We See Fireworks at PS122

Helen Cole’s We See Fireworks which enjoyed a fantastic run at the Barbican as part of Spill Festival earlier in the year is on it’s way to PS122 in the heart of the famous city, and are lucky enough to be joined by our good friends Action Hero who will be performing Watch Me Fall.

We’ve been raving about We See Fireworks throughout the past year, but for those of you who haven’t heard the name then here’s the info:

With support from the British Council, Performance Space 122 brings 3 companies, Inbetween Time Productions, Action Hero and curious, across the pond for a taste of the UK's hottest contemporary performance experiences. 

Part installation, part performance archive of audience voices, We See Fireworks is a curated collection of memories of past performances or performative moments whispered softly into the darkness. They talk of religious ceremonies, accidents, lovers' meetings, loss, homesickness, adolescence, fairgrounds, car parks, fetish clubs and school halls. Articulated by strangers, these words are viral, searing into the consciousness, until the deepest memories become yours.

'Quite how vivid performance can be is demonstrated exquisitely in We See Fireworks’  Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

The installation is open at PS122 in New York from Saturday, June 4 - Saturday, June 11 from the hours of 2 - 6:30pm / 7 - 9pm daily.
The installation is closed on Monday, June 6.

If you would like to add your voice to this growing collection, opportunities for individual recordings are available June 4, 5, 7, 8 between 4:30 - 6:30pm & 7 - 9pm.

videos of real Japan

I like to introduce videos of my tour!
They were made by Janice. She came to Japan with her husband in cherry blossoms season last year. It was her first visit to Japan. They joined a group. This group consisted of mainly Japanese-Americans. They come back to Japan periodically. It was my 4th trip with them. They are like my family.

Some of them were born in Japan and god married to American soldiers after WW2. Then they moved to USA with their husband when they finished their mission in Japan. In the beginning, wives had a hard time in USA because they couldn't understand English but they didn't have money to go back to Japan.
In addition to that, according to my mother's story, I think although they came back to Japan at that time, they might have been considered as somebody different and couldn't find their space even in Japan.
But the wives had babies and decided to live in USA. They are now in their 80's and they have a strong spirit.

And some of them were born in USA and have American citizenship. However, during WW2, all of their possessions were confiscated by American Government and they were gathered in concentration camps.
Men had to fight against Japanese as an American.

Snow falling on Cedars

It was a Big Contradiction!! I'm always upset and furious whenever I hear this kind of story. I read a book, `Snow falling on Cedars', watched movies related to this theme and listened to their stories whenever they come back to Japan.

the statue of Sadako 
at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

However, I had a chance to meet the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of Japanese-Americans last summer.
Children told me that they researched A-bomb from Japanese side and their American friends researched from American side and shared their both views at class.
I was touched by that idea and believed those children are a symbol of our bright future without any boundaries. As an adult, we have to promise to protect them and their future!

Finally, I like to introduce Janice's videos. During their tour, I always speak English and Japanese because a few of them don't understand English. Although I speak the same things, they always listen to me attentively and do the same reaction. Although I speak twice, they forget because they are old, then I have to speak the same things again and again. They are like my young grandparents!

There are 4 videos but it isn't completed yet. I hope Janice will complete someday!!
Areas they visited are not visited by regular tourists. Those sites are very special to people like them.
You can see real life of Japan. Please enjoy them!

A Message from Kyoto 2011

This is a new video to introduce Kyoto area now made by the Japan Federation of Certified Guides which I belong to. I appreciate their effort to promote our safety. However those who made this video emphasize the safety in Kansai, the western part of Japan. Personally I feel a bit sad because Kanto, the eastern part of Japan sounds to have problems. It's true though. The tea plantation near Hakone beyond Tokyo found to be exposed to the radiation. The harvest of the tea should be abandoned. The truth is always hidden by the authorities and we are informed much later. Now many of us can't believe information brought by mass media. We know we had better to google or use another means.

But it's true Kansai area is safe and nothing is changed. If you are in Tokyo, you'll find less light, less operating escalators and drinking places closing early. I hope people in the normal area do their best and it brings to early recovery in our economy. Please enjoy the video!

Enoshima Aquarium

I went to an aquarium in Enoshima. The island connected by a bridge is called Enoshima. The aquarium is located just by the sea. My junior and high school is located near here. I sometimes jogged to here at physical education. I didn't like jogging...

For some of you who moved from Tokyo to Hakone when you were in Japan,  you drove along this seacoast and had a look at this island. I always explain this island.

In summer, there are so many surfers, swimmers and long traffic jams.

Last year, one popular drama was shooting in this aquarium. In the drama, a girl who had mishap met a man who worked here and also had a problem. He told her that jellyfish doesn't have a brain and is dissolved when it dies. She said she liked to be a jellyfish at first. But at the end, they overcame their difficulties together and she was happy to be a human.
Therefore, jellyfish is a must to see here!

On that day, there were sooooo many students including kindergarten and elementary kids.

Peaceful moment! I felt like receiving gifts from the universe!!

I don't know this is one of Japanese characteristics or it fits to all the nationalities.
Many of Japanese are good at giving but not used to receiving. I was taught to be nice and modest to others first. I sometimes feel guilty if somebody is nice to me first and feel I have to return as soon as possible.

Right now in the disaster-stricken areas, even the sufferers feel guilty because they survived and their houses were left. My area is also considered to be the stricken area but I didn't notice it until my friend in the west part of Japan told me because I'm safe at home. The atmosphere of guilt covers Japan.

But I try to change this idea. Now I think the more I receive, the more I can give. I can give others the same amount and quality of what I receive. The balance is always important.
At the same time, I like the idea of 'Pay it Forward'.

I wish I could swim like this person. One of my dreams is to swim with wild dolphins.

Dolphin show is another must to see!

Dolphins sing and dance together with instructors!

They are so clever!  In a part of my mind, I wonder how those dopiness feel and what their destiny is.
But I focused on enjoying myself.

Two dolphins swim together. They are mother and child.

Dolphins seem to be relaxing after the show.

The weather was very nice and I had a good time!

Video Preview of WSF

I've just uploaded a preview video of We See Fireworks which was made by Spill Festival, it's well worth a watch, and for those of you lucky enough to see the piece already will bring some of those wonderful memories flooding back. For those of you who haven't, it will give you a taste of what you can see if you're able to catch it on tour, more info on which will be up soon...
It can be viewed at the bottom right of this page.

Just in case you missed it...

Lyn Gardner wrote an excellent piece in The Guardian on We See Fireworks: 'There is something about somebody telling you about a performance – or sometimes even about just a moment – in their own voice that brings it uniquely alive.'
Read the full article here.

Some more favourite #wsf Tweets

Action Hero
by IBTProductions
a huge wall of beer crates tumbled to reveal a line of women in victorian dress wearing dead octupus as masks
Alex - Third Angel
by IBTProductions
She's reading a letter for the 1st time, out loud, just to me. She does this every day & it feeds into the show. She's crying. So am I.
Jo Bannon
by IBTProductions
she pushes her pelvis into mine, hers bulging and muscular, mine soft and fleshy. we look at each other, we both have tears in our eyes
Heather Marsden
by IBTProductions
A man gags as he eats a five pound note whilst wearing bread shoes
Sedated By A Brick
by IBTProductions
Sudden realisation as the man throws the microphone away and sits on the floor laughing exactly as before that everything is lipsynched