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Courtesy Hiroaki Umeda

Theatre Junction GRAND presents innovative dance

By Gurman Sahota, October 4 2016 –

To open their 25th anniversary season, Theatre Junction GRAND will present Hiroaki Umeda’s latest project titled Intensional Particle + split flow. 

A Japanese contemporary dance artist, Umeda invested nearly ten years of research into the project. The artist will present the unique demonstration using video projection, lasers and special software.

“[It is a] motion capture relationship with technology and with his body,” says artistic director Mark Lawes who was instrumental in bringing Umeda back to Calgary after four years.

Lawes says that as a multidisciplinary artist, Umeda uses his interest in manipulating time and space within his performances.

“This is a very powerful work because it is widely accessible [and] touches the idea of popular culture,” says Lawes.

Lawes notes the importance of presenting works that will “be present in the minds of younger audiences [who are] interested in developing new, young, vital audiences for contemporary live art.”

Umeda travels with his laptop and is determined to be self-sufficient in terms of the technological aspects of the piece. Lawes says taking control of every aspect of the performance emphasizes Umeda’s attention to detail.

“Every aspect is very scientific, the research is incredibly rigorous […] with a big team of collaborators,” Lawes says. “So you [see] him on stage and all of that is happening but there is years [of] research.”

The performance is meant to remind the audience of the unlikely relationship between technology, nature and the body.

“[It’s] curious how [Umeda] uses technology as a representation of nature,” says Lawes.

Umeda previously performed the piece in Montreal.

“It is very memorable and I saw this piece in Montreal and started to talk to [Umeda] about it,” says Lawes.

He says Calgary was able to host Umeda again due to the close proximity of the artist’s performances of the show in Mexico.

Although Intensional Particle + split flow has two distinct pieces within the performance, they complement each other. The performance is an intersection of the body and technology, as the artist tries to simultaneously present both a juxtaposition and a connection. Lawes says this intersection is the inspiration for the entire work.

“It’s connection, it’s really what it is about,” says Lawes. “Intensional Particle is about forces [in] nature and how those relate to the body. [The performance is] an experience that people remember for a long time to come, something that really marks their imagination,” says Lawes. “Hopefully that it also sparks great conversation between people afterwards. [It’s a] very visceral, immersive experience.”

Intensional Particle + split flow will show at Theatre Junction GRAND from Oct. 12-15.

For more information, visit theatre junction.com

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