Dancer and choreographer Yuuki Aoki founded the Newcomer “H” Sokerissa dance troupe in 2005 after he stopped one day to watch a street band and noticed a homeless person asleep on the ground with his half-naked bottom showing.
Inspired by that person’s strong, careworn face and sheer energy to keep on living, Aoki set out from then to express that basic survival instinct through dance. To do so, he decided to choose homeless people as the dancers and to name his embryo company Newcomer “H” Sokerissa after a word he coined from “sore ike,” meaning “moving forward” in Japanese.
For six months, though, Aoki failed to get any of the many homeless people he met to join his project. That was until he heard about the Big Issue street magazine that is sold by homeless people, and started going along to places where they held meetings. Then finally, after he explained his ideas and danced in front of some of them, five people signed up to join Sokerissa.
Since then Newcomer “H” Sokerissa has done countless performances and workshops in locations from theatres and streets to open-air squares and parks all over Japan. In addition, the troupe also danced in England at the International Arts and Homelessness Summit & Festival held in Manchester in 2018.
And although the members may not be technically as fast, strong or highly skilled as many dance performers, audiences warmly appreciate their unparalleled vital brilliance born of their lives’ hardships.
Now, wherever you are you can watch Newcomer “H” Sokerissa’s latest tour performance on the Japan Foundation’s online distribution site at <STAGE BEYOND BORDERS–Selection of Japanese Performances> which has subtitles in languages including English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
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