Hanako, Maki and Miyuki represent three generations of women. Common and radical at the same time. They uncover the inequality between men and women in Japan, but carefully place a mirror in front of us.
Hanako is 24 years old. She lights cigarettes and serves drinks in a Kyabakura in Tokyo, where local office workers pay to talk to women. Their conversations with the clients unveil the hypocrisy, male frustration and their inability to accept the equality of women.
Maki is a woman with higher studies and independent. She was, until she married and had her first child and seemed to be content to become a housewife. During the day there are only women in her building with whom she forms a society without men.
Miyuki suffers from a mouth infection and talks to cats. She is 64 years old and suffers from the Retired Husband Syndrome. An illness which some Japanese women suffer from when their husbands, complete strangers, return home after retirement.
These three women represent one and the same. The context is dazzling. Japan, avant-gardist and westernised. A mirror of modernism which hides ancient roots of inequality. Maybe this same illusion will enable us to see that we are not so different
Five days to dance
A couple of dancers appear one morning in a High School classroom in San Sebastián. It’s Monday and they announce to a group of youngsters that they have five days to get up on stage and dance. One week to change things. A short time, a brief choreography, a big challenge. To get people to move when the world paralyses us.
The dance compels these youngsters to break through their roles exactly at the time of their lives when their social roles are being forged. The beautiful girl is no longer the most admired, the timid one takes a step forward. The dance makes them touch each other. They are equal. Some will not be set themselves loose until the last moment.
Wilfried Van Poppel and Amaya Lubeigt are the choreographers. He is Dutch, she is Basque and arrive from Bremen. They have worked with Pina Bausch, Susanne Linke or Urs Dietrich and have now decided to work with people who have never danced before. They do this every week in Germany but this time Amaya will return to her roots after 25 years. Dancing is the common language. It doesn’t matter where.
This is the challenge: five days, a class of teenagers, a microcosm in which occurs a little big bang.