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Saburo Teshigawara / KARAS                             
Mirror and Music UK PREMIERE

Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16 June



“One of the most striking examples of imagistic dance-theatre, or dance-art installation, that I have ever seen” New York Times


Celebrated Japanese cult figure Saburo Teshigawara returns to Sadler’s Wells with his company’s newest work, Mirror and Music, on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 June.


Danced by a cast of eight, with a fascinating solo performed by Teshigawara himself, Mirror and Music explores the simultaneously tangible and intangible nature of music and the reflection we see when we look into the mirror. Characteristically, this production features choreography, set, costume and stunning lighting design all by Teshigawara. This is a chance to see a modern-day master of stage beauty at work.


Renowned as Japan’s most influential choreographer and one of the greats of contemporary dance, Saburo Teshigawara is celebrated worldwide for his extraordinary dance techniques. Choreographer, dancer, stage designer and film-maker, Teshigawara combines his sculptural sensibilities and command of space with decisive dance movements to craft all his creations.


©Sakae Oguma

©Sakae Oguma

He began his unique creative career in 1981, and in 1985 established  KARAS dance company with Kei Miyata. Since then, he and KARAS have been invited every year to perform in major international cities around the world. In addition to solo performances and his work with KARAS, Saburo Teshigawara has also been receiving international attention as a choreographer/director. He has been commissioned by many international ballet companies such as the Paris Opera Ballet. Teshigawara’s latest pieces are Kazahana, which was premiered in Lille, France, in 2004 and recreated at the New National Theatre in Tokyo in February 2005, and Scream and Whisper, showcased in Rome in March 2005. Sound, time, space and air are all key elements in these cutting-edge creations that have earned Teshigawara such prestigious honours as the Japanese Dance Critics Association Award (1987 and 2000) and the Asahi Performing Arts Award (2002 and 2003)

Teshigawara has likewise received increasing international attention in the visual arts field, with art exhibitions, films/videos as well as designing scenography, lighting and costume for all his performances. Teshigawara’s keenly honed sculptural sensibilities and powerful sense of composition, command of space and his decisive dance movements all fuse to create a unique world that is his alone. Keen interests in music and space have led him to create site-specific works, and collaboration with various types of musicians.


Besides the continuous workshops at the KARAS studio in Tokyo, Saburo Teshigawara has been involved in many education projects. In 1995, he established STEP (Saburo Teshigawara Education Project), an award-winning youth project initiated in London between the London International Festival of theatre (LIFT), The Place and KARAS. These workshops, along with those he holds regularly in Tokyo, involve the participants – most of them non-professionals – in public performances. Recent young members of KARAS are from the project Dance of Air, an educational project bringing out a performance as a culmination of a year-long workshop process, produced by the New National Theatre Tokyo.

In 2004, he was selected as the mentor of dance for The Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, to work for one year with a chosen protégé. Since 2006, he has begun a professorship at the Department of Expression Studies, the College of Contemporary Psychology, St. Paul’s (Rikkyo) University in Japan, where he teaches movement theory and conduct workshops. Through these various projects, Saburo Teshigawara continues to encourage and inspire young dancers, together with his creative work.




Sadler's Wells