Suspending the activities of his highly successful “Mizu to Abura” company in 2006,Shuji Onodera went to Paris to study for one year, and the way he works since his return home the following year explains his sudden departure from his successful company. Inviting a wide variety of unique, skillful stage performers to collaborate has opened up new horizons in his work. Not only is he polishing the choreographic techniques he had learned at Mizu to Abura but he is also acquiring a sense of scale as well as fine texture and depth in his recent works, which include: Kuhaku ni Ochita Otoko (A Man Fallen into a Void), Ihoujin (The Stranger), Arakajime (In Advance), and Oedipus. The Red Shoes is a collaborative work with a team of artists from overseas as well as the unforgettably unique Japanese actress Hairi Katagiri, one of the regulars in Onodera's recent works. It will be interesting to see how the overseas performers will be interpreting the choreographer's pantomime-based, highly demanding fast-slow movement techniques. This will also be an excellent opportunity to see the heights Onodera has reached after the series of adventures he has been through.
(Tatsuro Ishii, Dance Critic)