„The structure of the show and humour of each dancer made this performance much more than a simply high-quality dance production. While it looks at the current daily life of young people in Asia with interesting perspectives, this production invites audiences to go back to the roots of human beings and gives a  boost of positive energy“

Hisashi Shimoyama, Producer/Artistic Director of ricca ricca*festa, Okinawa/JAPAN


„After being touched by “THE STRANGERS”, I started questioning how many "familiar people" in our lives were treated as strangers.“
Shu-ming Ju, Director of Taiwan Dot Go Children’s Art Festival, Kaohsiung/TAIWAN




The story behind this project is the perfect metaphor for this show:  four dancers from four different Asian countries meet a South American director and a dramaturg from Europe: 3 continents meet up on one small stage. They seem to have nothing in common; they don’t share their tastes in food, they don’t speak the same language, and they grew up with different tales about the would we live in.  The ideas of both living and struggling with differences became the building blocks of this dance-theatre production.

THE STRANGERS is an honest and courageous attempt to look at our human condition behind superficial differences. Stories about identity, about belonging or not  to a group, about trust and alienation build this non-verbal, poetical play. Expressing ideas, feelings, convictions and beliefs through physicality, this production encourages youngsters to look beyond the surface and search for the missing link connecting all of us. Beyond religions, borders and languages, beyond looks and genders, beyond social classes and world views. This play is probably a good chance to laugh at the ridiculous cult of creating tribe-like cultural segregations, in an already globalized society.


    Direction/Choreography:  Leandro Kees  |  Dramaturgy:  Julia Dina Heße | Performers:  Airi Suzuki (Japan), James Kan (Malaysia),  Pakhamon Hemachandra (Thailand),  Sang-hun Lee (Korea) | Stage Manager: Yoshito Takeuchi | Light design: Masakazu Takahashi | Sound: Hisashi Tomiyama  | Tour Manager: Martin Rascher  | Video Documentation:  Roger Walch | Project Managemnet: Miyuki Nishimura / Goethe-Institut Osaka. 

    Produced by the Goethe-Institut Osaka and the ricca ricca*festa  Festival, further supported by ASSITEJ KOREA, Taiwan Dot Go Children’s Art Festival, Association for  Artistic Creativity and Educational Development, Sponsored by  Yamaoka Memorial and  Goethe-Institut Osaka.
    The  2019 Asia Tour of this Production was supported by the Japan Foundation.


    "This performance, as most of the work I have created or co-created in the last years, it had the intention of addressing complex social issues for young audiences, and to do so without words.  
    For this case in particular it had to be staged and choreographed from scratch in only four weeks, and to be done with an entire new crew with members from six different countries that never met before. It was a big challenge from wherever you looked at it.
    So when I was invited by the Goethe Institute in Japan to direct this show we talked about how far can one go in the simplification of complex. And about how can we interwine topics such as nationalism and bulling, or discriminations and xenophobia. We tried to find links between the realities of early adolescence and those of adult social lives.

    With dramaturge Julia Dina Hesse we worked several months in advance for the concept of this piece. We started by analyzing texts from Noam Chomsky and asking at the same time what does it take for a teenager, to become  later on a xenophobe adult.
    This was a particularly hard endeavor as we had to move away from our adult/rational minds and try to peer at the issue of ‘belonging or not belonging’ with the eyes of a 10 years old child, and to do that while renouncing to use language all together.

    And what started as a red siren screaming ‘this will be hard!’, transformed into process where the logics of visual metaphors took control of the entire dramaturgy and scenes did naturally found their way in the play. We relized that we had to be daringly simple for some topics to actually be apprehensible by early teenagers. We had to understand that what it might seem obvios for us, it is still complex enough for someone how has not lived nor see as much. I think the strength of this work is that it keeps a good balance between descriptive and metaphoric scenes, between narrative situations and scenes open to several layers of interpretation."




    THE STRANGERS is a highly tourable show.  It adapts to different stage sizes and locations, and it works independent from languages. 

    The on-tour total lauggage is one regular-size airplane suitcase.

    The performance duration is 45 Minutes, with no intermission.

Tour members: 6 persons (4 performers, 1 director, 1 tour manager/technical staff)

    For detailed informations  please contact Goethe-Institut Osaka, Cultural Division, Miyuki Nishimura +81 (0)6-6440-5900.