and photographer Henryk Weiffenbach helped me for set the camera for filming.   

The Void Spaces: 2 short solo

There was nothing left in those spaces, nor smell nor trace.
In the silence of the void spaces, I stared at the empty space as if looking for an object, and I
strained my ears to hear the voices and music that are no longer there.
At the empty spaces, the air was the only object I was allowed to touch.
For this two solo, I move through the space with a Japanese folding-fan, to touch, move and
follow the movement of the air.

Solo A, Recalling Memories (working title)
Sound : Koa Lament (Ukulelezaza) //ca.1.5min.
Plot :
At the memorials and other sources I’ve read many personal stories of the victims.
For most of the people, although their freedom had already been restricted slowly and steadily,
the day, the end of their happiness came suddenly.
If today’s happiness was suddenly taken away from you tomorrow, what and how long would
you be able to remember it? If it were me, I would remember the happiness not by shape or
colour, but by its sensation, and I probably repeatedly remember the lost happiness again and
For this solo, I improvise with a choreography and make a video collage out of five repetitions.
A sensation of happiness to be recalled again and again.

Solo B, About the Darkness (working title)
Sound: A Silent Room (Joshua Tennent) //ca. 3min.
This is inspired by the Holocaust-Turm by Daniel Libeskind. The overwhelming, the absolute
atmosphere of the tower had many times reminded in me when I visited other empty spaces in the memorials.
I thought that the sins committed in those now empty places are as incomprehensible as the deepest darkness,
a total darkness that could not be overturned by anyone.

Darkness is the void of light, and without a source of light, colours do not appear to our eyes.
If colour can be subjectively translated into movement and sound, what kind of movement and sound can describe the darkness?
An improvisation with movement motifs. 

Venue: Tanzfabrik Wedding at Uferstudios

Absence of the sound of Bob Rutman

The Japanese folding-fan is one of the important tool for this research.
Use the folding-fan made me possible to visualize the movement of the air in the void spaces.
But on 20.November, as I danced with the Jazz pianist Nicolas Schulze, the absent of the Bob Rutman I felt the void the most, more than any memorials I went.

This summer, the legendary musician and painter Bob Rutman passed away.
Bob was the only person I personally knew who born as a Berliner Jew (his mother was Jew) in the NS-Regime.
We seldom talked about it and it was never the reason why I interested in his music.
But sure, he’d never forgotten the different life the ca.165’000 German Jews went.

Since 2003, I have organized many concerts with Bob to give myself chance to play with him.
The most memorable was with the Japanese Butoh dancer Mushimaru and his dancers the Physical Poets
And some time Bob and other organizer invited me to join him.
Bob’s music was like a theater, brought us from the hell to the heaven and the frequency was incredibly touchable.
He lived just around the corner of my studio and was always with beautiful ladies, artists and organizers.
I wonder how many artists I’ve met through playing with Bob. 

On 20.November at the Fabrik Potsdam, I performed the joint-concerts Potsdamer Tanztage 2021 – JazzLab – Bob Rutman Tribute
with the Jazz pianist Nicolas Schulze, cellist Munsha and Alex Dr.Dorsh, dancer Hilla Sternert and other musicians and artists.

And I brought a Japanese folding-fan.

Photo ©Henryk Weiffenbach

Gedenkstätte BergenBelsen

28.10.1944 Anne & Margot Frank sent to Bergen Belsen, where they lost their lives in the early 1945.

-1945 to 1945 : the camp was served as POW (prisoners of war) camp, where a total of 50,000 soldiers lost their lives.
-1943 to 1945 : part of the POW camp was used as the Nazi concentration camp, in which at least 52,000 of the total of around 120,000 prisoners lost their lives.
-1945 to 1950 : on 15.April 1945 the camp was liberated by British army.
Bergen-Belsen was used as the DPs (displaced person’s) camp until the September 1950.
Tuesday Nov.9. I took a train at 6:45am. from the Berlin central station.
The station Celle to the memorial was 1hour by two buss. Trees, fields, cows and horses, I adored the calming autumn nature in the area and arrived to the memorial,  Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen at 10:30am.
The first two hours I walked around the memorial field and POW cemetery. The post barracks, crematorium and cemetery area, except the silent prayer room there are no buildings, only some grave stones and memorial objects stand on the huge field.

In the end of the video, you could hear the firearm. It was very sunny and empty, I only saw one tourist and two soldiers in the field.
But during ca.1.5 hours in the memorial fields,  I was confused by kept hearing enomous firearm shots from afar, and I soon found the military security area notice board. Only ca.2km away from the memorial and the POW cemetery is now British military base.

The modern documentation center have very detailed history about the POW camp, the concentration camp and DPs camp.
Numerous displays I you can hear the original interviews of the survivors; soldiers and imprisoned civilians, also some interviews of the local children at that time.

At the camp Bergen-Belsen, it wasn’t clear what was exactly done with the ashes.

The book “The Memory Monster” by Yishai Sario and my physical visits of KZs have steadily influenced on my perception.
Every memorials I went have the gray, the color of the ashes.

At the camp Auschwitz-Birkenau the ashes had used as fertilizer.
My Polish tour said that cremation wasn’t common way for Jews.  And the guide repeatedly said “it was happened on our earth”, as if she mentioned saying “the nature of all those area have absorbed the ashes of the victims.”
In the contrast to the gray, the nature in the empty fields now reminds me of the breath of the ashes.

“ Anne Frank, das kleine Mädchen, das zum Widerstand nicht geschaffen war, ist Opfer und Symbol aller Millionen und Abermillionen von Menschen […], die als Opfer der Gewalt starben. “

EN: “Anne Frank, the little girl who didn’t managed to resist, is the victim and symbol of all the millions and millions of people […] who died as victims of violence.”

Fritz Bauer  “Fritz Bauer-Der Staats-Anwalt” P.261.

I took a bus at 3:30pm, returned to Berlin at ca. 8pm.

Direction of movement: improvisation and context II

Those questions have arisen in proceedings in September:
– At an improvisation in context of the void spaces connected to the German culture of remembrance, can words be an anchor for the improvisation?
– What is the necessary agreement or choreographic direction use words & text in the improvisation?
– What is the role of the words and text in the improvisation?
The first weekend in October, I rent the gallery Neurotitan from Haus Schwarzenberg.
The third day on Sunday, I invited my mentor and other artists to go further research of the above.
Date :  3.Oct.2021
at: Neurotitan Gallery
Joshua Tennent : sound improvisation
Carlos Osatinsky : movement Improvisation
Fernando Pelliccioli : movement Improvisation
Boris von Poser : mentoring and Improvisation with pre-wrote text
Procedure :
a, Body work initiated by Carlos and Fernando
b, continued to View-Point based exercise
c, when our perception in the room opened and the chemistry between us got in flow,
Boris took over the situation started giving us the text he previously prepared for the day.
d, pose and discussion
e, from then, we tried various different settings of improvisations and discussed together.
Results :
The words and text is definitively work as an anchor for the improvisation.
The more performer grasp the meaning and the rhythm of the words/text, the more intuitive moments happens without but imitation the meaning.
The necessary agreement and choreographic direction depends on the individual group dynamics.
*group dynamics = system of behaviours and psychological processes occurring within a social group (wikipedia)
There was an another important question “why we need to dance?”.
I believe, as same as an experience at an historical place effects our memory, there are memories and thought we could only able to touch through our physical movements.
So for me it is very important to bring us in flow of movement (and sound) during the improvisation.
For the third question; what is the role of the words and text in the improvisation?

Every words have the rhythms itself, as a foreigner facing to the languages not my mother tongue every day, I became to listen more carefully the rhythms and tonalities of words and sentences.
Since any foreign language forced us to have more efforts for communication, it reminds me of the Japanese old belief Kototama.
In Japanese cultural belief KOTOTAMA, we believe the power of the words.
In the belief, when words are sent out, even without knowing the meaning of the words, one’s environment and personal circumstances could be influenced by the words.
Use Kototama for improvisation is far esoteric and not my purpose.
This collaboration research but confirmed me of the strong influence of words’ not only the meanings but also the rhythms and tonalities.
I’d like to take time with my mentor Boris to discus about the rhythm, tonality and meaning of words and sentences.

Photos: ©Henryk Weiffenbach

Die Abwesenheit der Klänge

Diskurs Serie : Ein Objekt, Viel Fragen at Humboldt Forum
In October 13. I perform at the listening room of the Music-Ethnology at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin (German: Ethnologisches Museum Berlin) at the Humboldt Forum.
The ethnological museum has a large collection of the African, Pacific and Asian arts and besides the exhibition the museum introduce the German colonial time in Africa.

Refer to my theme of this research (the sound and movement of the void spaces), the curator of the discurs series „Ein Objekt, viele Fragen /One Object, Many Questions“ , Valerie von Stillfried gave me a further question.
The sound of emptiness, but not about the sound in a void room but of a silenced instrument in museum.

The instruments in the museum had been taken apart from its original location and the people who’d played the instruments.
Valerie and I chose an African instrument Likembe/Mbira/Kalimba (E39040 (HUF / O2.019.P3, Die Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr) at the ethnological music department.

Since my Dis Tanz Solo research started, I became more aware of the importance of experience the real objects and places, which carry the history of humankind. For me, those all original places and objects are the gateways to the history and culture I haven’t experienced, and the gateways to think of the present world.
Being a performer I have my privilege to experience other culture through the music and dance.
When I imagenaly put the music and dance on the world map, the world map start showing the interweaving history of mankind.
Music and dance can tell the things far beyond important than the borders.

Holding an instrument is a real encounter with the hands the instrument had once belonged of.  Then, as soon as I play the instrument it brings me into an another level of personal encounter with the time and/or culture that does not belongs to myself.
⭐︎Thank you for the Photo: by Humboldt Forum.


On 7.October, I went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
I took the 6 hours study tour in English, our (we were group of around 10 people from USA and other part of the world) tour guide/lecturer was Polish.
At the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, also at the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum, what impressed me the most were, the huge, empty and green grass field and the forests behind. If I hadn’t known the history, I’d imagined completely different story.
Our guide said that she comes from the local town Oswiecim (Auschwitz).
I wonder it must be extremely sad that their beautiful old town became known not by the beauty but the brutal history.

In surprise, it wasn’t huge walls separated the forests of the town and the the camps, but the camps ware surrounded by fences.
The camps ware visible from the outside, the brutality must have been witnessed by the local people.
The guide said “ Yes of course it is very sad for us, and yet it is important for us to keep the historic locations, because it had happened at our soil.”
I questioned the word “soil”, and it was more than just a metaphor.
Later at crematorium she explained that the NS-Germany spread the ashes of their victims into the field used as a fertilizer.

 “Listen, ” I told her. “Just listen for a second. Do you hear anything? Wind and birds. Now travel back in time.
  A Little more, further back. The bards are still singing, the wind is still blowing, you’re in the same place, and it’s full of people.
They arrived by train and within an hour or two they’re just dead animals, burned to ashes. Focus, feel it.  They are here around us, a part of nature.

– The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid –

Direction of movement: improvisation and context

The impact of words
This research focuses on the memorials of the Culture of Remembrance (Erinnerungskulture) in Germany and the impact on the body of the void of the abandoned spaces.
The memorials of mainly after the Second World War, where the original spaces are exhibit as the direct evidences of what had happened.  Those places have distant with the history of my own country both geographically and the circumstances.

But in the same time, since I live in Berlin, it is the history that had happened very close to my own living space.
And since it had happened contemporary with the Japanese history of course, my research have been giving me another perspective on Japan in the WWII.
For this research I planed my creative process: that I visit those abandoned spaces, investigate the history and then search the movement and sound based on the experience that remains in my body.  I thought it would be a rational process, but in reality it caused stagnant of movement.
After couple of month, I had to admit, that for me, in the process of creating sound, it is necessary to be alone as much as possible, but for this research theme, I need dialogue with the other(s’) body in the space.

In August, as I expanded my direction from making solos to collaborating, I looked at how the process could expand my perception of space and create and maintain the Atmosphere of trust (as Carlos and Fernando call it) necessary for improvisation.

I believe that in order to visualize the subjectivity of spatial perception through movement and sound, it is essential to utilize improvisation in the work.

Those questions have arisen in proceedings:
– At an improvisation in context of the void spaces connected to the German culture of remembrance, can words be an anchor for the improvisation?
– What is the necessary agreement or choreographic direction use words & text in the improvisation?
– What is the role of the words and text in the improvisation?