The Dance Enthusiast Asks Miki Orihara About her World Premiere “IN THE BOX: Where Technology Meets The Body”

The Dance Enthusiast Asks Miki Orihara About her World Premiere “IN THE BOX: Where Technology Meets The Body”
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Published on November 18, 2015
Manipulation of an "IN THE BOX: video still by Christine Jowers

Which Explores the Paradox of Schrödinger's Cat

About the Performance:
Nissy Plus inc., in conjunction with Mar Creation / MEGUmedia, proudly presents the world premiere of IN THE BOX, a new Dance Theater collaboration between Bessie Award winner Miki Orihara ( Principal Dancer-Martha Graham Dance Company) and acclaimed director Theatrical Visual Effects Specialist Nissy. 

Choreographed by and starring Ms. Orihara and directed by Nissy, IN THE BOX has original music by Senri Oe. The cast also features Nana Tsuda. 

Watch: Miki Orihara and Nana Tsuda perform IN THE BOX: Where Technology Meets The Human Body.
When: Friday, November 20 at 7:30 & 9:00pm; Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 & 9:00pm; Sunday, November 22 at 7:30pm.
Where: Martha Graham Dance Company, Studio 1, 55 Bethune Street New York, NY
Tickets plus more info HERE.
*Dance enthusiasts receive a $5 off Promo Code!
Adults: TB01PDA / Students: ITB02PDS.

Sammi Lim for The Dance Enthusiast: Konichiwa, Miki! You spent the earlier part of 2015 touring Wisconsin, San Francisco and Amsterdam to present Resonance, your first solo concert. What are some lessons you learned from this chapter?

Miki Orihara: The works in my solo concert hail from an extensive time period. 1930-2014… Old to new. They were very well appreciated by the audience. Old works are not necessary dated if you can find ways to reach out with them. If works can reach out to people and I can let them come into my world, then all the experience is worth the time, as we all learn from it.

New York Dance Up Close (2014): Miki Orihara on her First Solo Concert Resonance.

TDE: You also found the time to create IN THE BOX this year. Were you shocked the first time you learnt of Schrödinger's cat? It’s probably one of the coolest lessons I took away from college.

MO: I sort of knew about this idea, but not much until we began working on this production. I do not know the answer and I do not need to know the answer. I love the idea of unknown and that we don’t need to have answer to everything.

Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. A cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

TDE: As far as I know, everyone involved in the production is Japanese. Are such collaborations a means of staying close to your roots? In 2014 you also helped curate Dancing for JAPAN, a benefit concert.

Nana Tsuda

MO: It just so happened that we are all Japanese. We invited one artist who introduced us to someone else, and then things began to snowball. All of us are interested in this production - that is why we are all here. However, it means a lot for me to share this experience with other Japanese, to know how our mind works together. During our first big meeting, we started with one idea, and ended far off-topic. I love this kind of collaboration! We initially talked to artists of other nationalities to be a part of the show, but our schedules didn’t work. So, as I mentioned earlier, we all just happen to be Japanese. 

Musician / Composer Senri Oe

In the case of Dancing for JAPAN 2014, I wanted to support Japan at the same time, gather some of hard-working Japanese artists to show their works alongside other Japanese. We (Japanese) are quite individual or private (stand alone) compare to the citizens of other countries, but it felt nice to work together and focus on one thing. 

Miki Orihara

TDE: Schrödinger‘s cat is, realistically, either dead or alive; not both. Do you believe most things have to be black or white? Or are some things grey? 

MO: Black or white or grey… I think there are things that cannot be black or white OR grey. If we believe in one thing, that becomes ‘it,’ There are so many things in life that you can't categorize or label as one thing. That is the interesting about humans, I think. Everything is possible or everything is impossible... 

Experiments With Light- The Cast and Crew of "In The Box" Plays Around with Technology

TDE: How do computer graphics and three-dimensional sounds inform IN THE BOX? Also, how do you ensure that special effects don’t steal the spotlight from raw movement?  

MO: I do not know where this production is going. Everything will fall into place on that day, I think. All the artists who are involved in this production are contemplating on what will come out of this. I do my work, and we will see what happens when we put all together. If special effects steal the spotlight from raw movement, that is okay too, because I will see what I can do in turn. 

TDE: Arigato, Miki.

Sneak peek video of IN THE BOX.


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