Masaaki Koga in Chalon sur Saone 2014
Masaaki Koga, Director for the last 23 years of the Shizuoka Daidogei Street Performance Festival was celebrated in the local newspaper during his annual visit to the C”Chalon dans la rue” Street Performance Festival in Chalon Sur Saone, Bourgogne, France!
“Chalon dans la rue” Street Performances in Chalon sur Saone inspires Japan!
[For Masaaki Koga, Japanese director, “Chalon dans la rue” is a model of originality to import to Japan]
Sitting at a terrace with his team, Massaki Koga is debating which shows to watch on that day. Like many directors he comes to Chalon sur Saone to recruit among the performing troupes, with the difference that his work is comparatively more difficult.
He is the Director of the most important Street Performance Festival in Japan, namely the Shizuoka Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka, a city of 750,000 souls, which attracts every year 1,500,000 spectators on average as well as 95 troupes, 25 of them international.
Impressive figures on paper they might seem but he is the first to say that street performance festivals and shows are under-developed in Japan. Chalon sur Saone attracts less spectators but for example this year has invited 178 troupes, 23 of them international. A creative pool difficult to imagine in Japan.
But in a norm-conscious Japanese society where the group regulates individuality in all aspects it is difficult to witness the unlimited individuality found in our streets. “To organize a dance show around a bus stop is for instance very complicated. It is a semi private space back home. Therefore you must obtain special authorizations and ensure a regulated distance. Everything is highly controlled by the authorities.” And if a spectator standing atop the bus stop shelter happens to fall down the festival will be held responsible, not the individual.
But Masaaki Koga who has been heading the Daidogei Festival for the last 23 years believes he can import some French cultural dynamism back home in Japan.
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