What is Space Dance? / スペースダンスとは何か?

Design will be born after Dance. A New Fruit will be produced
on the “Land” called the Body.


In 2001 when I performed at the United Nations in New York and in Istanbul supported by Japanese Government I could start the original form of Space Dance through my epochal experiences by the meeting with Shusaku Arakawa and the Theory of Affordance by James Gibson.

スペースダンスは、1996年における美術家・荒川修作[注21] [参9] とジェームス・ギブソンのアフォーダンス理論[注22] [参10]との出会いを契機として、2001年のニューヨーク国連本部とイスタンブールでの公演でその原形が誕生した。

The essence of Space Dance is “How to recover the lost memories?”, “How to express the Tacit Knowledge?”, and various “Fruits called Design” through “Digitization of Tacit Knowledge.”

スペースダンスの核心は、身体と環境の一体性の回復により得られる「失われた記憶の発掘」と「身体知の情報化」であり、「身体知の情報化」による諸々の「デザインという果実」である[注23] [参11]。

This is my “Definition of Space Dance”;



In Space Dance, the body is not a tool for expressing a story, the body is a story.



In any time the “Excellent Dancer” in the world keeps a special ability to dance with a technique to organize the body as the object, not as the subject. In Space Dance we study this technique. Then we try to recover the lost memories through our dance movements and we accumulate its result as “Tacit Knowledge” about the body.



“Foot” is always connected to the earth by 1 gravity through the contact surface with the ground. People in our daily life forget this fact. But when we dance with a dance technique to organize our body as the object, the relationship between our “Foot” and “Ground” being clear and we can get back a familiar feeling between the body and the earth.



In this time when we dance with the amicable relationship with Earth, we can recognize some strange new feeling happen around the temporal lobe and vertex lobe of our brain. Why? Because it is a first experience for the brain to move the body by such a strange new way.



In order to do a first task our brain also had to acquire a new ability. Its experience will be an experience just like a dancer looks for the universe with Earth as dancer’s “Second Body”, as if a blind person looks for the ground as his “Second Body” through his beloved stick.

新しい負荷がかかる仕事をするためには、「脳」も新しい機能を形成する必要があった。その体験は、まるで、盲人が愛用の杖を自分の「第2の身体」として地面を探っていくように、ダンサーも地球を「第2の身体」として宇宙を探っていくような体験である[注26] [参13]。


Our brain keeps all memories about all life on Earth. Because our brain into the Mother’s womb during 10 months grow up through the process of evolution of the brain from the beginning to today’s human brain. So, in our dance movements too, sometime we can find other strange movements of all life through these memories.



So, in Space Dance when we try to dance to organize our body as the object we can touch several “Forgotten Memories” sometimes with a wave motion of the internal organs, sometimes with a sound of the bone, and sometimes with an excitement of the nerve. In that time we can feel a new feeling in our brain, then under this influence we can dance with the inexperienced movements by chance. In short we can stimulate several “Forgotten Memories“.



“Forgotten Memories” wake up a strong nostalgia in our mind. And this nostalgia gives new energy to us. Then we understand “Unknown Movement’s World” exists behind our usual human’s movements.



This energy is infinite, it continues our dance without end. When we dig up “Forgotten Memories” we can develop the ability of the brain and organize the unexpected movements based on each memories. We shake with its freshness and we are amazed to ourselves. Then, we start to talk a new story beyond the human’s drama.



Usually, very soon, we feel tired in our movements without this energy. But when we house this energy we get the lasting energy from the circulation between the body and the ground, then it arise like the growth of a snowball on the slope with heavy snow. We never feel tired.



Like that, in Space Dance we dig up “Forgotten Memories” and we expand “Unknown Movement’s World”, then we try to express its process as “History of Posture’s Evolution” including Fish, Amphibian, Quadruped Animal, Bird, and Monkey.

スペースダンスでは、こうして「忘れられた記憶」を発掘し、それに応じた「未知の動きの世界」を展開し、この過程を魚・両生類・四足動物・鳥・サルを含む「姿勢の進化史」として表現する[注27] [参14]。


“History of Posture’s Evolution” could start from the ameba without hand and foot, and now it could meet its peak of the history as today’s morphology of Human Bipedalism. But, in our Space Age this peak is only one passing point. The posture will evolve further from now.



Why the expression of “History of Posture’s Evolution” is important for Space Dance? Because the purpose of Space Dance is the looking back on the past of all life, then it is the creation for “Body of Future” as a return from its retrospection.

なぜ「姿勢の進化史」として表現することが重要なのか? それはスペースダンスが、ヒトの起源について回想すると共に、その回想からのリターンとして、ヒトの「身体の未来」をデザインすることを目的としているからである。


In Space Dance we make a visualization of “History of Posture’s Evolution” as the image. And we express “Tacit Knowledge about Unknown Movement’s World” as the information using by information technology. Finally, we try to make several designs through the Tacit Knowledge for the new body, the new object, and the new space.



Like that, in Space Dance we create the new designs after our dance. For these works we adopt the collaboration by “Dance + Architecture + Information + Design” and we use Space Tube as our needed installation for the “Digitization of Tacit Knowledge”.



Space Tube is a closed soft space using by special cloth, not an opened hard space like our modern architecture. So, in Space Tube the dancer’s body movements can cope to the shape of the space as the very familiar relationship with one unity. Then, in Space Tube we can express dancer’s Tacit Knowledge as the information easy.



Then, Space Dance is very different from usual dance, Space Dance will be a work of “Design after Dance.”


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