Japan Society to Present Four Performances of Sachiyo Takahashi’s “Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre”

SHEEP #1

Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m.: Program A, with Emile Blondel on piano
Performance followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception
Friday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m.: Program B, with Kato Hideki on bass guitar
Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m.: Program B, with Kato Hideki on bass guitar
Sunday, November 7 at 2:30 p.m.: Program A, with Emile Blondel on piano

Japan Society – 333 East 47th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

Admission: $23 / $18 Japan Society members

Japan Society presents SHEEP #1, an inventive minimalist performance by New York-based Japanese artist Sachiyo Takahashi. With two unique programs spanning four performances, SHEEP #1 delivers a one-of-a-kind object-theater performance performed live with musical accompaniment.

About SHEEP #1

Inspired by the writings of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Le Petit Prince), SHEEP #1 follows the adventures of a sheep in search of the meaning of life. In this performance, Takahashi manipulates tiny figurines which are magnified with a video camera and projected onto a screen in real time, combining live operation with cinematic presentation in a style coined by the artist as “Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre.” With SHEEP #1, Takahashi explores the border between narrative and abstraction, generating dream-like fables for the subconscious through wordless storytelling, an electroacoustic soundtrack, and live musical accompaniment.

Performances

Four performances at Japan Society will deliver two distinct programs. Program A, featuring Emile Blondel on piano, will be performed Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 7 at 2:30 p.m.  Program B, featuring Kato Hideki on bass guitar, will be performed November 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.

To purchase tickets, please visit Japan Society’s website or call the Box Office at 212-715-1258.

COVID-19 Protocols

In compliance with CDC, New York State, and New York City guidelines, visitors must show proof of vaccination and wear a proper, secure-fitting mask at each performance. For Japan Society’s full list of visitor policies and safety protocols, please click this link.

©Skye Morse-Hodgson

About Sachiyo Takahashi

Sachiyo Takahashi is a composer, musician, and artist whose work centers around storytelling. Compositing sensory elements in a minimalist manner, she explores the border between narrative and abstraction to generate fables for the subconscious.

Takahashi founded Nekaa Lab in 2006 together with other “lab members” (stuffed toys and tiny figurines). She has been producing performances, installations, and writings while observing human nature from alternative perspectives. Her Microscopic Live Cinema-Theatre—unique performances projected from a miniature stage—has been appraised as a quirky yet imaginative merging between theatrical and cinematic experiences. She has presented her works at international venues and festivals including Prague Quadrennial, St. Ann’s Warehouse, La MaMa, The Tank (including the U.S. premiere of SHEEP #1 in 2018), and HERE. In 2017, 2018, and 2021 The Jim Henson Foundation has awarded her grants for her innovative work in the field of puppetry and supported her recent works Everything Starts from a Dot and Shinnai Meets Puppetry: One Night in Winter.

Takahashi is also an accredited master of Okamoto School Shinnai-bushi, a traditional song-storytelling from Japan, and performs using the stage name Okamoto Miya. To integrate her electroacoustic audio-visual works with traditional Asian sound, she has collaborated with gamin, a Korean avant-garde instrumentalist, to conceptualize a new music theatre, The Emotions, with which she joined the HERE Artist Residency Program in 2020.

Learn more about her work at her website.

©Skye Morse-Hodgson

About Emile Blondel
(piano, Program A)

Pianist Emile Blondel collaborates with musicians, dancers, and artists of all mediums. He studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts under the guidance of Eric Larsen and in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot. Blondel was a recipient of the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Education, which culminated in his performance Folk Roots Remixed at Rose Studio Theater.

Orchestral appearances include the Richmond Symphony, Durham Symphony, and the Heritage Chamber Orchestra. A frequent collaborator in theater, Blondel created music for Marcel and Man Ray, which premiered in the Labapalooza! Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse.

He is currently on the faculty of Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Dalton School.

About Kato Hideki
(bass guitar, Program B)

Kato Hideki is a Brooklyn-based musician, composer, and producer. His work is truly diverse, with a wide range of forms and sounds—from ambient, noise, electro-acoustic, songs, and improvisation to sound design and music for dance, film, and TV. He has released more than 15 titles and has performed at Lincoln Center, Japan Society, MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. He has toured Japan, the US, Europe, the UK, and Australia.

His music has been broadcast on NPR, the BBC, and ABC (Australia). His composition “Turbulent Zone” premiered at the Bang on a Can Marathon, and he composed the film score for the award-winning documentary The Journey of Monalisa. He also composed the dance scores In the Sea of Heaven and There and Here for TAKE DANCE and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

In addition to his own work, Kato has collaborated with artists such as Christian Marclay, Koichi Makigami, Ikue More, Fred Frith, John King, Yoshihide Otomo, Take Ueyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, and John Zorn. He is also a producer of other artists’ work, including Karen Mantler’s album Business Is Bad on ECM Records, and music for a Bessie-Award winning project THEM with Chris Cochrane, Denis Cooper, and Ishmael Houston-Jones. Currently he is producing an album Baba Bibi with the Tony award-winning songwriter and playwright Stew (Passing Strange); and an album I Hate Memory with an actor/songwriter Eszter Balint (Stranger Than Paradise).

Kato studied creative writing and holds a BA from Waseda University. He teaches at New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s Integrated Design & Media.