Performance 6.10.2016 at Kutomo
THE TREE AND THE WIND
Tree branches of autumn wait in line, over a floor of wood, for Seiji Shimoda to start: one of them has big yellow leaves, other some small and burn seeds, in the middle there is just a yellow thin one. Forming a half circle, around the tree branches and in front of a white wall, the viewers accommodate: curiously they observe the installation of the branches.
Suddenly, Seiji Shimoda starts the performance with a shy smile while he takes off a jacket and acquires another mood, meditative. He ties to his wrist two of the branches that start to caress each other, which leads to the falling of their seeds and pieces. Seiji Shimoda’s hands are not hands anymore. They turn into a pair of tree branches, defoliating. When he includes the third branch and shakes it around the space over the floor the leaves are left scattered, haphazard and beautiful. Seiji Shimoda shakes his branches like a tree who suffers of the fierce wind. The tree has buried its roots in a space, more or less, two for two meters whereby he dances together with the wind; who talks us about the inseparable relation of the elements, tree and wind. He dances with the slowness and smoothness peculiars of the tai chi art, but also with his firmness and concentration from a very deep and strong roots; he is losing his leaves and branches but he stays still, dancing: the tree dances with his enemy the wind, tied to him in a constant battle that keeps him rooted. Seiji Shimoda can be a bamboo deeply rooted in a perfect synchronic relationship with the wind in a musical show. Once scattered on the floor, leaves and branches, Seiji Shimoda maintains the tree’s condition.
Although he seems exhausted he does not interrupt the labour: in a deep inhalation, like he was drowning, Seiji Shimoda recovered his breath of which starts to sprout new branches and leaves in his hands/branches. His trunk moves with soft movements in which one cannot distinguish if the force which moves him comes from the inside, outside or both. Us viewers position ourselves, in the white room, to a park around a big and strong tree which we observe during four seasons: we saw him getting his leaves, losing them, resting and starting again. Seiji Shimoda leads us into the imaginary coming from the orient about slowness, simplicity and beauty, all together; how the smallest says the biggest, a poetic form can be found in the shape of a branch with the wind, the poetry of a tree breathing outside. The performance of Seiji Shimoda is a haiku that may start like: The tree made of wind…
Text by Geraldine Martinez Gonzalez
Photo 1 by Sanni Heino
Photos 2, 3 by Jani Virta