As a continuation of our support program, Rafael Alvarez of BodyBuilders for a two day only workshop “Ukio-e Karada” on January 13 (Fri) and 14 (Sat). There will also be a public presentation/open studio at 19:00 on the 14th.

Ukio-e Karada

body floating self worlds

Choreo.Portraits Contemporary Dance Creation Lab [dance+photo]

led by Rafael Alvarez | BODYBUILDERS (Portugal)

13 & 14 January, Ryogoku Bear (Tokyo – Sumida)

Friday, 16:00 – 20:00 + Saturday, 12:00 – 19:00

[public presentation/open studio, 19:00]


Creation of small danced solos/self-portraits based on a personal collection of photographic images that will serve as a basis and visual dramaturgy for the choreographic portraits to be developed by each participant.

During the 2 days of the laboratory, participants will be invited to explore and develop their own solo proposals based on different methodologies and processes of creation in contemporary dance with the artistic coaching of the Portuguese choreographer Rafael Alvarez, also allowing a crossing and intersection of the collective process. At the end of the laboratory, an informal presentation and exhibition of the work-in-progress will be organized, integrating the different solo choreographic segments and sharing the different photographic collections that integrate the research and creation process, in a logic of installation/choreographic landscape.

Inspired by the japanese art genre “ukiyo-e”, which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries in Japan. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers, scenes from history and folk tales, travel scenes and landscapes, flora and fauna, and erotica. The term ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates as “images[s] of the floating world” or floating/fleeting/transient world, as the Japanese term used to describe the urban lifestyle and culture, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects of Edo period Japan (1600–1867).

Each participant must previously create and select 5 images/photographs (in jpg digital format) for the beginning of the Laboratory (these images can be complemented with new ones during the workshop). The selection of these images is free and can follow a symbolic, subjective or metaphorical, circumstantial or random, fictional or abstract,

realistic or factual logic, which in different ways can feed/map/map the proposal for the construction of a possible self-portrait/dance biography.

– In addition to these 5 digital images, each participant must bring a cartridge Instax Mini pack of 10 or 20 film sheets (to be used to print their images during the workshop).

– In the end, participants will keep their personal collection of around 10 instax mini photographs that document their individual mouvement projects.

Open to all participants with or without prior experience in contemporary dance andwith interest and motivation to deepen their experiences and work tools in contemporary dance/performance from the perspective of creation and interpretation. Participants from other artistic areas (visual arts, photography, theater…) are encouraged to participate.

Limited to 10 participants maximum.

Fee | ¥ 2000
Registration |
+information |

The workshop will be conducted in English.

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Production | BODYBUILDERS | Rafael Alvarez
Partnership and Residency Support Program | Ryogoku Bear

*BODYBUILDERS presentation in Tokyo with the support of the Embassy of Portugal in Tokyo/Portuguese Cultural Center in Tokyo and DGARTESGeneral Directorate for the Arts/Portuguese Republic


about Rafael Alvarez

Over the last 25 years Rafael Alvarez’s choreographic work reveals a strong visual dimension, standing out for the enigmatic, symbolic, poetic and minimalist use of the body, dance and space. His dance pieces has been presented since 1997 in Europe, South America and North America, Middle East, Asia and Africa produced by his dance production company – BODYBUILDERS, based in Lisbon – Portugal. He has invested in depth, in the relationship of Dance with the Community and in the collaborative dimension of the artistic practice. He has taught since 1998, Contemporary Dance – Improvisation, Composition and Inclusive Dance, developing training projects involving dance students and dance professionals, people with disabilities, people over 55 and seniors, people with Parkinson’s , Alzheimer’s and other neurological deseases, and artists in general. Invited teacher at the Master’s Course in Choreographic Creation and Professional Practices at the Superior Dance School/Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon (2021-22). Improvisation/Composition teacher at FOR Dance Theater Advanced Training Program/ Companhia Olga Roriz (2017-22). Coordinator and teacher in the Contemporary Dance for 55plus project, which he has directed since 2001, integrating weekly classes in Lisbon and monthly laboratories in Porto and Paris. Artistic coordinator of Plural_Inclusive Dance Company and professor of inclusive dance at the LIGA Foundation (since 1998). Since 2015, he has been part of the team of teachers of Project Dançar com Pk – Dance Classes for People with Parkinson’s (member of Dance for PD/EUA).

Since 2017, he has been developing several choreographic projects, artistic research and performances linked to Japan, driven by the continuous collaboration and partnership with Ryogoku Bear.