Japan Society presents SHEEP #1 - Innovative, In-Person Musical Theater from November 4 to November 7
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 02:45 pm EDT 10/12/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 02:39 pm EDT 10/12/21

Japan Society presents
Thursday, November 4 through Sunday, November 7
at Japan Society: 333 East 47th Street

An Imaginative Work Blending Storytelling, Object Theater and Live Music
Conceived, Performed and Projected Live by Sachiyo Takahashi

New York, NY: Oct 12, 2021 – Japan Society proudly presents SHEEP #1, an inventive minimalist performance by NYC-based Japanese artist Sachiyo Takahashi . With two unique programs spanning four performances, SHEEP #1 delivers a one-of-a-kind object-theater performance performed live with musical accompaniment.

Inspired by the writings of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Le Petit Prince), SHEEP #1 follows the adventures of a sheep in search of the meaning of life. NYC-based Japanese artist Sachiyo Takahashi (Nekaa Lab) manipulates tiny figurines which are magnified with a video camera and projected onto a screen in real time, combining live puppetry with cinematic presentation in a style the artist calls "Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre." With SHEEP #1, Takahashi explores the border between narrative and abstraction, generating dream-like fables for the subconscious through wordless storytelling, an electroacoustic soundtrack and live musical accompaniment. Takahashi was awarded grants by The Jim Henson Foundation in 2017, 2018 and 2021 for her innovative work in the field of puppetry.

More information at https://www.japansociety.org/arts-and-culture/performances/sheep-1

Four performances at Japan Society, playing November 4 through November 7, will deliver two distinct programs. Program A, featuring Emile Blondel on piano, will be performed Thursday, November 4 at 7:30pm (followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception) and Sunday, November 7 at 2:30pm. Program B, featuring Kato Hideki on bass guitar, will be performed November 5 and 6 at 7:30pm.

Credits for SHEEP #1 are as follows:
Concept, Sound Design, Visual Design and Performance: Sachiyo Takahashi, Nekaaa Lab
Live Music: Emile Blondel, piano (Program A); Kato Hideki, bass guitar (Program B)
Dramaturg: Peter Eckersall
Technical Advisor, Builder: Willie Gambucci
Original Live Music by Emile Blondel with excerpts from Franz Schubert (Program A)
Original Live Music by Kato Hideki (Program B)
Electroacoustic Soundtrack by Sachiyo Takahashi
Text: Quoted from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and original text by Sachiyo Takahashi
Production: Nekaa Lab, Sachiyo Takahashi.

All performances take place at Japan Society, located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues, accessible by the 4/5/6 trains at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E train at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street.

In-person tickets to this program are $23, $18 for Japan Society members. Tickets can be purchased online at japansociety.org or by phone at the Box Office, Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm at 212-715-1258. In compliance with CDC, New York State, and New York City guidelines, all visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a proper, secure-fitting mask at each performance. View our current visitor policies and safety protocols by clicking here.

For print-ready high-resolution images; to request press tickets; or to arrange for interviews with Takahashi, Blondel or Hideki, please reply to this email or contact John@GreenHousePublicity.com.

Artist Biographies

Sachiyo Takahashi (Creator/Performer) is a composer, musician, and artist whose work centers around storytelling. Compositing sensory elements in a minimalist manner, she explores the border between narrative and abstraction to generate fables for the subconscious. Sachiyo founded Nekaa Lab in 2006 together with other “lab members” (stuffed toys and tiny figurines). She has been producing performances, installations and writings, while observing human nature from alternative perspectives. Sachiyo’s Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre – unique performances projected from a miniature stage – has been appraised as a quirky yet imaginative merging between theatrical and cinematic experiences. She has presented her works at international venues and festivals including Prague Quadrennial, St. Ann’s Warehouse, La MaMa, The Tank (including the U.S. premiere of SHEEP #1 in 2018) and HERE. Her recent works Everything Starts from a Dot and Shinnai Meets Puppetry: One Night in Winter have been supported by The Jim Henson Foundation. Sachiyo is also an accredited master of Okamoto School Shinnai-bushi, a traditional song-storytelling from Japan and performs using the stage name Okamoto Miya. As a way to integrate her electroacoustic audio-visual works with traditional Asian sound, she has collaborated with gamin, a Korean avant-garde instrumentalist, to conceptualize a new music theatre, The Emotions, with which she joined the HERE Artist Residency Program in 2020.

Emile Blondel (piano, Program A): Pianist Emile Blondel collaborates with musicians, dancers and artists of all mediums. He studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts under the guidance of Eric Larsen and in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot. Emile was a recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education which culminated in his performance 'Folk Roots Remixed' at Rose Studio Theater. Orchestral appearances include the Richmond Symphony, Durham Symphony and the Heritage Chamber Orchestra. A frequent collaborator in theater, Emile created music for Marcel and Man Ray which premiered in the Labapalooza! Festival at St Ann’s Warehouse. He is currently on the faculty of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Dalton School.

Kato Hideki (bass guitar, Program B) is a Brooklyn-based musician, composer and producer. His work is truly diverse with a wide range of forms and sounds – from ambient, noise, electro-acoustic, songs, and improvisation to sound design and music for dance, film and TV. He has released over 15 titles and has performed at Lincoln Center, Japan Society, MOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. He has toured Japan, the US, Europe, the UK and Australia. His music has been broadcast on NPR, the BBC and ABC (Australia). His compositions include “Tremolo of Joy,” “Hope & Despair,” “Turbulent Zone” (premiered at the Bang on a Can Marathon); “Mystic Ship of Life” (commissioned by the Kitchen); film score for the award-winning documentary, The Journey of Monalisa; and the dance scores In the Sea of Heaven and There and Here for TAKE DANCE and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. In addition to his own work, Kato has collaborated with artists such as Christian Marclay, Koichi Makigami, Ikue More, Fred Frith, John King, Yoshihide Otomo, Take Ueyama, Toshimaru Nakamura and John Zorn. He is also a producer of other artists’ work, including Karen Mantler’s album Business Is Bad on ECM Records, and music for a Bessie-Award winning project THEM with Chris Cochrane, Denis Cooper and Ishmael Houston-Jones. Currently he is producing an album“Baba Bibi with the Tony award-winning songwriter and playwright Stew (Passing Strange); and an album“I Hate Memory with an actor/songwriter, Eszter Balint “Stranger Than Paradise). He studied creative writing and holds BA from Waseda University. He teaches at New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s Integrated Design & Media.

About Japan Society

Facebook: facebook.com/japansociety
Instagram: @japansociety #japansociety
Twitter: @japansociety

Japan Society continues a return to live, in-person performance with programs in the disciplines of theater, dance, music and more, slated for Fall 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022. In Fall 2021, Japan Society spotlights the local artistic community, with the timely and topical works of three NYC-based artists with deep ties to Japan and its culture – Suzi Takahashi’s The Story Box (September 11 – co-presented and produced by HERE), Aya Ogawa’s The Nosebleed (October 1 to 10), and this presentation of Sachiyo Takahashi’s SHEEP #1 (November 4 to 7). Looking ahead to Winter/Spring 2022, Japan Society welcomes back international artists including emerging Japanese playwright Shoko Matsumura with the play Cooking Up (December 6); performers from Japan, Taiwan and Korea in the Society’s 19th Contemporary Dance Festival (January 14 and 15); and Shomyo no Kai, a group of Buddhist priests performing a millennium-old chanting ritual at St. Bartholomew’s Church (February 11). In Spring 2022, the Society’s Performing Arts programming will highlight indigenous art forms from Japan’s northernmost and southernmost prefectures, Hokkaido and Okinawa, with two distinct programs to complete the season: Waves Across Time: Traditional Dance and Music of Okinawa (March 2022) and OKI: Music of the Ainu (May 2022).

Japan Society is the premier organization connecting Japanese arts, culture, business, and society with audiences in New York and around the world. At Japan Society, we are inspired by the Japanese concept of?kizuna?(?)–forging deep connections to bind people together. We are committed to telling the story of Japan while strengthening connections within New York City and building new bridges beyond. In over 100 years of work, we’ve inspired generations by establishing ourselves as pioneers in supporting international exchanges in arts and culture, business and policy, as well as education between Japan and the U.S. We strive to convene important conversations on topics that bind our two countries together, champion the next generation of innovative creators, promote mutual understanding, and serve as a trusted guide for people everywhere who seek to more fully appreciate the rich complexities and abundance of Japan. From our New York headquarters, a landmark building designed by architect Junzo Yoshimura that opened to the public in 1971, we look forward to the years ahead, which will be defined by our digital and ideational impact through the kizuna that we build. Our future can only be enhanced by learning from our peers and engaging with our audiences, both near and afar. This year, Japan Society is celebrating our heritage through the 50th anniversary of our landmark building with the launch of a new distinct modern logo and visual identity. The “JS” monogram is created via overlapping, interconnected lines and shapes, reinforcing the idea of kizuna and that Japan Society acts as a platform that connects across, cultures, people, and time.

Support for the 2021-2022 Japan Society Performing Arts Season

Lead Sponsor: MetLife Foundation.

This season is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Major support is generously provided by Doug and Teresa Peterson, with endowment support from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by Helen and Kenneth A. Cowin, Dr. Jeanette C. Takamura, Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Mr. Alan M. Suhonen‡, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Paula S. Lawrence, Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Michiko Levine, Marjorie Neuwirth, Hiroko Onoyama, Lyndley and Samuel Schwab, and Nancy and Joe Walker. Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society. MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception is provided by MetLife Foundation.
?‡ In memoriam.

SHEEP #1 is supported, in part, by Doug and Teresa Peterson. The U.S. premiere in 2018 was co-produced with The Tank, NYC, and supported, in part, by The Jim Henson Foundation Presenter Grant. The world premiere, in Vancouver, Canada, was presented in collaboration with Blim.
Link https://www.japansociety.org/arts-and-culture/performances/sheep-1

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