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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Dance Creation -The Body Speaks-

Daisuke Ogasawara
First Year Student at the School of Social Sciences

"Spread your arms and legs and feel as if you are melting into the floor." "You are finally alone with the money, just the two of you. And now."--What kind of course uses phrases like these? One thing is certain: you are sure to be bewildered if you take this course.

People possess the two abilities of imagination and creativity. All people possess these abilities, and I believe that they are innate desires of human beings as well as abilities. The course "Dance Creation" stimulates these desires and provides an opportunity to display these abilities. Classes are led by Professor Chizuru Sugiyama. The classes consist of stretches to relax tightened muscles, after which Professor Sugiyama gives instruction in "dance." Perhaps it would be more appropriate to use the term "physical expression" rather than "dance." Abstract and sensory. Although I readily signed up for the course when I heard that dance was taught, to be honest, I could not disguise my confusion at first. However, as strange as it seems, my heart began to dance as I continued to take part in the course. Professor Sugiyama also serves as an advisor at a modern dance club. According to an encyclopedia that I referenced, modern dance is defined as "the concept that all movements contain dance." This definition explains a great deal about Professor Sugiyama's class.

There are a total of 15 classes in the course. The first half of the course consists of dance through instruction by Professor Sugiyama, while students themselves are responsible for "dance creation" during the second half. This "dance creation" is what makes the course truly interesting, so much that the phrase is even used in the title of the course. Students create and refine dances within the 90 minute time limit of the class. Professor Sugiyama's advice when creating dances is "don't think about creating a dance; instead, use your body to express what you want to do and say" and "use all of the language that your body possesses." In other words, the entire body is a tool for communication. I am currently involved in the performance of pantomime, and I am often taught that "energy is constantly emitted from the extremities of our bodies." There may be something in this teaching which can be applied to dance creation.

The course finished with a public presentation at Okuma Auditorium. At the presentation, I led the theater group Shake in a performance of a work entitled "Young Boy, Are You Sprouting?" I give this course a big seal of approval for anyone who wants to blast past their personal boundaries.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)