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Saburo Teshigawara / Karas
BIOGRAPHY
saburo teshigawara
Saburo Teshigawara
© Rihoko Sato



Saburo Teshigawara began his unique creative career in 1981 in his native Tokyo after studying plastic arts and classic ballet. In 1985, he formed KARAS with Kei Miyata and started group choreography and their own activities. Since then, he and KARAS have been invited every year to perform in major international cities around the world.

In addition to solo performances and his work with KARAS, Saburo Teshigawara has also been receiving international attention as a choreographer/director. He has been commissioned by many international Ballet companies such as the Paris Opera to create repertoire pieces for the company.

Teshigawara has likewise received increasing international attention in the visual arts field, with art exhibitions, films/videos as well as designing scenography, lighting and costume for all his performances.

Teshigawara’s keenly honed sculptural sensibilities and powerful sense of composition, command of space and his decisive dance movements all fuse to create a unique world that is his alone. Keen interests in music and space have led him to create site-specific works, and collaboration with various types of musicians.

Besides the continuous workshops at the KARAS studio in Tokyo, Saburo Teshigawara has been involved in many education projects. Recent young members of the company KARAS are from the project Dance of Air, an educational project bringing out a performance as a culmination of a year-long workshop process, produced by the New National Theatre Tokyo. S.T.E.P. (Saburo Teshigawara Education Project) has been initiated since 1995 with partners in the UK, also in the same style as Dance of Air. In 2004, he was selected as the mentor of dance for The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, to work for one year with a chosen protégé. From 2006 to 2013, he taught at the College of Contemporary Psychology, St. Paul’s (Rikkyo) University in Japan. Since 2014, he is professor at the Tama Art University, department of Scenography Design, Drama, and Dance. Through these various projects, Saburo Teshigawara continues to encourage and inspire young dancers, together with his creative work.

Since 2013, he has established his own private creative space KARAS APPARATUS in Ogikubo, Tokyo. Here, he constantly creates a performance series called “Update Dance”.

His work has won numerous awards and honours in Japan and abroad, including a Bessie Award in 2007, the Medal of Honor by the Emperor of Japan in 2009 and in 2017 he was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

From 2020, he will be the Artistic Director of Aichi Prefectural Art Theater.


KARAS was formed in 1985 with Saburo Teshigawara and Kei Miyata. The group's aim was to search for a 'new form of beauty'. 'Dance' is a form of art that consists not only of dance but also of elements of art, music, conscience methodology and historical view. KARAS began considering all such factors through the fusion of physical movement, visual art, rock and classical music.  
Being an artist means facing the socio-psychological restrictions hidden under an outwardly serene surface.
"Anything goes -- doesn’t it ?".
Thus, KARAS believes that art must not stagnate conservatively. New discoveries must be made. Rather than art or art methodology springing from conventional ideas established through history, we hope to act with our own methods with respect to still hidden possibilities. What we discover maybe doubts or questions. We want to express these through action.

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