- 9/30/2018 (Sun) - 10/28/2018 (Sun) 13:00-15:00
except Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Awaji Art Circus Executive Committee
- Pasona Group Inc.
- Various venues on Awaji Island (Japan)
Mori no Terrace (inside Nijigen no Mori) (Awaji City)
Sumoto Citizen Park (Sumoto City)
Uzunooka Onaruto Bridge Memorial Museuml (Minamiawaji City)
Special events venues:
Craft Circus (Opening Ceremony)
Nushima Administrative Center
Keinomatsubara Fureai Kawara Stage
Nojima Scuola / Nojima Sports Center (Closing Ceremony)
- Performing Artists:
- 8 groups (17 people) from 7 countries
- Nominal Support:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Japan Foundation, Japan Tourism Agency, Japan National Tourism Organization, Kobe Shimbun, Sun TV, Radio Kansai, Kiss FM, Awaji Island Kuniumi Association, Awaji Island Tourist Association, Awaji City, Sumoto City, Minamiawaji City, Awaji City Board of Education, Sumoto City Board of Education, Minamiawaji City Board of Education (*in no particular order)
*Recognized as "This is Mecenat 2018" by the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Japan.
*Recognized as participating project for "Power of Culture from Kansai" proposed by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
*Received grant "Support of touristic places" from Hyogo Tourism Association
ACTIVITIES OF AWAJI ART CIRCUS 2018
① Main performance program
Awaji Island comprises the three cities of Awaji, Sumoto and Minamiawaji, and to promote the whole island, Awaji Art Circus artists perform at one venue in each city, such as Mori no Terrace of Nijigen No Mori (Awaji City), Sumoto Citizen Park (Sumoto City), Uzunooka Onaruto Bridge Memorial Museum (Minamiawaji City).
From 1pm and 2pm at each venue, two to three artists showcased wide-ranging performances, followed by workshops on beat-boxing, acrobatic rock and roll, juggling and hand panning and photoshoots with the artists. Those attending get the chance to actually ‘experience’ as well as ‘appreciate’ the activity and can enjoy the Awaji Art Circus in various ways, including opportunities to speak English.
② Special Event
「Awaji Art Circus Meets Friends on Kawara Butai」
Date: 14 October (Sun.)
Venue: Keino Matsubara Fureai Kawara Butai
Preparation for this event involved working with local collaborators and although the Art Circus performances usually center on a two-hour program, on this occasion, it was an all-day event.
The event unfolded on the stage made of roof tiles, a symbol of Minamiawaji City and as well as performances from all the AAC artists, six further groups of local musicians and children also graced the event. As well as locals giving performances and some offering food and general foods on site, the event also featured international activities like "Spice Challenge" and “Hand Painting” courtesy of the Awaji Youth Federation. All thanks to which, visitors enjoyed the Art Circus performances, the natural beauty and fine food of Awaji and various other activities.
③ Participation in the Events Inside and Outside Awaji
As well as the main performances unfolding simultaneously at several venues island-wide, Awaji Art Circus artists also take part in other local events as well as events outside Awaji Island and visit hotels to present their original shows. After watching the performances, local people and tourists enjoyed the chance for in-person dialog with the international artists.
Date: September 29 (Sat.)
Venue: Okayama, Kamimomi rice fields
２）Lohas Festa Awajishima
Date: October 7 (Sun.) and 13 (Sat.)
Venue: Akashi Kaikyo National Government Park)
Artists: Barbarossa Samba Group, Cheese on Fire & Nicolas Provot
３）French Music Festival in Kyoto
Date: October 8 (Mon., Hol.)
Venue: Kyoto Station Bld. Muromachi-koji Square
Artists: Cheese on Fire & Nicolas Provot
４）Minami Awaji Food and Culture Citizen Festival
Date: October 21 (Sun.)
Venue: Awaji Fureai Park
Artists: Barbarossa Samba Group
④ International Cultural Exchange Program
- AIE International High School, Minamiawaji Ichi Elementary School, Awaji Nakata Elementary School, Awaji Gakushu Elementary School (Total 4 times)
- One of the popular highlights of this year’s Awaji Art Circus was the school visit performance, which featured some of the global artists visiting the local schools on Awaji Island for international exchange and cultural education. This year also the artists not only performed but also gave presentations about their home countries (in English, with interpretation). We also organized a workshop program, which meant students could experience performances together, as an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the art form and broaden their horizons by experiencing the global culture more closely.
Collaboration with the Local Elementary School
Our preparations for the closing event involved collaborating with 35 artists from Minamiawaji Miharashichi Elementary School Japanese drum group ‘Shido’ as well as the 17 artists from Awaji Art Circus. For the schoolchildren, as well as scope for intercultural exchange, the chance to perform with world artists was also an exciting experience and a chance to refine and enhance their own performance.
Rather than the usual round of self-introductions, the artists and children instead joined forces and put on a joint concert featuring their collective performance. The event, hosted in the gymnasium of the Miharashichi elementary school, attracted local residents as well as parents and after showcasing their respective performances came a ‘samba’ rhythm workshop from the Barbarossa Samba Group, a group of samba percussion artists, plus an acrobatic ‘rock and roll’ workshop from the Dance Club Positive from Russia. This was a day which cemented the ongoing friendship between the overseas artists and the children.
After repeatedly practicing, a joint rehearsal was held, followed by the final production at the closing ceremony and the collaboration proved a valuable experience for both children and artists alike.
⑤ Program for artists
As far as the aim of the Awaji Art Circus is to help revitalize Awaji Island, participating artists come to Awaji not only to perform at different locations, but also to learn about and experience the local appeal and culture and then spread the word about the island worldwide. That’s why we prepared various touristic and cultural programs for them during the downtime of the Festival.
We took the artists around the island and showed them the key Awaji venues, including the historical and meaningful Izanagi Shrine, the magnificent Honpukuji Water Temple designed by architect Tadao Ando, the marvelous Naruto whirlpools and beautiful views from the roof of Wakodo-no Hiroba (Minamiawaji City).
To help the artists get a better idea of Japanese culture and experience local traditions, we organized several workshops, such as Japanese drums, fukimodoshi – party horn making, Japanese paper-making, incense-making, Awaji puppets, traditional Japanese dances and Awa dances and traditional tea ceremony etc.
This year, a special event to be held on the isolated island of Nushima, off the southern coast of Awaji Island, was planned but had to be canceled due to the impact of the typhoon. Even so, because of its status as Nushima, the key island behind the ‘Kuni-umi’ legend, we were keen for the artists to go there, so ended up taking all the artists on the scheduled cultural program day instead.
After being guided to the famous Kamitategami-iwa on foot by locals, all the artists embarked on a tour around the whole of Nushima by fishing boat and although it was quite quickly over, it seemed to bring home the special spirit of Nushima to the artists. Moreover, the artists had also been awaited ever since the cancelation of the special event day due to the weather and the warmness of their welcome from the local people there left them full of gratitude to perform.
Despite the whole thing being hastily put together, what was etched most deeply into my memory of this event were the smiles of the local people, who had gathered in the park.
Artists sharing about Awaji Island experience
Since the artists of the Awaji Art Circus are also ambassadors for Awaji Island, their mission included spreading information about the island via social media. Artists posted in their own languages and English daily about the performance venues, what happened to them during the day, nice local people, wonderful views of Awaji, interesting things and unusual experiences etc. Their friends and followers then checked those posts, liked them, commented and helped convey news of Awaji Island worldwide in the process.
⑥ Connections with Circus Talk
This year saw an important bond forged with the online platform of the circus industry ‘Circus Talk’. As well as advertising Awaji Art Circus on the Circus Talk website, accessed by circus artists worldwide, we were also able to invite a circus journalist residing in Japan, Mr. Naoya Aoki, to come to Awaji Art Circus 2018 and write an article. Mr. Naoya Aoki spent three days with the artists, covering not only the main performances but also the program of intercultural exchange; attending special events like the performances put on for hotel guests and “Awaji Art Circus Meets Friends On Kawara Butai” etc., before giving his first-hand impressions. This article helped convey insights into Awaji Island and Awaji Art Circus worldwide, which also helped achieve the mission of Awaji Art Circus.
＜Circus Talk article＞