Hannah's Japan Experience

Following their exciting trip to Japan touring The Enormous Room, Hannah shares her experience on a very busy few weeks...

On the 26th and 27th Feb, Christian and I travelled to Aldershot where we met Nadenh and took a taxi to Heathrow Airport. When we got there, we met the others and got ourselves checked in with our luggage. Once we got checked in, we took a plane from Heathrow to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Tokyo; we landed on the next day. It took us two long days as it was an overnight flight.

At first, I felt excited and nervous at the same time because I knew that Japan would be very different from being at home in the UK. In hindsight, Japan was all about tradition, culture and entertainment. I could tell that when we were walking around, I saw a couple of temples, cathedrals, skyscraper buildings, ladies wearing kimonos and cable cars. We found these through a guidebook that Ethan and our hosts had given us about the area. I also found it interesting that the food there were mainly rice, meats, sushis and a very little vegetarian places to eat at.

Not everyday, we went sightseeing; we were also working. On those days we were working, we taught a number of workshops, performed three shows which were two matinee shows and one evening performance. Each one had a different number of audiences and said that they were moved and touched by the movement and the story of the piece. To them, I felt that the show had got them thinking about their belief in loss and grief as it's part of their culture and tradition there. After our matinee shows, we had two post-show talks where we had to answer some questions from our hosts, translators and from the audience. Most of these questions were mainly about the piece, the rehearsals, our character progress and the first week of research. I felt that we managed to answer them correctly so that the translators could translate back in their accent. After, one of the shows, we had an after-party celebration where we had a couple of thank-you's to our collaborators on the project.

Apart from the shows, we also had a number of workshops that has been shared between the dancers. Each workshop was led by Amy and I, Christian, Nadenh, Millie, Lucy and Elia. In each one, we had two teacher training workshops, a professional company class, four mainstream inclusive workshops and one masterclass workshop. In our two teacher training workshops that Amy and I led was base towards a community level of a inclusive workshop setting and the second day was on our contact practice. I hope that the teachers took our feedback and answers so that they can use it on their group. After the whole trip, we very sad about leaving as we had so much fun spending three weeks working with them. I found that our hosts who were looking after us had so much fun as well. On the day we travelled back home, we did not want to say our goodbyes and thank-you's to our hosts but we had to. The whole experience of the trip was fascinating and I hope that they found the experience working with us interesting. I hope that they can find that unique inclusivity like Stopgap there in Japan. I also hope to come back there again very soon.

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