#TenthPlanet: Yokko of SHINKA

This summer, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (PCTF), the brainchild of arts professional Glory Kadigan, turns 10 years old. In that decade, PCTF has successfully changed the landscape of the theatre festival and all of New York independent theatre. The multi-award-winning theatre festival will celebrate in a big way by premiering more than 50 timely and topical plays and musicals written by the next generation of playwrights. Each play contains a powerful message serving as a parable of various world themes. The Tenth Planet: Planet Connections Theatre Festivity will run fromJuly 9 through August 5, 2018 at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, NYC.www.planetconnections.org. Artists presenting works from all across America, including Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Providence and New York City; and from all over the planet, including Japan, Yugoslavia, Russia, Peru, France, Belarus, & Haiti are part of this years festivity.

workshop-ad-2018_orig (1).jpgMulti-Awards winning choreographer YOKKO comes to the 10th anniversary season of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity with SHINKA

Part of the 10th anniversary season of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity at the Theaters at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, New York City, this visiually stunning event runs Tuesday 7/17 @9pm-10:15pm, Friday 7/20 @ 8pm-9:15pm, Sunday 7/22 @1:15pm-2:30pm, Friday 7/27 @9:45pm-11pm, Sunday 7/29 @1pm-2:15pm, Saturday 8/4 @7:45pm-9pm.

shinka-5.jpgThrough stunning movement, SHINKA explores the mystery of living beings. Mankind has developed a complicated mechanized and sprawling society … rapidly. We have been destroying it and developing it repeatedly throughout history. What do we really want? And where are we going? Can we create a world that we want to live? Without destroying one another? SHINKA explains that we are all part of this eco-system and one with conscious energy, evolving every single day, every single moment… together. By using Japanese Butoh, Trish Arnold Movement, contemporary dance, and other theatrical elements, SHINKA explores and expresses life itself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Yokko is an actress, Butoh & Theatre Artist, Movement & yoga instructor from Nagoya, Japan. She has acted in, devised and choreographed a variety of local and international shows, having won several awards, including “Best One-Woman Show” for her Butoh Medea (United Solo 2014 at Theatre Row). Butoh Medea was selected to perform at *United Solo Europe in Warsaw, Poland in June, 2015, then toured to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, and selected for the short list of The Asian Arts Award. Butoh Medea has been touring USA & Europe since 2015.

shinka-4.jpgYour work truly plugs into the futuristic and is so powerful. Tell us about yourself as an artist:

I am interested in being a cultural bridge. I- myself am Japanese, and come from a different culture. And I am always interested in collaborating with other artists who come from a different background (culture, age, gender, race) and creating new work together. It is very exciting to see and discover something I had not expected. Also I have been focusing on creating an increased awareness of ecology through performing arts these past few years. I have been producing with other artists an annual festival called ‘UNFIX NYC’ since 2016. Also I have been doing workshops of “Social Action Project” in NYC and Turin, Italy to bring an awareness of social issues, and I would like to continue this. Also, I am passionately interested in bringing forward hidden voices from society and our history. I would like to carry these into  my work. I have been blessed to work with many amazing artists each with their own hidden voice.

Share with us a little something about your play that we WON’T see in the press release.

“We — all of us — can stand and think about the society we live [in] and not repeat the same thing in the past,” she says.’ -Sadie Dingfelder (The Washington Post)

shinka-11.jpgFuture-Shock is omnipresent. Looking at today’s climate. How does your play resonate now? Feel free to be blunt.

The world is collapsing. Many people do not care about the result of what we are doing. We use plastic bags regularly. But plastic is made of oil. Countries fight for oil. When we love someone, we do nice thing for them. Why don’t we take care of the world? Why do we just see the now and own selfish needs, egos? If we think of our future generation, will we do the same thing we do now? I can not speak for all countries, but modern societies are made of capitalism and materialism in order to fulfill own desires. We do not realize the precious things we receive from nature until we lose them. If every country, which holds nuclear weapons, pushed the button to use them, the earth would be destroyed 5 times. It is meaningless to have them. But still they do. And they do not want to release the nuclear weapon technology. Why? they want to keep their power over others?  I understand they have a responsibility to protect their countries and people. But is it really necessary to have nuclear weapons to accomplish this?

In modern society, we want to have the things we desire. Sometimes ego drives us. We somehow think others will take care of our mistakes. We see over use of plastic bags everywhere (except for some European countries).  Many of us just follow what we want and so do not care that someone will get damaged- in this case the earth.

When we turn off the TV or Radio or Computer, we can forget there are wars in other areas in this planet. But the reality is that there are wars. There are issues. Some children are crying because of their suffering. Some children in the world never have a roof to sleep under. It is real. Mountains are destroyed, fishes are poisoned. Many of us do not recycle- but the earth, this planet is not just for humans. There are more living beings on this planet. I think this play is very related to today. (especially when we can see who the world leaders are today- people chose them- )

Well, that’s blunt! Do you think Planet Connections is a venue to do your work justice?  

Ecology, social action and connections are my center theme as an artist. And I am so excited to participate this festival!

Where do you see it going in the future? What’s the next step?  

I would like to bring this show to schools in the USA. So if I can do a school tour, it would be wonderful. Also If I can bring this outside of the USA, that would be great!

Final thoughts?

I would like to share this show  as much as possible, and would like to have more discussion about this theme.

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