SCF’s Main Programs
SCF works for own creative projects. They design and organize circus creation with different artists and companies every year, then present them at the festival.
SCF is preparing their first contemporary circus festival in Takamatsu in Autumn 2015.
OFFERING SPACES FOR CIRCUS CREATION AND TRAINING
For the time being, SCF is negociating with municipalities (Takamatsu City, Sanuki City etc) to use temporarily closed schools (gyms) for projects.
SCF is aiming to have it’s own space and to start managing it by 2016.
SCF organizes different workshops by inviting artists and professional technical staff whose objective is to train local technical staff specialized in circus to set up the equipments.
Setouchi Circus Factory
NEW PROJECTS for 2015
SCF is now preparing to settle in the Bussyozan area in Takamatsu City where the tradition and new cultural movements are mixing. People from different cultural fields are starting to collaborate, such as young architects, designers, food culture producers , a hotspring owner and so on.
SCF is going to start a new festival specialized in contemporary circus in autumn 2015 by using some buildings and outdoor spaces (old houses, temples, a railroad garage and so on) in this area. We call it “Enkei Gekijo Bussyozan (Amphitheater Bussyozan)” in considering Bussyozan area as a big theater including inside and outside spaces. People who make different activities there will be involved in this festival and will prepare different kinds of collaborative services for visitors…
The festival will be mainly an occasion to present artists’ works(shows) after the creative residency program in Bussyozan. This will be the first festival purely focused in contemporary circus in Japan, We will start it in a modest scale and we wish to expand it in the long term.
Why, Setouchi Circs Factory?
Setouchi Circus Factory (SCF) is a non-profit organization which aims to create a new circus culture in Japan. Michiko TANAKA, the director of the actual SCF, started activities in 2011 in Kagawa after having published “Circus ni Aitai”, the first introductory guide of French contemporary circus in Japan. She organized the “100 years’ Circus”, a circus show with Japanese circus artists, in a functioning railroad garage. The aim of this project was to offer a chance to Japanese talented artists for circus creation which is not easily realized in Japan for financial and other various reasons. The impact of this project in Takamatsu city was obvious, all the local media reported and a quarter of audience came from other prefectures in Japan. This fact shows how the creative circus projects are still rare in Japan.
The “100 years’ Circus” gathered some influencial people who were really interested in the contemporary circus, and would shape the future member of Setouchi Circus Factory. SCF officially started it’s activities in February of 2014. They organized a 3 week residency program with the French contemporary circus company “l’Immédiat” and 7 Janapese artists to create a show entitled “Cabaret” in Kagawa. Takamatsu city and Sanuki city cooperated in support of this project and also Institut Français supported the company for international and domestic travel expenses.
The process of creating “Cabaret” brought many understandings not only for SCF but also for the cities. They saw how circus can attract the people and how it can generate a cultural dynamism. Now SCF has 11 core influential members and more people are brought together especially during the actual events. For some time now, SCF doesn’t have an official space for training or creation for artists, but they’re trying to get their own manageable space by 2016. Until then, they acquire an appropriate rental space for each project’s size, like the closed junior highschool, in the case of “Cabaret”.
It is extremely important to support artists who are motivated but don’t have any other means to make a living as an artist. Now, the number of artists are growing and circus itself has started to attract more people, in a different way from a half century ago. Maybe, the influence of “Cirque du Soleil” in Japan is very big, also the informations on the internet of foreign artists are much more accessible than 20 years ago.
There are more and more street art festivals in Japan, so the number of street performers is increasing. Most of them are buskers who show their short performances to please the audience and get tips from them, on the other hand, there are a certain number of artists who wish to create artistic shows to be performed in a theater. However, they have little chance to do so in Japan because there are very few public or private subsidies to support artistic creations in this field, besides there is no specific circus training and creating space where any circus artists can use.
Michiko TANAKA, by recognizing this situation, decided to found an organization to encourage creative activities and support circus artists, Setouchi Circus Factory.
“20years’ Parade” in MIMOCA (museum of Marugame city): Circus show in and outside of the museum on the museum’s 20th anniversary.
“100years’ Circus” in Kotoden Railroad Company’s factory: the first original circus show with 8 Japanese circus artists and 4 musiciens, 1 French circus artist, directed by Yosuke Meguro, a young Japanese juggler. It had a big impact in Takamatsu city and for professionals in other parts of Japan.
Circus Parade in Setouchi Seikatsu Kogei-sai (Cultural Craft Festival)
Machinaka Circus (Circus in the City): a circus show in the shopping arcade in Takamatsu, directed by Cheeky, a Japanese circus artist.
Machinaka Circus: directed by Keisuke Kanai (a circus artist from CNAC). This was a first trial of circus work with a Japanese traditional marionette Bunraku. 5 professional circus artists and 3 puppet players worked with local jugglers, fine-artists and musicians to make a show together.
“Cabaret”: the first collaborative creative project between Japanese and French artists. The Company l’Immédiat and it’s director Camille Boitel stayed in Sanuki for 2 weeks for the creation of the show with 7 Japanese artists (circus artists, dansers, an actress and musicians), then performed in Kokubunji Hall. This project was supported by Takamatsu City, Sanuki City, Institut Français and some other organizations.
“Modules”: workshops and a solo show by Jean-Baptiste André, French circus artist, in Takamatsu.
Director of Setouchi Circus Factory / Official Correspondent of Horslesmurs (Centre National de ressources des arts de la rue et des arts du cirque)
Michiko TANAKA’s Biography
Graduated from Hokkaido University (at the faculty of litterature)
Master course at Hokkaido University (in French History)
Studied at Université de Lille III, majored in French Art History
Worked for the Hokkaido Shimbun Press at Events Organizing Section(specialized in cultural events such as art exhibitions and stage performances)
In charge of the organization of the co-creation project “Voyage” with French circus artists and Japanese dancers organized by the Hokkaido Shimbun Press and the Sapporo Art Park
In charge of the organization of the stage show “Grimm” by French circus company
In charge of the organization of the stage show “ les Modules” by French circus artist
- Worked for the first part of the organization of the stage show “le Vertige du Papillon” by Belgian company Feria Musica
- Resigned from the Hokkaido Shimbun Press then started preparing her guide book in France mainly based in Horslesmurs in Paris. It would be the first Japanese guide book about the French contemporary circus
Worked at Art Front Gallery for Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in 2009 and Setouchi Triennale in 2010
Published her book “Circus ni Aitai – Une invitation au Cirque-comment le cirque est devenu un art en France” (Gendai Kikaku-shitsu Publisher)
Became independent producer, started for her own activities with contemporary circus in Takamatsu, Kagawa, JAPAN
- Inveted for “Focus Cirque” by l’Institut Français, the international circus meeting in Paris
- The first circus creation by Setouchi Circus Factory, the show named “100 years’ Circus” in a local railroad company KOTODEN in the Bussyozan area in Takamatsu, gathered more than 700people and almost all local media reported on this event.
- The first international creation residency and the show named “Cabaret” with French company (directed by Camille Boitel) l’Immédiat. Institut Français, Takamatsu City and Sanuki City supported this project.
-Invited for “Focus Cirque” by l’Institut Français for the second time.
-Selected as a judge for the “Heaven Artist Tokyo”, the qualification for the permission by Tokyo Prefecture to perform in spaces in Tokyo.
-Director of performing arts for Yokohama Para Triennale