Peripheral Stream

Choreographer: Hiroaki Umeda

In Peripheral Stream, the choreographer starts from a hypothesis that ‘the core of all movements cannot be defined physically.’ For instance, when one observes a large river in close-ups, he or she will realize that it is actually consisted of countless peripheral streams. Similarly, when one watches the stage, the audience readily assumes that he or she is enjoying a dance performance. But actually, what they see is only the peripheral streams generated from the gravity point of the dancers, and, also the flow of accompanying electronic music and digital video. The audience cannot realize the origin of movement, that is, main ‘flow of force’ deriving from the dancers. In other words, what are vis- ualized on stage are only the peripheral streams. In order to embody this aesthetic concept, the four dancers on stage do not focus on the ornamental ‘poses,’ but rather, attempt to generate multiple different ‘flows’ from their gravity points. These flows guide the audience’s vi- sion towards their body parts, to the unity of the four dancers, and, also to the background digital images reminiscent of physical phe- nomena. From time to time, the jittering of their torsos synchronizes with the back image, which makes us think that the faintest change of a human may transform the whole universe. Indeed, the physical language that the choreographer adopts in this piece differs from clas- sical ballet in terms of the position of the gravity point, the manner of movements, and even the way the dancers breathe. However, Umeda is not trying to abandon the aesthetics of ballet. On the contrary, he is striving to embed the basic ‘movement method’ developed through his physicality to the underlayer of all ‘dance method,’ which may in turn strengthen and enrich the vocabulary of ballet. Umeda’s initial endeavor for creating this ballet language of the future can be ob- served through this piece.

March 5, 2014 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France

Sound, Image, Lighting Design
Hiroaki Umeda 

Image Programming
Shoya Dozono 

Costume Design
Hiroaki Umeda 

18 minutes

Peripheral Stream