What is the specific quality and physical perception of Tokyo’s and Dusseldorf’s combined groove? Sebastian Matthias’s team searched for it during their research and rehearsal time in both cities. They were especially interested in the perspective of Japanese residents in Dusseldorf and of German residents in Tokyo on their respective cities, and the ways in which they are able to look both inside and outside at the same time. Within this double perspective, the minority becomes the majority and vice versa, enabling a new thinking of how we share a space with other people.
How we feel and perceive ourselves in public space depends on political and cultural contexts, but the globalised urban space is also influenced and shared by local individuals. This becomes apparent when our gaze meets the gaze of another. The performance of “x / groove space” makes a temporary connection between two distant places and brings them into motion: between Dusseldorf and Tokyo, between the documentative viewpoint of the video and the presence of the theatre, between the social space and the art space.
In “x / groove space” Sebastian Matthias’s core team of seven dancers collaborates with visual artists Atsuhiro Ito, Masaru Iwai and Yoko Seyama from Tokyo. In addition more than a dozen residents of Dusseldorf and Tokyo have been substantially involved in developing the creation of a shared dynamic and experience in a dance/art space.
The dramaturgy of “x / groove space” connects several levels. Dance, incorporating the physical perceptions of pedestrians in both cities, creates a choreography with multiple focus points. The movement of Yoko Seyama’s kinetic sculptures and Atsuhiro Ito’s live performance with the Optron, a modified fluorescent light used as an instrument, and his spatial installation combining light and sound, interact with the dancers as well as the audience. Masaru Iwai works with the production processes in the background, with paper documents from the office and the local cleaning procedures. He transfers the birds-eye perspective of this “groove space” onto the third space of the video, asking: Who is actually making theatre possible, and for whom?