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„The structure of the show and humour of each dancer made this performance much more than a simple, high-quality dance production. While it looks at the current daily life of young people in Asia with interesting perspectives, this production invites audiences to go back to the roots of human beings and gives a boost of positive energy“

Hisashi Shimoyama, Producer/Artistic Director of ricca ricca*festa, Okinawa/JAPAN


"After being touched by “THE STRANGERS,” I started questioning how many "familiar people" in our lives were treated as strangers."
Shu-ming Ju, Director of Taiwan Dot Go Children’s Art Festival, Kaohsiung/TAIWAN




The story behind this project is the perfect metaphor for this show:  four dancers from four different Asian countries meet a South American director and a European dramaturg: 3 continents meet up on one small stage. They seem to have nothing in common; they don’t share their tastes in food, they don’t speak the same language, and they grew up with different tales about the world we live in.  The ideas of both living and struggling with differences became the building blocks of this dance-theatre production.

THE STRANGERS is an honest and courageous attempt to look at our human condition behind superficial differences. Stories about identity, about belonging (or not) to a group, about trust and alienation, build this non-verbal, poetic play. Expressing ideas, feelings, convictions and beliefs through physicality, this production encourages youngsters to look beyond the surface and search for the missing link connecting all of us. Beyond religions, borders and languages, beyond looks and genders, beyond social classes and world views. This play is probably a good chance to laugh at the ridiculous cult of creating tribe-like cultural segregations, in an already globalized society.


    Direction/Choreography:  Leandro Kees  |  Dramaturgy:  Julia Dina Heße | Performers:  Airi Suzuki (Japan), James Kan (Malaysia),  Pakhamon Hemachandra (Thailand),  Sang-hun Lee (Korea) | Stage Manager: Yoshito Takeuchi | Light Design: Masakazu Takahashi | Sound: Hisashi Tomiyama  | Tour Manager: Martin Rascher  | Video Documentation:  Roger Walch | Project Managemnet: Miyuki Nishimura / Goethe-Institut Osaka. 

    Produced by the Goethe-Institut Osaka and the ricca ricca*festa  Festival, further supported by ASSITEJ KOREA, Taiwan Dot Go Children’s Art Festival, Association for Artistic Creativity and Educational Development. Sponsored by Yamaoka Memorial and  Goethe-Institut Osaka.
    The  2019 Asia Tour of this production was supported by the Japan Foundation.


    "This piece, as most of the work I have created or co-created in the last several years, had the intention of addressing complex social issues for young audiences and doing so without words.  
    For this case in particular, it had to be staged and choreographed from scratch in only four weeks, and to be done with an entirely new cast and crew with members from six different countries that had never met before. It was sure to be a big challenge from any angle you looked at it.
    So, when I was invited by the Goethe Institute in Japan to direct this show, we talked about how far one can go in the simplification of the complex. And about how can we interwine topics such as nationalism and bullying, or discrimination and xenophobia. We tried to find links between the realities of early adolescence and those of adult social lives.

    With dramaturg Julia Dina Hesse we worked several months in advance on the concept of this piece. We started by analyzing texts from Noam Chomsky and, at the same time, asking what it takes for a teenager to later become a xenophobic adult.
    This was a particularly difficult endeavor, as we had to move away from our adult/rational minds and try to peer at the issue of ‘belonging or not belonging’ from the eyes of a 10-year-old child. And to do that while renouncing the use language altogether.

    What started as a red siren screaming ‘this will be hard!,' transformed into process where the logics of visual metaphors took control of the entire dramaturgy and scenes naturally found their way in the play. We realized that we had to be daringly simple for some topics to actually be comprehensible to early teenagers. We had to understand that what might seem obvious to us is still complex enough for someone who has not yet lived or seen as much. I think the strength of this work is that it keeps a good balance between descriptive and metaphoric scenes, between narrative situations and scenes open to several layers of interpretation."




    THE STRANGERS is a highly tourable show.  It adapts to different stage sizes and locations, and it works independent of language. 

    The on-tour total luggage is one regular-sized airplane suitcase.

    The performance duration is 45 Minutes, with no intermission.

Tour members: 6 persons (4 performers, 1 director, 1 tour manager/technical staff)

    For detailed information please contact
    Goethe-Institut Osaka
    Cultural Division
    Miyuki Nishimura
    +81 (0)6-6440-5900.


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