ASOBI is a Japanese term that refers to what we do outside the obligations of our life: trivial things, passing activities, minor obsessions.
ASOBI also means ‘game’ in an adult, sensual context. Humans and certain animals with complex brains understand this aspect of life, this amusement in creating actions and tasks distinct from those we have to accomplish in order to survive.
The word also refers to prevarication, a loss of concentration, letting go, and the drunkenness it induces. By extension, it also evokes the game of chance, competition, combat and vertigo caused by fairground rides and childhood games. In contemporary Japanese society, it also has an erotic connotation that strongly evokes the adult games that are staged as childhood ones. It is especially used by men, as even today Japanese women are not expected to indulge in such practices.
What would happen if they did? Exploring the idea of fetishism and so-called ASOBI practices, some aspects of which magnify certain parts of the body, the show will tackle this question through games between women. An obsession with the body and its reflection, as well as voyeurism, feature on a set that evokes 'Magic Mirrors', with a large transparent mirror on the ceiling. The idea was inspired by the Japanese 'love hotels', where couples can watch themselves make love in the mirror on the ceiling. This game of voyeurism incites us to be observed, to not be observed, to realise that we are being observed, to not realise that we are being observed, etc.
It is also about creating a portrait of three women and two men; five different ways to possess a part of their body, five personalities, two sensualities. Materials such as leather, corsets and high heels contribute to this research into female animality, the deformation of movement, the body and its reflection. The men observe the animal, sensual part of the women. The two dancers represent the gaze of the public.
Choregraphy and staging : Kaori Ito
Danced and created by : Csaba Varga Jann Gallois Kaori Ito Laura Neyskens Peter Juhasz
Music : Guillaume Perret
Played by : Guillaume Perret, SPECTRA Ensemble (Jan Ver- cruysse, Kris Deprey, Pieter Jansen, Bram Bossier, violoncello (NN), Luc Van Loo en Frank Van Eycken) sous la direction de Filip Rathé
Dramaturgy : Bauke Lievens
Choregraphy assistant : Gabriel Wong Coaching Alain Platel
Lights : Carlo Bourguignon
Setting creation : Wim Van de Cappelle
Costumes : Mina Ly
Photography : Chris Van der Burght
Production : les ballets C de la B
Co-production : Muziekcentrum De Bijloke (Gent), SPECTRA Ensemble, TorinoDanza, Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen), La Rose des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq)
Video direction : Philippe Gasnier
Production : 24 images