Minako Seki was born in Nagasaki, in Japan. She started her dance career in Tokyo with the Company Dance Love Machine, under the artistic direction of Tetsuro Tamura and Anzu Furukawa. At that moment, Tamura was recognized as one of the most innovative choreographers in Japan. His artistic research refused the conventional Butoh forms, willing to go beyond human physical life, to explore deep emotional levels and embrace all aspects of humanity in choreographed movements. Furukawa considered that dance ultimately only exists in the experience of the present moment. Tamura and Furukawa approaches deeply influenced Minako’s artistic view of dance and understanding of the body.
The intensity of a dance movement can be compared with the throwing of a stone. Once the movement has been initiated, its reverberations cannot be stopped. Seki learned to be intensely involved in each movement with full presence, in the here and now.
In 1986 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, first Butoh Festival in Berlin, invited the company Dance Love Machine to perform in Europe and to participate in the festival ‘Die Rebellion des Körpers‘. The tour was intense and a great success. At its end, Minako decided to stay in Berlin.
In 1987 she founded and co-directed the company “Tatoeba -Théâtre Danse Grotesque”, the first Butoh dance ensemble in Europe. The group explored the dormant potential of human beings. This has been a recurrent theme in Minako’s work and she has continued to investigate it in all her dance productions.
Since 1987, Minako Seki has been working as a director and choreographer in increasingly interdisciplinary projects, such as her choreography for the opera “The Final Solution” by Peter Michael Hamel. She directed many performance groups, as for Showcase Beat le Mot and the group She She Pop.
In 1996 Minako founded her own company. She has been continuously interested in the crossing over of diverse disciplines and dance styles. She developed her own fusion of contemporary dance and physical theater with the classic Butoh dance technique.
In her pieces, Seki examines the communication amongst the conscious and subconscious and describes emotional states on the borders of reality and illusion. Her unique composition method and creative process has been recognized worldwide, having been invited to major theatre venues and festivals. In appreciation of her unique and uncompromising talent she has received numerous prices and awards.
Israel Galvan commissioned her to create a piece that offered her own unique interpretation of flamenco. This performance, ‘Equilibrio Arcaico’, was presented in the Ciutat Flamenco Festival in Barcelona in 2016.
She is part of the project WE WOMEN, created and directed by the Spanish dancer Sol Picó, who won 34 world prizes for her dance creations. In this project, she collaborates with Shantala Shivalingappam, Marta Robles, AdeleMadau, Lina León, and Julie Dassovi to explore the contemporary condition of women. The piece (twice finalist in the Spanish Max Prize Awards) has a great success in theaters, such as the Grec Festival in Barcelona, Fabbrica Europa in Florence and FIBA Festival in Buenos Aires.
She performs her unique repertoire (Human Form1, Human Form2- Puppet, Owl/ Existence) in theaters and festivals all over the globe.
She lately collaborated with Yumiko Yoshioka, and Wolfgang Piontek, to create the duo TWO at Commedia Futura – Eisfabrik. In 2020, all 3 will present the new dance piece ZERO, also a production of Commedia Futura.
Besides her artistic career, Minako Seki is devoted to teaching. She facilitates intensive dance workshops worldwide, through a holistic program. She also lectured in a number of universities such as Folkwang University in Essen, Justus Liebig Universität in Giessen, Germany, University of Andes in Chile, University of Vigo in Spain and Roehampton University in London.
She works with a team of people that support her vision: Lili Lenfant, Nils Willers, Inalu Antoli, Moritz Bonatti, Franziska Gerth, Roger Solernou, Antje Schmidt, Ralph Assmann, Alenka Wolf.
Her artistic approach can not be separated from her personal philosophy of living, which holistically combines meditation, Vital cooking, ritual and Japanese detox treatments , with dance and choreography.
She calls her individual dance approach ‘Dancing Between’, alluding that between two points there are many more. These points can be revealed to illuminate and ignite creativity, through new possibilities. These points emerge from the experience of the dancer, who can explore their different natures, from space to feelings, memories, objects, sounds, images or ideas. In her choreographic compositions, Minako establishes connections between these points, creating a unique cosmos.
Inner Landscape / Site specific performance // Museum Villa di Cedri, Domus Poetica, Bellinzona, Switerland
OWL/dance solo – MEME Estaçao Cultural, Porto Alegre, Brasil // Light Stone Festival, Ko-Panqui, Chile
Human Form 1 /dance solo. Music by Zam Johnson and Minako Seki. UNFIX Festival, Glasgow, Scotland. // Festival Internacional de Butoh Cuerpos en revuelta , Teatro de la Danza, Mexico. // Teatro Universidad de los Andes, Bógota, Colombia.
Existence /dance solo. Live music by Willem Schulz and cello. Lange Nacht des Tanzes Gmünd in Kärten, Austria.
Apple /dance solo. Live music by Willem Schulz and cello. Achtmal Alte Brüderkirche Kassel, Germany.
Human Form 2 – Puppet /dance solo, production by Commedia Futura. IF Festival Barcelona, Spain.
TWO /dance duet with Yumiko Yoshioka, production by Commedia Futura. Dock11, Berlin, Germany.
Existence – Casal Solleric Museum, Palma de Mallorca. Balears, Spain
Human Form 2 – Puppets – directed by Wolfgang Piontek. Commedia Futura – Eisfabrik, Hannover. Ger many
Human Form 1– Commedia Futura – Eisfabrik, Hannover. Germany
TWO – In collaboration with the dancer Yumiko Yoshioka, directed by Wolfgang Piontek. Commedia Futura – Eisfabrik, Hannover. International Dance Festival Hannover. Dock11, Berlin. All in Germany.
We Women – Teatro Principal, Valencia. Spain
Wasser das Chaos Sensible – In collaboration with the Music Composer Willem Schulz (Opening event of the nationwide Bavarian festival Art and Health) Max Littmann Saal, Bad Kissingen. Germany
In Dreams – In collaboration with the Music Composer Willem. Capealla Hospitalis, Bielefeld. Germany
La Fiesta – Directed by Israel Galván. Festspielhaus Sankt Pölten, Austria. Festival Movimientos. Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany
We Women – Directed by Sol Pico, in collaboration with Shantala Shivalingappa, Julie Dossavi, Marta Robles, Adele Madau and Lina León. Teatro del Español, Madrid / Teatro Jovellanos, Gijón / Mercat de les flors, Barcelona / Castelló de la Plana Theater, Castellón / Teatro Auditorio, Sant Cugat / Teatro Principal de Ali cante, Alicante (all in Spain)
TWO – In collaboration with the dancer Yumiko Yoshioka, directed by Wolfgang Piontek – CommediaFutura – Eisfabrik, Hannover / Lot Theater, Braunschweig / Festival Tanz.Tausch Cologne (all in Germany)
Site Specific Performance Moving Bodies – Butoh Festival in the frame of Dance Ireland Festival. Dublin (Ireland)
We Women – Directed by Sol Pico, in collaboration with Shantala Shivalingappa, Julie Dossavi, Marta Robles, Adele Madau and Lina León Equilibrio Festival. Auditorio Parco della Musica. Rome. Italy / Le Théätre Scène Nationale de Mâcon. Mâcon Val de Saone. France / Auditorio de Galicia. Santiago de Compostela. Spain / Fes tival Fabbrica Europa. Florence, Italy / Teatro Villa de Molina, Molina de Segura, Múrcia. Spain / Teatro Prin cipal de Zaragoza, Zaragoza. Spain
Human Form 1 – Eis Fabrik Theater / Commedia Futura. Hannover, Germany
Equilibrio Arcaico – on Carmen Amaya. In collaboration with and produced by Israel Galván. Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona, Spain
Der Wald als Partitur – Site Specific Performance in collaboration with the composer Willem Schultz and his ensemble. Kulturzentrum Wilde Rose. Melle. Germany
Die Leichtigkeit des Seins. Benediktushof- Holzkirchen, Holzkirchen. Germany
Human Form 1 – In collaboration with the composer and musician Zam Johnson. Dock 11 Berlin. Germany / FI Butoh Festival. Teatro GAM, Santiago de Chile. Chile / Festival de Danza Biobío. Cultural Artists Steel Corporation. Concepción. Chile / Commedia Futura – Theater Eis Fabrik. Hannover. Germany
Symphony to a Lost Generation – Digital 3D, Performance with Symphony orchestra. London, England – Composed and directed by Adam Donen. Premiere at LSO St. Luke’s London
Existence – Duo performance, with Cello performer Willem Schultz. Dock11, Berlin
We Women – Directed by Sol Pico, collaboration with Shantala Shivalingappa, Julie Dossavi, Marta Robles, Adele Madau, Lina León. Grec Festival. Barcelona Spain / Temporada Alta Festival in Girona / FIBA Dance Festival. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Site specific Performance with Gatto Ensemble . Espace Teatro, Torino Bu toh Festival. Torino, Italy
Dance performance for Takashi Murakami Art Projects – Lune Rouge Art Projects. Ibiza, Spain
Dance collusion in to Music Improvisation with Bauer-Contrabass & Drees-Violin-Bike – Exploratorium. Berlin, Germany
Human Form 1 – Thespis, 9. International Monodrama Festival at Schauspiel Haus Kiel. Germany. Reso nanzkörper Festival. Senckenberg museum Frankfurt am Main, Germany / International Monodrama Festival. Fujairah, United Arabic Emirates
Ammo-Nite Gig, Vol. 46 – with Yuko Kaseki. Dock 11. Berlin, Germany
Fukushima – The Aftermath Story of Berlin Museum. Berlin, Germany
Existence – with Willem Schulz. DOCK11. Berlin, Germany
Hard Boild Wondering – Ackerstadtpalast. Berlin, Germany
Human Form 1– SESC Pompéia Saō Paulo, Brazil / Opening of the Muntada Festival 2013, Bagdad National Theater. Iraq / Nun Off Festival de Creación Emergente de Barcelona. Spain
Existence – with Willem Schulz. Eisfabrik. Hannover, Germany
Hormones of Happiness – Lecture Performance with Romina Achatz. Tanzfabrik. Berlin / Frankfurt am Main University, Germany
Doro Doro Quarks – with Yuko Kaseki. Teatro Opera Solís. Montevideo, Uruguay / Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Córdoba, Argentina Centro Cultural de Parque Espana. Rosario, Argentina / Teatro Portón de Sánchez. Buenos Aires, Argentina / BE – Festival. Birmingham, England
Existence – with W. Schulz. Festival Valladolid, Spain / Teatro de las Esquina. Zaragoza, Spain
Forming – with Ming Poon. International Dance Festival Ingolstadt. Germany
Caos Sensible – Duo. Music by Zam Johnson. Centro Cultura del Matadero, Huesca, Spain
Human Form 1 – Caixa Forum. Barcelona, Spain
Existence – Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Santiago de Chile, Chile
Physical Meeting – Mica Moca. Berlin, Germany
Far from Thought – Site-Specific-Performance. Übersee Museum. Bremen, Germany
Doro Doro Quarks – With Yuko Kaseki. Dock 11. Berlin, Germany
Doro Doro Quarks – With Yuko Kaseki. Dock 11. Berlin, Germany
Second Sleep – Radialsystem V. Berlin, Germany
In to Embodiment Solo – Picasso Museum. Barcelona, Spain
The Undercover Elephant – Performance with Elias Cohen und Nils Willers. Teatro San Ginés. Santiago de Chile, Chile
Modulations – Tanzfabrik. Berlin, Germany
Memories to Undressed Persons – Neue Nationalgalerie. Berlin, Germany
Borderless Split Brain – (Sponsored by Berlin Hauptstadtkulturfonds). Ballhaus Naunynstrasse / Werkstatt der Kulturen / Danceräume – Festival Hagen / Bielefeld Dancefestival, Germany
Dancing Between Solo – Theater on the Board, Seattle / Noh Space, San Francisco, USA / Finnis Terra, Santi ago de Chile, Chile Théâtre les Halles. Sierre, Switzerland / Theater Zag. Danzig, Poland
The Way to the Hiden Garden – in collaboration with Yuko Kaseki, Sten Rudstrome, Shin lova Koga, Yael Karavan, and the sculptor Dani Karavan. Sapporo Moere Park Museum, Japan
Dance Fondue – Tanzabrik. Berlin, Germany
Dancing Between – Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. Berlin, Germany
Glass Anatomies – collaboration with Shinichi Staatsbank. Berlin, Germany
/// Selected venues before 2002
PARCO theatre, Tokyo / Theaterfestival de Singel Antwerpen, Belgium / Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin for „Die Rebellion des Körpers”, erstes Butoh Festival Europas Akademie der Künste, Berlin / MOVEMENTS, Klagenfurt / Documenta IX, Kassel / North Sea Festival of Contemporary Arts, Stavanger Norway / IMMT Festival, Budapest / Musikfestspiele Dresden / Danse Musique Contemporaire, Auch, France / Jazzfestival Moers / TANZSZENE, Berlin / La Filature, Mulhouse, France / III. Europa Bienale, Niederlausitz / Musikfestival auf der Festung, Koblenz / Kanonhallen, Kopenhagen / Mousonturm, Frankfurt / TAT, Frankfurt / Kampnagel, Hamburg / Künstler Haus Bremen / Aurillac Festival, France / Quito Theater-Festival, Ecuador / Festival al aire puro, Bogota, Kolumbien / Norderzoon, Groningen, Netherlands / Festival Spectrum XIV Villach, Österreich / Mimos Festival, Perigueux France / Sottville Festival Viva Site, France / Finis Terrae, Santiago de Chile / Aarhus Theaterfestival, Dänemark / Club ZAK, Gdansk, Polen / Cave, New York / On The Boards, Seattle / Noh Theatre, San Francisco / Neue Nationalgallerie, Berlin / Teatro Beckett, Buenos Aires / Picasso Museum, Barcelona
///Prices and awards
2014 Public Award. Human Form 1. Thespis Monodrama Festival. Kiel, Germany. Heidelberg Youth Theatre Price for Animal Farm of Show Case Beat Le Mot / Collaborating as a Choreographer. Heidelberg, Germany
2005 Hauptstadtkulturfonds Productions Sponsorship. Berlin, Germany
2001 Nominated for the Kurt-Joos-Preis: Schicht (Participant in the Jury: Pina Bausch)
2000 Best Dance-Solo : Euro-scene Leipzig: Homage to Rio Reiser
1994 „Besonders Wertvoll“ Award by the Jury. Saarbrücken Film Festival: Ju-ni hitoe, or the discover of the Soul.
///Guest Choreographer / Artistic Director
National Theater Augsburg for the piece Central Europe. Augsburg 2018
Showcase Beat le Mot (performance group) :
Nazi Super Menschen sind euch allen überlegen (DingDongDom, HAU, Berlin, 2014 – 2015)
Animal Farm (Theater an der Parkaue, Berlin, 2014)
1534 (HAU, Berlin, 2013)
The Bremer Stadtmusikaten (Theater an der Parkaue, Berlin, 2012)
Raissa Avilés : Matrioska (Master Campus Theater, Switzerland, 2014)
She She Pop Performance group: Ende (HAU. Berlin, 2013)
Laura Pacheco (Contemporary Flamenco) : Des Plante.doc (Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, Porto Alegre and Florianópolis, Brazil, 2013)
Commedia Futura, Eisfabrik Hannover : Le Cadavre Exquis (Hannover, 2010)
Teatro Oráculo, Chile: VaYven (Concepción Chile, 2009)
Teatre Cantabile 2, Dänemark : Osmotic Cosmos (1998), Ko-Produktion with the National School Copenhagen/ Pentotal (1997) / Dogman (1997) / Alzheimer (1997), Homosapiens (1996), The Endlösung – Opera by Michael Hamel (1996)
Israel Galván, Sol Picó, Julie Dossavi, Shantala Shivalingappa, Feridun Zaimoglu, Dani Karavan, Peter Michael Hamel, Willem Schulz, Zam Johnson, Adam Donen, Shinichi lova Koga, Sten Rudstrom, Yuko Kaseki, Yael Karavan, Elias Cohen, Nullo Facchini, Yumiko Yoshioka, Wolfgang Piontek – Commedia Futura, Teatro del Oraculo, Ruta de la Memoria, Sven Vänth, Elliot Sharp, N.U. Unruh (Einstürzende Neubauten), Gustav Gisiger, Uwe Renken, Martin-Karl Wagner, Schiller, Bremer Kammerorchester, Chansook Choi, Mi-Kuni, Ming Poon, Showcase Beat le Mot, She She Pop and Mido Kawamura.
Besides her intense dancing career Minako Seki has been teaching her technique under the Seki Method in numerous workshops and master classes worldwide such as:
University of Roehampton, London, UK
Tanz Fabrik –Ufer Studios-, Berlin, Germany
Dock 11 – Eden Studios, Berlin, Germany
La Piconera , Barcelona, Spain
Dimitri University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland
Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, Odense, Denmark
Cantabile 2, School of Stage Arts, Denmark
Ostfold University College, in Norway
Performance Studies Department of the Hamburg University, Germany
Folkwang University in Essen, Germany
Institute for Theatre Studies of the Justus-Liebig-Universität in Gießen, Germany
Alanus School of Arts and Social Studies in Alfter, Germany