Artist Interview アーティストインタビュー
Wataru Kitao’s “Mind Beyond the Frame”
Driving Baobab and Dance × Scrum!!!
Wataru Kitao (born 1987) is the leader of the dance company Baobab and is active as a choreographer, dancer and actor. When Baobab’s Re:born project vol. 6 Please! Laughing Frame was released on the online project “STAGE BEYOND BORDERS” launched by the Japan Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the distribution of works with multilingual subtitles, it gathered the attention and support of the younger generation, eventually recording about 300,000 views (the “Frame” in the title refers to a picture frame and the content is a video version of Baobab’s repertoire work “Laughing Frame,” depicting the urge to “transcend the frame” (and confining frameworks such as dance genres), which Kitao explains in the opening solo interview before moving on to self-introductory interviews with dancers in a Japanese-style tatami room seated in omiai (matchmaking) format, and then progressing to their dancing and eventually moving to an airport under travel restrictions where people have disappeared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where Kitao and the dancers break into an energetic group dance). In this long interview, we talk with Kitao about his quest for dance as a comprehensive art and the activities he has pursued such as launching in 2016 the festival “DANCE × Scrum!!!” and more that have made him a leader of his generation of dancers.
Interviewer: Takao Norikoshi (dance critic)