At his young age Nobuyoshi Asai started practicing street dance in Japan and at an international level.Wishing to search deeper into dance that expresses collective human issues, he joined for a year the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York. Back in Japan, he created his own company, Sudbury306, where young artists joined their creative researches giving international performances. In order to go deeper into movement demanding a complex and profound interior approach, he joined the japanese butoh company Dairakudakan on 2005, before becoming permanent dancer at the butoh company Sankai Juku with whom he gave performances all over the world. In parallel, on 2011, the Pola Art Foundation provided him grants to pursue his choreographic and artistic researches in Berlin, so as to weave links between japanese cultural background and occidental contemporary creative movements. The following year, he obtained the Japanese Governement Study program for Artists and spent a year in Tel Aviv, attached at the Batsheva Company and also collaborating with the alternative artistic environment of Clipa Theater. Striving to embrace a freelance career - in ordrer to explore further more dance, choreography but also collaborations/ creations on photography and plastic arts - he now lives and works in France.
< abstinent >
Created on february 2012, for the Festival Clipa Aduma in Tel Aviv, this piece was prensented also in june 2012 at the Bertin Poirée Cultural Center, in Paris. Selected fot the Festival Arte Laguna, in Venice, « Abstinent » received in march 2013 a Special Prize for its performing and visual qualities. At this occasion, the Sao Paulo based gallery Spazio Surreale proposed to organize in its premices a special performance, video and photography exhibition around this piece. In may 2013 « Abstinent » was re-created in Paris, at the Bertin Poirée Cultural Center and, later the same month, was awarded the First Prize for dance and choreography at the Afrik Urbanarts Festival, in Abidjan. From a conceptual, aesthetical and expressive point of view, « Abstinent » is based on the principles of light, darkness and the shadows in between : these elements create an osmotic triptych, source of inspiration as well as of obsession, projected by the psyche, the thoughts and the body. Beneath and beyond this framework is then developped a dialogue, sometimes audible sometimes silent, between the movement and the space ; it’ s a questioning about the reservoirs, the springs, the canals, visible and invisible, that create the foundations of our longing for our desires. The movement, that has it’ s roots in the butoh and is sustained either from the roughness or the incisive sensuality of contemporary dance, weaves at each moment links with the space, on purpose very pure, inhabited here and there by objects and stage elements which, beyond their visual impact, vehiculate a semantic load oscillating between the totemic and the symbolic. Besides this rich complexity - and in fact due to it - « Abstinent » has the versatility to be adapted to the various contexts where it is performed. As its’ fundamental concept is universal, there is the possibility to inflect some elements of this piece in order to integrate it even more to the specific social-cultural context of the places/countries where it is presented. To do so, some stage objects (created mainly by Nobuyoshi Asai himself) are modified, as well as the lighting, in order to produce either a suggestive or a more direct impact on the public. This inherent adaptability makes it also possible that « Abstinent » can be performed in various spatial environments : indoors vastly open space (ex. Venice, Arsenal), indoors delimited stage (ex. Tel Aviv, Clipa Aduma Festival ; Paris, Centre Culturel Bertin Poirée), as well as outdoors open space (ex. Abidjan, Afrik Urbanarts Festival).
Like a flower that opens....
Asai sitting with his head shaved, face painted white. When he stood up, holding his arms up, revealed a long body without a head and hands - a kind of sculpture. Internal flow motion of a moving sculpture from side to side. In the second part Asai is peeling off his clothes, left with a black skirt and a bare torso.He dances thoughts, a poetry of the body. But that's soft and tender, and has energy capable of producing mountains and raise tsunamis. All is delicate and fragile. He dances from the trenches of the occidental music violin, piano and guitar (as did Kazuo Ohno), and clouds of white smoke looks beautiful -immigrants, write and draw liberally on the screen. This is a beautiful picture.
Haaretz Journal, Israël, for « Abstinent » by Zipi Shohat, 2012
Directed, Choreographed, Stage designed, Dancer Nobuyoshi Asai
Music YOSHIZUMI , Utaco Ichise
Costumes Maya Umetani , Yonna Kim and Nobuyoshi Asai
Graphic design Ko Oda , Kenta Arai
World Premiere Clipa ADUMA international theatre festival [Tel Aviv] , february 2012