Two musicians, a designer and a lighting artist walk into a circus. What happens next is no joke.
In 2014, a group of four people—Daiho Soga and Gandhi Nishigaki (the two musicians from CINEMA dub MONKS), Takayuki Suzuki (the designer) and Takashi Watanabe (the lighting artist)—teamed up and created Circo de Sastre. Although the name is derived from the Spanish words for “Circus by Tailor,” Circo de Sastre was born and bred in Japan.
While a circus is mostly associated with acrobats, animals and clowns, you won’t find any of them in Circo de Sastre. So, in a sense, Circo de Sastre is not exactly a circus. Then again, there seems to be nothing that best explains Circo de Sastre other than “circus.” After all, just like in a circus, a lot of things are happening in Circo de Sastre. For one, it’s a music concert. But it’s a lesson in tailoring and a spectacle of lights too. Also, it’s a dance performance.
However you describe it, Circo de Sastre is a big hit in Japan and soon to be everywhere else. Three years after it was founded, Circo de Sastre finally embarked on its first overseas tour and made its debut in Europe last November with a series of performances in Madrid, Spain. And in early December, the group is making its way back to Asia to perform and hold workshop classes in Jakarta, Indonesia in a four-day event that is hosted by Indoestri.
In every performance, Circo de Sastre will tell a story “woven with sound, fabric and light,” using available resources. Suzuki, for example, will design the set, creating it live with his sewing machine. Daiho and Gandhi are responsible for creating a musical landscape with instruments, both traditional and improvised. Meanwhile, Watanabe will use lighting to create magic on the stage. Together, they work to stir the emotions of their viewers.
“We make manual use of everything within our reach: Space, music, light, shadow, clothing, etc. to capture the instant that moves a person’s heart,” the group explains. “We seek the roots of universal (and innovative) expressive methods that can be maintained for centuries, even after we have disappeared. We want our audiences to have fun without knowing how to put into words what they have seen or experienced, for them to return to childhood. We want to make people feel free and for them to leave wanting to live their lives freely.”
Watch the video below to learn more about their performance.
Images c/o Circo de Sastre