Aozora Dance online『The sky is dancing』

Yokohama Dance Collection’s annual outdoor program Aozora Dance features a variety of dance performances in the plaza outside the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, one of the most popular tourist spots in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, attracting large crowds of visitors.
This year’s Aozora Dance will be a continuation of last year’s program, in which four dance artists based in Japan and abroad will perform online. The program coordinator is the dance company < namstrops > (based in Miyazaki). We will connect people and delivering the charm of each region through dance.
The program will be available on the YOUTUBE channel “Yokohama Dance Collection” from December 1, 2022.

  • Program Coordinator:namstrops + Rumiko Takahashi
  • Artists:namstrops (Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture), Osanai Yumi (Vallon-pont-d’Arc, France), Kawamura Mikiko (Minamiboso City and Konan Town, Chiba Prefecture), Houei Miki (Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Message from namstrops

Finally, with the return of out-of-prefecture activities, I have more time to look down at the sky from the plane. I also returned to my habit of looking up at the wide, unobstructed sky first thing when I landed at Miyazaki Airport. The morning before the shoot, I landed at Miyazaki Airport in daylight after flying from Tsushima (Nagasaki Prefecture) for the first time in a long while. And the sky I looked up at was bright blue. Clear skies tomorrow, too! In fact, Miyazaki Prefecture ranks second in Japan for the number of sunny days per year, with 52.7. Miyazaki also ranks third in Japan in terms of sunshine hours, with 2,116 hours. Our venue this time was the HAKKO Hinata RORO boat. As I lay on the deck and closed my eyes, I saw Mr. Osanai, Mr. Hoei, and Mr. Kawamura dancing in the blue sky. What I saw was the afterimage of last year’s blue sky dance. Please enjoy “The sky is dancing” on Aozora Dance online.
Translated with (free version)

Namstrops Photo:ryoichi kojima


Namstrops was formed in 2006. It is a dance company that is particular about having things upside down. It develops practical research in “creating new value by thinking about things upside down”. That’s actually why the name of the company is “sportsman” read backwards. So far, the company has performed not only in Asian countries and cities, but in the United States, Estonia, Romania, Germany, Croatia, etc. (40 cities throughout 15 countries). Domestically, the company is developing unique experimental performance activities, such as exhibiting “physical education” (the idea of nurturing the body) at contemporary art museums around the country such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. NAMSTROPS received the “KIDS DESIGN AWARD” for the sixth consecutive year in recognition of the reproducibility of activities aimed at realizing a “world where no one is left behind” (in relation to SDGs) through these arts. In addition, in March 2019, with the aim of exploring the possibility of a non-publicly run contemporary dance theater for the public, it established a gymnasium for nursery school children that is open during the day and a theater where contemporary dance is performed on weekends and nights, all in the same space. The facility is called “Transparent Gymnasium Kirakira / International Children / Seinen Theater Miyazaki” (CandY Theater) in Miyazaki City, a unique double functioning center.



In 2010, she won the French Embassy Award and the MASDANZA-EU Award at Yokohama Dance Collection R. She was a resident dancer at the National Choreography Center in Paris and Angers, France, where she created and presented her own work.
In 2012, under the Agency for Cultural Affairs Emerging Artist program, she trained in Budapest, Hungary, for one year under Felenc Fehér, and toured in Hungary.
In 2015, she was a trainee at the POLA Art Foundation and at the Belgian dance company Fieldworks. She produced and presented “Hidden Sense”, a participative work that blurred the boundaries between audiences and performers.
For the next six years she was based in Brussels while working as a dancer. After having a child in 2019 and feeling the need to live close to nature, she moved to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in southern France in October 2021.
“I would like to continue physical expression while being stimulated by artists across genres and nationalities. I hope to stay connected with everyone up until now, and connect with new people, which is why I always ask myself, “What is it, that can change my senses and the senses of others?”

川村美紀子 Photo:Etsuko Suzuki


Born in 1990, Tokyo. She began dancing at the age of 16 and has been performing both domestically and abroad since 2011. Once described as a dance enfant terrible who fell to Earth from a faraway planet (Dance New Air 2014/ Ishii Tatsuro), Kawamura works range from theaters to outdoor concert events, video and music composition, and handmade crafts and accessories. Kawamura graduated from Japan Women’s College of Physical Education, Majoring in Dance Studies. From 2013 to 2016, she was a Junior Fellow of the Saison Foundation. After the premiere of her piece “Inner Mommy” received the The Next Generation of Choreographer’s Award and Audience Award at the Toyota Choreography Award 2014, and then the “Jury Prize” and “French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographers” at Yokohama Dance Collection EX 2015, she went to France and became a resident dancer in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Marseille and Le Havre for half a year based at French National Dance Center CCN/R, where she presented “LA FLEUR ÉCLÔT ENFER ENFER (A Flower Blooms in Hell)”. Moved to Minamiboso on the tip of Chiba peninsula in 2019.

宝栄美希 Photo:NOD 野田啓


Dancer/ Choreographer / Nomi City Tourism Ambassador
Born in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Started studying modern ballet at Shimizu Dance Studio from the age of two. Graduated from Japan Women’s University of Physical Education, majoring in dance studies. As a student she has performed as a dancer in works by various choreographers while gaining experience in performances outside the university including tours abroad. Hoei began producing dance pieces in 2007, and started working as a choreographer after receiving an award at Yokohama Dance Competition in 2008. While studying at the Laban Center, she participated in various projects in the UK, Germany, Belgium, etc., and performed in contemporary dance, physical theatre and performing arts. As of 2010, she has been based in Tokyo as a dancer and choreographer. He has participated in many festivals at regional cities throughout Japan, and has been actively participating in disaster-stricken reconstruction support projects since the Great Eastern Earthquake. After her experience in the 2014 Agency for Cultural Affairs overseas training (Portugal), she started a dance festival in her hometown of Ishikawa and has been holding it continuously since 2015. She moved to Ishikawa for good in 2016, where she became a lecturer, and actively participated in projects outside the prefecture and overseas as a dancer. In addition, she works locally as a choreographer for performances involving citizens and productions involving people with disabilities. “KageMai” a collaborative piece with artists from Nomi City, was invited to Taiwan. In recent years her activities span across various fields including choreographing and appearing in commercial videos for the Takashimaya department store in Nagoya, and choreographing commercials for Aozora Pharmacy.
In 2008, she competed at the Dance Collection, receiving the Jury Prize and the MASDANZA Award, and participated in competition I in 2019.