In our daily life, we casually see how light and shadow are shifting and changing. While standing in their visible and invisible changes, we are just immersing ourselves as we are.
Imagine that creatures of light and shadow reside inside of us humans. Touch the living creature, dance and interact.
The signs of light and shadow are as if that the breath of living things were made to be slightly visualized. During the moments of feeling light and shadow, we are conscious of the breathing rhythm. It brings a real feeling of living.
"Shadow Play Odyssey™" is a completely unique style of shadow play produced by UMIRA. One of the characteristics is that it combines light & shadow of nature and those we perceive within the body and mind into one. The current framework was born in the mix of, for example, the Balinese world view surrounding light and shadow which UMIRA experienced in childhood, a variety of body techniques (Butoh, Body Mind Centering®, Buddhist meditation etc), Shadow work and Inter-Species Communication that she learnt in South Africa. In living such a complex world and everyday life, it aims to create a shadow play world which is subtracted and condensed only into simple light & shadow, and takes you to the origin of life.
Each participant faces a small screen in the front and tastes the time of light and shadow while moving candle flames with their own hands. The contents of the program consists of mainly four processes.
Process 1 Meditation and Observation
: It invites you to pay attention to the inner light & shadow as well as the relationship and change between them.
Process 2 Play and Exploration
: It invites you to expand your horizons through a variety of non-verbal communication in lights and shadows.
Process 3 Expression and Mastery
: It invites you to express yourself of that present moment in a light and shadow picture, and share with other participants.
Process 4 The Way
: When you become familiar with the processes 1 to 3 as a physical experience, the path of united light and shadow become more clear in the everyday scenery.
· Awaken the source of primitive sensibility
· Raise awareness of the blessings of nature both inside and outside.
· With everyday materials as a starting point, descend to the unconscious world, which might be unusual for your everyday life.
· Recover the wholeness of the body and mind valuing the invisible things (sensation of touch, feeling, looking inside etc).
※Unlike traditional "Shadow Play" like puppet show or hand-shadow, the workshop doesn't use light and shadow to explain the story or symbolic meaning. It starts being free from the typical definitions of them, and be true to your senses.
SPO especially deals with five natural elements (fire, soil, air, water, plants) throughout the process.
1 FIRE (symbol of pupil, heart, life)
We see not only with eyes but also with the mind. Depending on from where you throw your viewpoint and where you locate your life or the heart place, how you feel changes. "Fire" symbolizes where you are or the center of yourself and you become united with that fire by moving a candle with your hands. (All works involve fire)
2 SOIL (symbol of the earth)
The earth is a place where life and death, light and darkness are blended. Soil stores, nurtures and enfold nutrition. Face something inside to be born and to die in yourself. A slough returns to the earth. Taste the sense of belonging by touching soil and root yourself in. There is also a flame of heart, a seed of light in the darkness of the soil.
3 AIR (symbol of breathing, skin sensation)
Be conscious of the contact between light and shadow which exist in the air. While the lights and shadows reflected on the screen symbolize the scenery of the participants' mind and the world, See them feeling the surrounding air (around yourself, fire and objects). (All works involve air)
4 WATER (symbol of healing and purification)
Water which is indispensable to life and exist both inside of the body (60% is water) and outside, is also a mirror of the person's spirit. Bring recovery to your spirit by healing shadow through reflection and sensation of water.
5 PLANTS (symbol of growth and completion)
Plants survive connecting light (sunshine) and darkness (earth). In the work called "Ikebana (flower arrangement) of light and shadow", in which you pick up and arrange flowers of the mind/heart, you heal the shadow of flower with the water of light. Water is the life line for cut flowers. Find how to locate light (flames) in order to recover something in the boundary of life and death, dying inside of yourself, into life.
Living in the era of bewildering information and technological advances, we may find ourselves trifled with them at times. The sense of life is fragile, and the body is miserably being left behind. That's why I see the existence of light and shadow, which can be considered as the most fundamental on the planet.
The essence of light, which was born in the darkness of the universe. And, to recognize the shadow that light creates on the ground. It seems something necessary more than anything for us who stands on the earth, in order to live in harmony. Because light is born from the darkness and shadow is born from light. "Light and shadow" is not a conflicting symbol but a connection which can not be separated from each other.
The workshops invite you to feel light and shadow which we usually do not have much consciousness, and bring you to new awareness and self-discovery. Through non-verbal communication with light and shadow, we value the harmony between mind and body and the connection with nature.
UMIRA aims to create the future where "The play of touching light and shadow" enhances human spirit and vitality. She wishes that everyone can build a more harmonious life through the physical experience of light and shadow.