Institution of the Baku Ishii Memorial Award

While honoring the great achievements of the father of creative dance in Japan, Baku Ishii, “ODORU AKITA” will praise artists who succeed in its creative spirit by awarding them the “Baku Ishii Memorial Award” and try to keep alive Mr. Ishii's flame of enthusiasm for creative dance.

1st Baku Ishii Memorial Award

In order to honor the great dancer who was born in Akita, Mr. Baku Ishii, and furthermore, successfully hand over his heritage to the next generation, we decided to institute the “Baku Ishii Memorial Award” and award it to outstanding dancers and dance companies who are active around the world. And the first Baku Ishii Memorial Award will be awarded in “ODORU AKITA 2017”. The candidates to be awarded should be dancers and dance companies who are active either in Japan or abroad at the time of the selection. The selection criteria are, to be a dancer or dance company who perform works that embody the dance philosophy of Mr. Baku Ishii that “When a person has something he/she wants to express within him/her and expresses it with a body and rhythm, then and only then it becomes a dance and art.”, that “A dance must be always a poem.”, and whose achievements in the dance world are recognized as great art.
Based on those criteria, the chairman of the selection committee, Mr. Noboru Ishii (the grandson of Mr. Baku Ishii and the President of the Baku Ishii Memorial Creative DanceCompany), the festival director of “ODORU AKITA”, Santa Yamakawa, and the program director of “ODORU AKITA”, Izumi Kawamura, judge and decide the winners.
Each winner will receive an award certificate from the executive committee of “ODORU AKITA”,
a commemorative gift (the work of a ceramic artist who is living in Akita City, Mr. Hajime Tamura), and the right to perform a “commemorative performance” in Akita City along with a performance fee.

【1st winners of the Baku Ishii Memorial Award】

Saburo Teshigawara / Rihoko Sato

Reason for Awarding

Both Mr. Saburo Teshigawara and Ms. Rihoko Sato have pursued their dance with their unflagging will in the “Update Dance Series” which they have been continuously developing at their own studio, KARAS APPARATUS, since 2013 and showed its depth and infinite possibilities. Therefore, we award them the first Baku Ishii Memorial Award for their achievement. *The commemorative performances by the two winners will be performed in Akita City during the next fiscal year.

Profiles of the winners

© Norifumi Inagaki
Saburo Teshigawara

Saburo Teshigawara began his unique creative career in 1981 after studying classic ballet. In 1985, he formed KARAS and started group choreography and their own activities. Since then he and KARAS have been invited to perform in major international cities around the world. In addition to solo performances and his work with KARAS, he is also a choreographer and director. He has also been commissioned by international Ballet companies such as the Paris Opera to create repertoire pieces, including a new work set to Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto to premiere this fall at the Paris Opera Ballet. 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.

1986 Awarded the second place and a special prize at the Bagnolet International Choreo- graphy Competition for “Le Pointe du Vent”
1988 Awarded the Dance Critics Society of Japan Award
2002 Awarded the Asahi Performing Arts Award
2006 Awarded the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts for “Glass Tooth”
2009 Awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon
2017 Awarded the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Officier

© Akihito Abe
Rihoko Sato

Having participated in KARAS' workshops in 1995, she joined the group in 1996. Since then, Sato has performed in all group works, and also works as the artistic assistant for Saburo Teshigawara in all his creative activities. She is acclaimed internationally, as one of the main figures in Teshigawara's works. Her exceptionally sensitive body and nerves create a wide range of dynamism, from melting fragility to sharp intensity, opening a new dimension for physical expression. Sato has also worked as dance mistress for Teshigawara's commissioned works for other ballet companies. She has received the Best Dancer Award for her duet with Vaclav Kunes in Scream and Whisper at Les Étoiles de Ballet2000 Awards in 2005 in Cannes, France, the Japan Dance Forum Award for 2007, and the Forty edition of the PREMIO POSITANO "LEONIDE MASSINE" Per la Danza 2012.

The Best Dancer of the Year Award of 2005 of the French and Italian dance magazine “Ballet2000” for “Scream and Whisper” which was performed for the first time in Rome in 2005, the Japan Dance Forum Award in 2007 for “Whereabouts”, 40th Premio Positano Danza Léonide Massine in 2012.

Special Outdoor Performance

"Modern Table", a Korean dance company led by Jaeduk Kim, appeared on the stage in Akita this year, too. They performed a new work, "MEN OF STEEL", which was created as an outdoor performance. So their performance this year was held in the event space in the center of Akita, not in the theater. “OFF”, which is a food event consisting of booths run by renowned restaurants in Akita Prefecture, was held across the whole theater lobby last year, and it made the festival even more successful as a cafe and meal space available between matinée and soirée. In addition, in order to increase the dance population and to develop "ODORU AKITA" as a festival by the people of Akita Prefecture, a joint performance by the street dance groups in the prefecture was also held this year. This large event that people of all generations could participate in has made us anticipate the development of the festival from the next year on.

Event date and time
July 29, 2017(Saturday) 15:00-21:00
Event venue
Omachi Event Plaza
Admission fee and etc
Seat tickets 1,000yen (limited 200 seats)

OFF(Odoru Food Festival)

Unlike typical food events, there were a variety of different foods in “OFF”, which were served by renowned restaurants in the prefecture. It must be difficult for you to find a food event where you can enjoy local beers and wines that represent Akita while taking a bite of samgyeopsal wrapped in lettuce, trippa stewed with tomato sauce, ratatouille, fresh ham, etc. Major theaters in Akita are located a bit far from the city center, so there are many visitors who came by car. To make matters worse, there are few restaurants in the neighborhood, so it is difficult to have time to eat and drink while enjoying conversation after the show. This time, “OFF” was going on even after the end of "Modern Table" as well as during the performances by the local dance groups, so we felt happy to see the audience excitedly talking after the performance, while holding a glass of beer in their hands.
Booths: Akita City Toorimachi Shopping Street Promotion Association, Akita Aqura Beer, N.S. Club (Natural Stance Club), Wankaaton, KAMENOCHO STORE, Soranoki Garden, Cafeteria Torinos, Beko Island Summit.

Joint Performance of Street Dance Groups in Akita Prefecture

We are very pleased that the joint performance of the street dance groups in Akita Prefecture has achieved such a great success. Dancing has various genres including classical ballet, modern dance, jazz dance, contemporary dance, saltation, and even ethnic dance. What matters is not what category it belongs to, but what we, who live in the present age, will find in each dance, and whether each dance has a contemporary nature that allows us to empathize with the dancers. We hope that such cross-categoried joint performances will open up a new dance scene in Akita.


Dooties:a medical students’ group of Akita University (Akita City)
DANCE STYLE "Fiction":a students’ group of Akita Prefectural University (Akita City)
RevivaL:a students’ group of Akita University (Akita City)
Dance Studio S.T.Rays (Akita City)

Invited Performer:"Gannin-Odori" of Hachirogata-machi

Producer & Compere:Ayumu Abe(Running man)

"MEN OF STEEL" Modern Table (Korea)

"Modern Table" led by Jaeduk Kim drove the audience into unbelievable excitement in "ODORU AKITA 2016" last year. Many of the audience in Akita who got excited by their overwhelming dancing and originality requested their further performances. In response, Jaeduk Kim's new outdoor performance "MEN OF STEEL" showed itself for the first time in Japan. This work, in which negative and unsolvable human relationships such as fighting, controversy and absurd communication are expressed straightforward, coupled with the disciplined physicality of the dancers and the original music by Jaeduk, made the audience of Akita excited again.

ArtisticDirector&Choreographer, Music:Jaeduk Kim
Performers:Modern Table(Jungin Lee,Pilseung Lee, Jeongsik Choi, Laehyuk Kim, Taejun Han, Jiho Jang, Ungi Lee, Changhwan Hwang, Seoul Lee, Namhoon Kim)
Lightning Designer:Janghan Lee
Executive Producer:Elly Eunji Jeon

Special workshop

Learning the original method of Jaeduk Kim, a choreographer, in Akita!

Event date and time
July 30, 2017(Sunday) 13:00-15:00
Event venue
Suda Hall of Akita International University
Class fee fee and etc
3,000yen (same for adults and students)

PA Daigakkoh (Lecture program)

PA Daigakkoh (Lecture program) will extend a big welcome to those who are engaged in stage performances, as well as those who are interested in stage performance, such as as dance, theatrical performances, and music but do not know how to appreciate it or feel that learning about it is too difficult.
After all, if you don't understand the rules of soccer or rugby football, it is no fun. But once you know the rules and the important points, you can find unlimited enjoyment.
Let's learn the basic knowledge about the appreciation of stage performances, and enjoy the performances of the world class artists who will gather in Akita!

Event date
October 7, 2017(Saturday)
Event time
Event venue
Conference room 4, the Culture Hall of Akita City
Class fee fee and etc
One lecture 500yen, Free pass ticket 1,500yen(same for adults and students)

13:00~14:30 The first period Lecture on danceⅠ


The meaning and significance of the "Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Award”

Santa Yamakawa("ODORU AKITA" Festival director)

14:45~16:15 The second period Lecture on costumes

Kyouko Doumoto

"Think about costumes as an art”

Kyouko Doumoto(Costume designer)

16:30~18:00 The third period Lecture on music


"Tatsumi Hijikata and music - Sounds were visible to Hijikata."

YAS KAZ(Musician)

19:00~20:30 The fourth period Lecture on danceⅡ

Takao Norikoshi

"Won't you see dance anyway?"

Takao Norikoshi
Dance critic

Opening Special Performance ~Special night program~

Three dance groups from Japan and Korea will be performing at the beginning of the international dance festival “ODORU AKITA” with guests from eight countries from around the world. The three dance groups, “FUTOME Performance” (from Japan), “Jonghyun Lee & Jongwoo Kim” and “GAMBLERZ” (both from Korea) are invited to break the “image of dance” the Akita audiences have. For audiences in Akita, as they have no chance to see actual dance performances on stage, the image of dance to them is the performance by children in a ballet lesson. For them, dance is the exclusive domain of attractive girls. Enjoy the creative performances by men/women which can break this fixed thinking.

Event date and time
October 25, 2017(Wednesday) 18:30-
Event venue
ARAMASA sake brewer's KYU-KANNONKO-NISHI-MOMIGURA(a sake brewery)
Admission fee and etc
Limited 50 seats(Reserved seat)
Special Night program 1,000yen
Opening Party 1,500yen
Free pass ticket 2,000yen
[Party cooperation]



FUTOME performance (Japan)

I make a work in existing freshness on sexuality and the brutality of the young girl. As for the banana, a man, the snail symbolize sexual intercourse. I thank for life in there being it and want to die as a woman laughingly even if the world is over when.

Kaoru Norimatsu
FUTOME performance (Emi Tetsuda, Kaoru Norimatsu)

I ate without being able to leave over a sweet fruit
Is the prayer of the young girl sacrificed?
I sing daring tragedy several degrees
Do not neglect it; darling darling

『Wake up from sleep』

Jonghyun Lee, Jongwoo Kim (Korea)

Jonghyun Lee
Jonghyun Lee、Jongwoo Kim

i make movement about sleep. stretch is movement to wake from sleep. i make stretch to use pillow more active than original common stretch.

『Dream of invisibles』


Kyusang Shin
GAMBLERZ (Kyusang Shin, Jihoon Park, Sooyoung Jang)

B-boying is a creative art that tests the physical limit, using every part of the body to make centrifugal force for spinning, and making movements with both legs off the ground. Until naw the main culture of B-boy was ‘Battle culture’, shoeing their ownnskills and determining the victory or defeat, and also B-boy shows were limited into battle type performances or short performances focused on skills. Then, is it impossible to tell a ‘story’ or express ‘various emotions’ through b-boying? ‘Dream of a bum’ describes the story of artists alienated from the society.