Undercurrents Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers “Tune To A Dead Channel: Departure / Arrival”

© Hideto Maezawa


Based on Butoh methodology, Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers question modern society’s attitude to the body.
This film shot in the western Tokyo city of Hachioji was made via a unique process in which they walked through the streets and created the choreography while sharing their memories.

An iron foundry in northern Hachioji, one of the capital’s foremost industrial districts. The live-streamed Arrival saw the dancers sharing space with the plant’s machinery as it operated.
The streets of Hachioji, which flourished as a post town. The film Departure was shot in several locations, including the river terrace, the entertainment district, and the site of what was once the red light district.
Kakuya Ohashi himself took the camera to capture his body as he danced his memories.

Amid the cityscape of contemporary Hachioji and inspired by the beginning of the novel Neuromancer, which launched the cyberpunk genre of science fiction, Ohashi builds up two worlds between which we can travel at will: Departure⇄Arrival.

*A re-edited version of the film streamed live in January 2021 will be streamed.

Information about the Work

Arrival (86 min.)
1. From the Deep Mud
2. We are UCHIDA
3. Seeking the Fragments
4. Hello World
5. To Departure

Departure (26 min.)
6. Reincarnation
7. Stand at a Crossroads

Cast & Staff

Kakuya Ohashi

Choreographer and representative of Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers.
Born in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1967. After graduating from the Faculty of Business Administration at Yokohama National University, Ohashi began studying at the Image Forum Institute of the Moving Image. In 1991, he began performing in Vancouver, Canada. Between 1992 and 1994, he was a member of the Special Guard of Honor of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. Between 1993 and 1997, he participated as a Butoh dancer in the performances of Yukio Waguri + Kozensha and studied Tatsumi Hijikata’s style of Butoh choreography. In 1995, he went solo. He began to present self-choreographed works in 1999 after forming Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers. In 2000, he entered the Bagnolet International Choreography Award Yokohama Platform, where his work was judged behind closed doors, as all the performers were naked. He took time out from dance and choreography after that until 2003. His 2004 work I Want You to Stay Here reached the "Nextage" final selection of the Toyota Choreography Award. In 2013, he won the Dance Critics Society of Japan’s Newcomer Award, followed by the Toga Theatre Competition Encouragement Award in 2014. He is also a software engineer, developing everything from core systems for companies to applications for humanoid robots.

Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers

Formed in 1999. Based on a text-based Butoh choreography method, this dance company questions approaches to the human body in modern society. Its major works include Empire, Aerial (2008, New National Theatre, Tokyo), which was inspired by the 2008 Akihabara massacre; Grande Vacance (2013, Theatre Tram), which takes Hirotaka Tobi’s novel as its subject; and Lustrous (2020, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse), which is based on a comic by Haruko Ichikawa. In 2013, the company embarked on The World, a dance project focused on creating research-based dance works set in Koto City, and is due to premiere The World 2022 in 2022.


Yu Goto, Yaeko Yokoyama, Yuka Takahashi, Kenji Hirato, Hanako Atake, Nozomi Matsuo, Haruka Tabana, Ako Imai, Kotomi Imai, Kakuya Ohashi(Arrival only)
and Director
Kakuya Ohashi
Music director
Tomohito Wakui
Costume designer,
hair and makeup
Saori Azuma
Graphic designer
Shun Ishizuka
Artistic designer
Tomohito Wakui
Lighting engineer
Kiyotoshi Endo (Light Ship)
Acoustic designer
Norimasa Ushikawa
Stage manager
Yoshiko Haraguchi (Moribuden)
Production department staff
Yuto Nakano(URAK)
Minoru Furukoori, Rino Komoda
Livestream directors
Shun Ishizuka, Kei Murata
Director of photography
Yukiko Iioka, Daisuke Yamamoto, Kakuya Ohashi
Kakuya Ohashi
Video director
Hibiki Miyazawa (Alloposidae LLC)
Assistant director
Shun Sato
Takashi Fujikawa
Director of photography
Yukiko Iioka, Kakuya Ohashi
Chief camera assistant
Aoi Nakamura (RAKUDA STUDIO)
Camera assistant
Natsumi Oikawa
Hibiki Miyazawa (Alloposidae LLC), Kakuya Ohashi
Saori Azuma
Translator of English subtitles
for the interview
John Townsend


From the Interview

What’s important to you in creating the choreography for the company?
I think that’s something I have to remember when I think about what choreography actually is. The process for this involves using words and sharing them with everyone. And creating memories together.
In doing so, I value the time I share with the dancers and their memories. I think of choreography not as something assigned to dancers by choreographers, but as something that involves the choreographer and dancers nurturing memories together.

Interviewer: Saori Azuma


Covers everything from links to Butoh to the practice of creation with the company and the making of the films. I asked about memory, one of the themes in the recent creative works by Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers.

Livestream of Arrival

Date and time
From 16:00, Monday, January 11, 2021 (national holiday)
Filming location
Streamed from Morisaki Industry No. 2 Plant (northern Hachioji)
*Online streaming only
Free, sign-up required

Released: 2021 Runtime: Arrival (86 min.) / Departure (26 min.)

Produced by NPO Arts Network Japan [NPO-ANJ]
Cooperating organizations:Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee, Hachioji City, Hachioji College Community & Culture Fureai Foundation, Caffs Co.,Ltd, The Saison Foundation, Morisaki Industry Co.,Ltd, MODESTE, HACHIOJI SYOKURYO

Fantastic Site – Special Performances at Tokyo Festival 2020
“Undercurrents” administration office c/o NPO Arts Network Japan
TEL:03-5961-5200 (Weekdays, 11:30 – 16:30)