Poet Meets Calligrapher
Japanese poetry in conversation with Japanese calligraphy, sometimes literally. It felt like a traditional and wonderfully ancient art form. Truth is, we invented it.
It’s a good example of the generative fusion that comes from consistent collaboration. New and risky things grow out of relational and collaborative soil that has been intentionally, patiently, carefully tended to.
As far as we know, no one has tried what we did. For the final performance we asked for two words from the audience. Natsuki, the calligrapher, created a calligraphy painting based on Japanese characters corresponding to the two words. While Natsuki performed, Sora, the poet, wrote an improv poem based on the two words. Then Sora performed his poem in Japanese, while Yurie translated into English on the fly.
It was complete improv. There were so many moving parts and points of potential breakdown it could have blown up in our faces. A lot could have gone wrong. But the electric feel in the air and the response from the audience told us we did the right thing.