The Rock Cave of Heaven (2014)

Teatre Monumental, Mataró. 28.02.2014

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Idea and Concept : Chieko Kojima  Cesc Gelabert

Director: Cesc Gelabert

Choreography: Chieko Kojima  Cesc Gelabert

Performers: Chieko Kojima  Cesc Gelabert

Musical Director: Borja Ramos

Musicians: Yuta Kato  Borja Ramos  Chieko Kojima

Additional music: Kodo

Costume design for Gelabert: Lydia Azzopardi

Costumes Chieko Kojima:  Chieko Kojima,  with the collaboration of Lydia Azzopardi

Lighting Design:  Cesc Gelabert  Conxa Pons

Collaborator: Toni Jodar


With the collaboration of Meiji University Tokio.

And our  thanks to Arturo Blasco, Roseland, Barcelona and Jaume Ayats.



Following the creation process started in 2013 in Mataró; Chieko Kojima and Cesc Gelabert  reunite to present the second phase in the process of creating the The Rock Cave of Heaven.

The work is structured around the encounter of two dancers and choreographers Kojima  and Gelabert, both artists belonging to two different cultures, but with a common desire to merge in movement and connect through motion and instinct.

Chieko is an performer trained in traditional Japanese dance, with an open mind to other influences; Gelabert is a contemporary dancer whose work is rooted  in the European tradition . The aim is to find a true collaboration  going beyond a mere overlay.

Both artists are of the same generation. Their first encounter in Japan 2010, forged and provoked the desire to create a work together. Both performers, with  long and outstanding careers, and many years of performing experience, believe this allows them to collaborate and produce a piece with depth and simplicity , clarity and precision.

Winter of 2012/2013 Lydia Azzopardi, designer and co director; Borja Ramos, composer; and Cesc Gelabert, visited Japan to meet Atsushi Sugana, producer of Kodo; Hisashi Ito, independent Producer; and Chieko Kojima, on the island of Sado, the home of Kodo Company to discuss the new joint work. During this visit they attended several Kagura ( UNESCO heritage) performances in North East of Japan. Kagura is a series of masked dances accompanied by drum, cymbals and flute. These stunning performances are represented in small towns, lasting a duration of five hours. The team were able to meet the master/teacher of Kojima, converse and duly eat together with the performers after the performances.

Before returning to Barcelona, Gelabert and Kojima agree upon the desire to re- act and maintain  alive the spirit of these dances related to the Japanese Shinto tradition, each allowing their personal background of contemporary  and traditional language to create the work.

The following are recreations of some sections from Kagura:

Matsu – mukae (the two old pines )

Sambaso ( The dragons purifiers ) .

Tamame -no- mae (basedo n Kitsune story of fox , courtesans , dreams and possessions.)

Gelabert dances a version of tornejants Algemesí (celebration of Our Lady of Health originating from Valencia)

The music is live; Borja Ramos is musical director and musician who has recreated the sound from existing music, and is accompanying  the traditional taiko player  Yuta Kato. Chieko Kojima  is a virtuoso taiko player and  joins Kato during a solo of Cesc Gelabert.


  • Gelabert Azzopardi
  • Kodo Cultural Foundation, Japan.
  • With the collaboration of Japan Foundation.
  • With the collaboration of Ajuntament de Mataró.
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