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Satoshi Ago

Contact person :
Satoshi Ago

Position :
TEHATRE E9 KYOTO artistic director / Playwright, Director / ARTS SEED KYOTO Representative Director

Message

With replication and pure language as his central themes, Ago produces theatrical works that may or may not feature a human presence on stage. Besides producing work himself, he has also been active in establishing the new Theatre E9 Kyoto. Ago has also worked on a number of collaborations with contemporary artists such as Yasumasa Morimura and Miwa Yanagi.

Works

A play without any people. This is the play with no performers, no staff, no reception, and no audience. In that case, what we can do is calling and creating echos. Perform the play using only the principles that are probably the only possible.
-date-
29th April, 14:00 2020

-note-
We hope that no one will come to the venue due to the concept of the work. At the start time, please take a big breath at the place where you are at that time. Admission fees will be used as operating expenses for THEATRE E9 KYOTO.

About 800 years ago, there was a lower-class noble named Yasunobu Miyoshi who would later become the first head of the board of inquiry (chief justice) of the Kamakura Shogunate. This man is one of Ago’s ancestors. As Yasunobu’s aunt was a wet nurse (known as a Dakimenoto) for the shogun Minamoto No Yoritomo, Yasunobu had a deep connection with Yoritomo from childhood to the end of his life. There also a man named Kanezane Kujo who overcame the turbulent times to earn the title of Kanpaku (chief advisor to the emperor) by stirring up trouble to gain credit for the solution from Yoritomo.

The Kujo family’s residence seems to have been in what is now Higashikujo Minamisannocho in Minami Ward, Kyoto, and by coincidence the first performance of Palace of the Senses was held at studio seedbox, which is in the same district.
This studio was the first location for THEATRE E9 KYOTO, which was opened before the theatre that we would later build in the Higashi Kujo area.

To create this work I visited Higashi Kujo a number of times over the last year or so and held a ceremony to call up this ancestral spirit of the theatre to the location, weaving it together with Yasunobu’s image.

Running alongside this story from the end of the Heian Period, I have also depicted the story of my own childhood spent in Hong Kong during the bubble era up to the demise of the Emperor Showa.

This piece is being performed again in 2019, with a common thread between the narrative and this point in time when the name of the era is changing (from Showa to Heisei, and now Heisei to Reiwa). Against the backdrop of these large narratives, this work is an accumulation of small expressions across the body.

Satoshi Ago

The attention of the audience is concentrated on sensations of the skin. Through the sense of touch we recognize ourselves, atone for our sins and confirm that we are alive. This process could be said to symbolize the work of an actor. The work of an actor is to communicate between different bodies, times and worlds. The actor fights, speaks and fuses with another version of themselves. The stage converses with radical, yet also primordial, memories of the body.

Extract from “Self-Recognition Through the Sense of Touch”,
theatre review by Yoko Kuki, TEATRO October 2018 Edition, “August in Kansai”

Curriculum vitae

Last update : 14 Dec. 2021