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From the tea Ceremony to contemporary dance

This Japanese expression is taken from the ancestral tradition of the tea ceremony. Translated literally as " A chance meeting," it means "Cherish every encounter because it will only take place once."

Indeed, often the guests invited to a tea ceremony, an emblematic part of Japanese philosophy, do not know each other. They share this ritual in a simple room where each object and act is an invitation to the interior awakening of beauty.

It is at the heart of Zen thought that the concerns of this ceremony become most clear. There, beyond ancient tradition, we find the celebration of awareness of the present moment and the exaltation that it brings. 

It is also at the heart of the formation of the AToU company to create a parallel between this magnified moment inscribed in every tea ceremony, and the moment of possible between with the self and with others. AToU builds a bridge between the two presents: between the ancient and instantaneous and unique creation. AToU makes a simple and daring artistic proposal: all in the same night to offer a dancer and a musician the chance to meet for the first time, to create a live duet by simultaneously sharing it with the audience. It is therefore a one-time event. The tatami becomes a dance surface, the tea transforms into creative energy, and together artists and audience members together “listen to the unspeakable, and contemplate the invisible.”

The Ichigo Ichie events by AToU promise to celebrate the present moment. They are to be organized once each trimester, with four or five duos invited to each session.

The location will vary. Participation is open to musicians and dancers who would like to experiment this unique and non-reproducible form of encounter. You can consult our schedule or you can subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date about the next Ichigo Ichie event.

“Under the magic caress of beauty, the secret strains of our being awaken, and in response to this call, we become stirred and tremble. The mind speaks to the mind. We hear the inexpressible, we contemplate the invisible. The master makes unknown notes sound out within us. Memories, long buried return to memory, filled with new meanings. Hope smothered by fear, nagging desires that we dare not recognize, all arise crowned with a new glory.”

Okakura - The Book Of Tea

Contact AToU

Duet 2014

The expression of creative energy, raw and concentrated, direct and straightforward.

19 septembre 2015
Usine TASE, Avenue Bataillon Carmagnole
Représentation gratuite dans le cadre des journees du Patrimoine
Around the creation
Photo de la création Ichigo-Ichié

INTERVIEW Anan Atoyama

Marc Ribault: Why offer these Ichigo Ichie nights?

Anan Atoyama: To work in the art world, and to provide a living for a team requires a lot of commitments. Also cooperation, and sometimes compromise with those involved, whether they be artists, technicians, theater directors, or public and private subsidizers. I wanted to manage this complex balancing act with a much more simple activity, where the constraints and implementation would be reduced to the minimum: An empty space, a bit of light, two artists who would create together at that very moment, people who would attend the event, and nothing more. It would be an expression of creative energy, raw and concentrated, direct and straightforward.

M.R: What do these events bring to participants?

A.A: Whether you are in the audience or on stage, I think pleasure, above all. A pleasure comparable to what a child experiences on a playground. There is nothing to master or understand: You’re there, together, in order to share time and space while paying attention to others and to what the resulting creative energy brings out from them, and we react to it. It is a return to a simplified relationship with the environment, a form of calming down, as offered by a tea ceremony. AToU has not been lacking in applications from artists to participate in these events. This will allow them to once again concentrate on the essence of their art and their most pure expression. It is spontaneous, with emotions and materials available at-hand. These events represent a “sacred” space for AToU, in the sense that we want to guard them against a maximum amount of interferences alien to their nature – like affordability, success, control, or elitism. For us, these events are indispensable refresher courses.

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