BIOGRAPHIES OF THE ARTISTS
About Riko Sugama:
Riko Sugama, from Okinawa, Japan, is an award winning Master of Ryukyu Traditional Dance, and Uta-Sanshin (Ryukyu traditional musical instruments and songs). She focused all her life on the study of the Ryukyu Islands’ rich cultural heritage, showcasing the unique traditions and customs of this fascinating region. Her dance technique is known for her graceful and expressive movements, inspired by the study and observation of the natural and traditional landscape into which she was born.
About the Ryukyu Dance:
Geographically and historically, the island of Okinawa (former Ryukyu) has been an Asian crossroads, where the cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia have left visible marks. The Ryukyu population always prioritized peaceful cultural exchange and trade, and this helped the process of a fertile inclusion of intercultural elements. Ryukyu Buyo, one of Okinawa’s traditional performing arts, is said to have developed between the 14th and the 15th C. during the Ryukyu Kingdom. It was performed at welcoming banquets to greet the Chinese emissaries with a dance celebration. Maintaining its traditional formal traits, the dance evolved through the centuries, thanks to the new interpretations, given by great performers over time. Normally, the classical Ryukyu dance is accompanied by instruments like the sanshin (a three-string-instrument), the koto (a Japanese plucked half-tube zither instrument), the flute, the taiko (drums) and the kokyu(Chinese fiddle). The techniques used to produce the original Bingata costumes for the dance are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia (possibly Java, or perhaps China or India), and arrived in the Ryukyu Kingdom through trade during the 14th century.
About Ayane Kondo:
Influenced by music conductor Hisaatsu Kondo, Ayane Kondo started to study music when she was only two years old. In 2010, she graduated the Tokyo College of Music. In 2013, she got the first prize from the Consul of China in Osaka for the International Music Competition of the Chinese Music Council and she received the Encouragement Award of the TIAA All Japan Classical Music Concert of the Tokyo International Association of Artists for multiple percussion style. In 2014, Kondo went to the Czech Republic, started to study timpani under Michael Kroutil, principal timpanist of the Česká Filharmonie. In 2015, she studied percussions in Dresden, Germany and in 2016, she started to play the hammered dulcimer, a percussion-stringed instrument which consists of strings typically stretched over a trapezoidal resonant sound board. She also started creating classical, Jazz, world traditional and original music with guitarist IBUKI as duo band LuneSonne. LuneSonne has 2 CDs in online release. (First Sound and Moving with the Music). Ayane Kondo is based in Berlin.
About the sound of the hammered dulcimer:
“The tone is deep, bright as if listening to a pipe organ, and shiny as if seeing the light reflecting through the window of a grand cathedral.” (Original text by Ayane Kondo)
About Lin Wang:
Lin Wang is a tea practitioner and facilitator from China. Since 2015 she has been studying Chinese tea with various teachers from Taiwan, Hongkong and Yunnan. She started ‘Saturday Tearoom’ at RYOKO Berlin in 2017 and has been offering tea sessions and workshops and collaborating with artists in different fields, involving ceramics, setting design, Wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) and music. With her calmness and care for aesthetics she creates space for quiet contemplation and joyful connectivity along with consciously curated tea from China and Taiwan.
About Chaozhou Gongfucha:
Chaozhou Gongfucha is a method of preparing and drinking tea originated during Qing dynasty in Chaoshan area of the north-eastern Guangdong province. This practice is characterized by its particular attentiveness to the utensils, the quality of the water and tea leaves, teaware, fire and most importantly, the procedure of brewing. Gongfu means the culturedness of the tea person, his or her knowledge and skill and leisure time for making and enjoying tea. Therefore, the tea should only be served by someone who has already practiced in the arts of Gongfucha. Originally as a regional custom, this practice has an essential influence on contemporary Chinese tea arts.
About Motoya Kondo:
Based in Berlin, Motoya Kondo is a choreographer, dancer, and co-founder of Motimaru Dance Company. Born in Nagoya, Japan. From 2005, he had been studying Butoh with Yoshito Ohno, son of Kazuo Ohno, one of the founders of Butoh, and worked as his assistant. After 2010, he has started field work research of local and traditional dances in Japan, India, Nepal, Spain, and Bali. He studied Balinese dance with Agun Anom Putra, I Made Djimat, and Ida Bagus Oka Wirjana. Since 2008, he has been immersed in the practice and study of Eastern contemplative traditions, particularly following the Tibetan traditions, and bridging between contemporary art practices and age-old wisdom. He has been performing and teaching in: La Biennale di Venezia 2010, 9th International Choreography Competition No Ballet, International Dance Festival Lucky Trimmer, 2016, Hildesheim University, Leipzig University, Academy of Media Arts Cologne,to name a few, working in over 35 cities between Europe, Asia, and Australia. His performances include: Twilight, Lifelines, Breath in and out, and Human Installation “B.O.D.Y”.
“Out of the heat of the Japanese underground art movements in the 1950s -1970s, two extraordinary dancers emerged: Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata. They absorbed Western avant-garde art movements, literature and philosophy, as well as Eastern ancient traditions, and they have pushed the limit of performing art to reveal the deep hidden reality of body and mind. The method of Hijikata that enables performers to embody any sensations, sounds, or images to unlock subtle layers of the body on the stage is a powerful universal gift for the contemporary performers. Kazuo Ohno’s dance which revealed such a rich nature within each of us, that is far beyond personal sentiment, keeps inspiring us. Motoya Kondo keeps investigating the universal treasures from the works of these two dancers and, at the same time, he researches and experiments to evolve it further, aiming at an art that can reveal the profound reality of existence.” (Original text by Motoya Kondo)
About Hoshiko Yamane:
Hoshiko Yamane is a classically trained, Berlin-based, Japanese violinist and composer. She is currently a member of German electronic music group Tangerine Dream. Yamane has released several solo albums, along with a larger number of recordings of her diverse artistic collaborations with other artists, on a variety of different labels. She has also composed music for various artistic endeavors/projects in the fields of: dance performance, installation art and film. As Tukico, her solo side project, she released her first EP, become, with Hush Hush Records (USA), in early 2020 and the solo album,Primitive, with Subcontinental Records (India), in Autumn 2020. Tukico performs the electric violin with effects and synthesizer. As Tangerine Dream‘s violinist, Yamane has participated, since 2011, in the recording of the band’s albums and performed live concerts. Yamane started her classical training when she was four years old. After she graduated University of Art and Music in Aichi, Japan, she moved to Berlin for the Master of Fine Arts as a violinist. Later, she graduated with a Diploma as a violinist, from the University of Music and Theater Rostock, Germany. During her studies, she worked with the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester. From 2011- 2013, she worked with Jane Birkin on a European tour, with music directed by Nobuyuki Nakajima, performing live concerts in more than thirty countries. Her other projects include Tansik (live music and contemporary dance) and KiSeki (a violin and Klangstein duo).
About Sonoko Kamimura:
From Gifu, Japan, Sonoko Kamimura is a movement director based in Berlin, Germany. She started her classical ballet training at Reiko Matsuoka Ballet Studio in Nagoya. She received her bachelor of professional contemporary dance at Codarts Hoogschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam, 2011. After her professional career as a dancer at Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and a guest member of The Forsythe Company, she became a freelance movement director and a revival director for opera productions. She worked with Ted Huffman for the first time in 2017 for Madama Butterfly at Zurich Opera House. She has subsequently worked closely with Ted Huffman on his productions of Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at The Royal Danish Opera (2019) and Opéra National de Montpellier (2020), Les Mamelles de Tirésias at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (2019) and Die Vogel at Opéra National du Rhin (2022) and the world première of The Girl with a Pearl Earring at Opernhaus Zürich (2022). She joined as well as a movement director to R.B. Schlather’s Madame Butterfly at Frankfurter Oper (2022), and worked closely with Christopher Roman at Mexico Aura at Neuköllner Oper Berlin (2022). She joined as a movement consultant to the production Madame Butterfly at The Royal Opera House in London (2022). Through her experience as a dancer, she brings a versatile movement vocabulary, that can support to develop the body language of performers on stage.