By Toshio Mizohata, General Secretary of Kazuo Ohno Archives
With “Let’s Unite: Dance Archives!“ as its motto, the 2012 Kazuo Ohno Dance Festival not only presented archive materials from Ohno, Hijikata and Bausch but also introduced the Japanese public to little known archive materials from dancers such as Baku Ishii and Hideyuki Yano. In doing so, we also created a network of those curating the archives while stimulating debate on how to ensure their optimal administration.
Rather than merely accumulating personal data, the Dance Archives Initiative, an NPO working closely with the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and the Tatsumi Hijikata Archive, wants to establish a nexus for assembling future archives. Its basic postulate is that archives should not belong to any one individual but rather exist for everybody’s benefit. They represent a link in the chain of knowledge passed on to future generations. Our duty as curators consists both of preserving the archives while ensuring they reach the widest possible public.
Given the personal links between Bausch and the Ohnos, and the fact that the Neue Tanz movement influenced both Ohno and Hijikata, we see the Pina Bausch Foundation as our natural interlocutor. Our common goals, namely nurturing the legacy bequeathed to us, requires us to make a positive contribution towards future generations – a challenge undoubtedty requiring the involvement of academic and cultural institutions. Just as Ohno, Hijikata and Bausch’s dance knew no frontiers, their legacy should be accessible to dance lovers worldwide.