Looking to the Future − What Lies Ahead for Earth Celebration
This year marks the 28th Earth Celebration (EC) since we launched the festival in 1988. Set on the remote island of Sado, our arts festival has been acknowledged as a unique one in which international exchange was blossoming on a grassroots level. A winner of the Japan Foundation Prize for Global Citizenship, the Furusato Award from Japan Center for Regional Development, and the Tiffany Foundation Award for the Preservation of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture in Contemporary Society, EC has continued to receive high acclaim for being a pioneer in outdoor festivals. It has been the setting for musical guests from over 29 countries to collaborate with each other to create new music and performance styles. We are honored to have had so many people come from far and wide to our festival, and come in contact with the culture and land of Sado.
In 2017, EC will celebrate its 30th year. Just as they say that the lifespan of any business model is 30 years, everything that creates our society — the state of the world, the changes to the global climate, the depopulation of rural areas – has changed drastically since the start of EC. We, too, feel the need to change what and how we express it to the world through EC. So this year, we will mark the turning point for EC with the Shiroyama Concerts as the center of the festival. In 2016, we will not feature the Shiroyama Concerts, but instead strive to create a way for our audiences to enjoy Sado through new programs focused on the collaboration between Kodo and the people of Sado.
In that sense, this year’s EC can be said to be a compilation of all the past festivals, by welcoming familiar artists to EC such as Leonard Eto and Suar Agung to the Shiroyama Concerts. We eagerly await all of you at the venue.
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The first EC I experienced was as a college student – the 10 year anniversary Shiroyama Concert. I wanted to stand on that stage myself, the stage that was awash with a kind of mysterious energy. The next year I became an apprentice and since then I have been a part of the Shiroyama Concert at EC every year.
Looking to the future, I sincerely want to create a place where we as performers can think, learn and absorb more than ever before, by reevaluating the philosophy behind EC — a place where we can come together with audiences and Sado.
Deputy Ensemble Leader
Kodo, Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble