Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise

Toshiki Okada / chelfitsch In Japanese with German surtitles

Text and Director
Torafu Architects Inc.
Lighting Design
Tomomi Ohira
Sound Design
Norimasa Ushikawa
Stage Manager
Koro Suzuki
Takaki Sudo
Akane Nakamura
Production Manager
Tamiko Ouki
Tomomitsu Adachi, Shoko Matsumura, Yukiko Sasaki, Riki Takeda, Taichi Yamagata

At least since his Five Days in March appeared at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in 2007, the Japanese choreographer and director Toshiki Okada, who founded his company chelfitsch in Tokyo in 1997, has been familiar in the European dance and performance scene. With his works on the boundaries of spoken and movement theatre, Okada gained considerable attention in the art scene in his own country, combining consciously everyday colloquial speech with the equally everyday movements of his protagonists. In his latest play The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise he delves once more into everyday Japanese life, this time taking a peek inside the living room of a couple in Tokyo: in a good location, with typical jobs and a loving relationship, everything seems perfect at first glance – yet happiness fails to materialise. Both in dialogue and in gestures which are quite independent of the language and create entirely new meanings, these characters in their 30s search for the reasons behind their lack of happiness: is it Japanese society in particular with its harsh restrictions and social rules which will not allow the ›work first‹ generation a considered and satisfied look at its own circumstances? Or are the Japanese couple prototypical representatives of a whole generation looking for meaning in a globalized world? Their thoughts on the values and measures of a life of fulfilment lead from absorption in the minutiae of everyday life to observations of universal connections. In addition to a direct theatrical narrative and the humour which is typical of his work, in The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise Toshiki Okada casts light on the major questions of his generation and society.

A performance presented by Pact Zollverein / Tanzlandschaft Ruhr on behalf of the Ruhrtriennale.

Produced by chelfitsch in collaboration with Precog, Tokyo. Co-produced by; Kanawaga Arts Theater, Acm Theatre (Art Tower mito), Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (Ycam) with support from The Japan Foundation, Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the business year 2011. With thanks to the Steep Slope Studio.