April 27-28, 2018

“water and tears”

From choreographer Kaori Seki:

The title of this new piece in Japanese is “midu tsu namita”. In the ancient Japanese language “midu” means water, “namita” means “tears,” and the two words are connected with “tsu,” meaning “belonging to.”

I think of the time when the borders between oneself and others were vague.

I imagine the time when there wasn’t an awareness of the self being divided from the other, or even the identification of the self as “one”.

In the way when two glasses of water are blended, you could not tell anymore which part of the water comes from which glass. Even in the present time I recognize myself as a separate being, but know my body contains the same water that all other living creatures have.

The question is, whether or not I regard what lies in front of my eyes as also “me,” or “an extension of me.”


“water and tears”


日本語のタイトルは「midu tsu namita」。

「水」と「涙」の上代日本語での発音「みどぅ」「なみた」を日本祖語の所属格、“つ” でそれぞれをつないでつけました。


自分と他者を隔てる意識、そもそも自分をひとつの ”もの” としての認識がなかったであろう時代の時間の認識。自然や自分ではない生き物を丸ごと、またその一部を身体に取り込むことやそれに溶け込むこと。



A contemporary choreographer based in Japan, Kaori Seki explores the possibilities of the live encounter, engaging the audience’s senses and evoking nostalgia and memories that are difficult to record. Previous dances have incorporated stimuli such as fragrances or fabric in order to awaken the minds and bodies of the audience. Like her company name “PUNCTUMUN”— a portmanteau that describes “a small, distinct point”— Seki, who is trained in classical ballet and modern dance forms such as Butoh, creates work that is meticulous, sensuous, and subtle.

“water and tears” for US tour 2018

Creative Team Credits

Choreography & Direction: Kaori Seki
Performers: Masashi Koyama, Kaori Seki
Choreographic Assistance: Kozue Takamiya
Lighting design: Kiyotoshi Endo 
Sound direction: Yuji Tsutsumida
Sound operation:Masahide Ando
Technical direction: Chikage Yuyama
Costumes: Midori Hagino
Company management: Kumi Hiraoka, Yoko Kawasaki
Production:Dantai Seki Kaori


Kaori Seki

Kaori Seki began studying classical ballet at the age of five and performing in modern and contemporary dance from the age of 18 while simultaneously also creating her own choreography. She has presented her work publicly since 2013 and established her company, KAORI SEKI Co.PUNCTUMUN, in 2013. In recent years, she has developed an interest in the ecology of humans, animals, and plants as well as sensory functions, staging work in Japan and overseas that incorporates such elements as smell and other senses. In 2012, Seki was the winner of the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer at Yokohama Dance Collection EX 2012 for Hetero, co-choreographed with Teita Iwabuchi, and the Next Generation Choreographer Award at the Toyota Choreography Award 2012. Her other accolades include the Elsur Foundation New Face Award in 2013 and Japan Dance Forum Award 2016. She was a fiscal 2014–17 junior fellow at The Saison Foundation.

Masashi Koyama

Koyama encountered dance at the age of 22. After he studied International Business in USA, he worked as an office worker in Japan, which he quite at the age of 25 to become a dancer. In addition to work as a dancer in various choreographer’s works, Koyama is also active as a choreographer. Since 2015 he is a member of Kaori Seki Co.PUNCTUMUN.

Yui Yabuki

Grown up in Saitama, Hachinohe and Tokyo in Japan. Graduated from Japan Women’s College of Physical Education, majored in Dance Studies. Besides her activity as a member of Kaori Seki Co.PUNCTUMUN since 2012, Yabuki is active in film field participating in works by Nao Yoshikai and Manaho Kaneko. She also organizes a coffee house and produces collaboration projects there combining dance, coffee, music and poet.

Kozue Takamiya

Studied dance with Miyako Kato from her childhood, Kozue Takamiya is currently an associate dancer of Miyako Kato Dance Space. Besides dancing for the company, Takamiya has joined in works by various choreographers as a dancer and has created her own choreographic works. One of her works was presented in the project “Inc”, produced by the percussionist Kuniko Kato. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art, majored in Theatre Studies. Since 2016 she is a member of Kaori Seki Co.PUNCTUMUN.

Support for this performance

This presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Crane Group.

The US tour of “water and tears” is funded in part by The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) program; and Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture); and by the National Performance Network and Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) and the U.S.-Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN).

Links Hall is a NPN/VAN Partner of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN/VAN Artist Engagement Fund. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit www.npnweb.org.

Darrell Jones (Chicago, USA) and Kaori Seki (Tokyo, Japan) were co-commissioned by the NPN/VAN U.S./Japan Connection 2014-2016 curatorial team of Dance Box, The Flynn Center, Fusebox Festival, Kyoto Experiment Festival, Links Hall, and NPO Arts Link. The U.S./Japan Connection, an international program of National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN), is supported by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC). Additional funding is provided by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Bilingual facilitation and consultation services for the project is provided by the U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN).

The creation and the presentation of “CLUTCH” by Darrell Jones and “water and tears” by Kaori Seki are made possible by funding from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, and The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.