Othering or Inclusion: Focusing on a Contemporary Dance Project with an Ethnic Minority in Japan
In this paper I will discuss a multicultural art project in an ethnic minority neigh-borhood in Japan where contemporary dance artist Midori Kurata visited the elderly nursing home residents and created a performance with them. The proj-ect was launched by the local government, with the aim of facilitating cultural exchanges including Korean descendants in Higashikujo, Kyoto, Japan. While challenging the social exclusion of ethnic minorities is a major issue in Japanese society, it is also important to consider how the specific culture and heritage of different groups are not consumed by but conveyed to other communities. This art project successfully reflected the ordinary existence of a Higashikujo minority group, which led to a transformation in the expression of the dancing of Kurata, and an understanding of their unique ethnic culture. This paper will present this project’s creative process, performance, and its significance for fostering the social inclusion of ethnic minorities among a wider audience in Japan.
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