Ryuta Iwashita (they/them) lives and improvises in New Orleans as a facilitator/educator, visual artist and performance artist after living in Japan for over 25 years. Contact Improvisation also lives in their life as a base for their creative processes and pedagogy. While hosting Contact Improvisation jams and workshops in New Orleans, they have been invited to facilitate workshops and perform in Japan, China and the U.S. including Tulane University, Seattle Festival of Dance Improv, West Coast CI Jam and several Earthdance programs. As an educator, they have been involved in Wolftrap Institute where they incorporate CI and other movement forms in early childhood education.
Mu(s)hi is an excerpt of a performance piece that portrays a phenomenon of a linguistic Gestaltzerfall experienced by the protagonist who is a non-native English speaker living in New Orleans and their textual embodiment.
It derives from numbing and overstimulating sensations that American-English conversations often render to them, which saturate their longing to be closer to their homeland in Japan. Through ritualistic movements, they open up a portal where an overstimulating language forms a levitating utopia as well as invisible bondage. As a Gestaltzerfall suggests a sense of decomposition in meaning and complexity, the protagonist recreates a somatic language to sustain their relationship with their ancestors.
As words become a soundscape with no distinct meaning,what does it make one perceive emotionally and/or somatically? What textures can one relate to when a spoken language is not comprehensible for them? From which point does one give up on understanding others’intention when the cultural reference and context are foreign to them?