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Takeshi Matsumoto

Club Ninja


This residency explores the figure of the ninja, reimagined through light and shadow play in a participatory dance performance for families with children under 5 years old.

A highly skilled agent trained in ancient Japanese martial arts, the ninja acts in stealth. Club Ninja aims to develop these ideas further, using the ninja as a metaphor and playing with references to the typical ninja aesthetics to engage audiences’ imagination and creativity. Takeshi aims to explore a range of possibilities with shadow play, dance, and the body to create new visual and somatic experiences for family audiences.

This project will contribute to the development of participatory practice within dance performance with/for children and their families as the company envisions to create a trilogy of participatory dance performances with themes of East Asian cultural heritage.

Dance collaborator: Makiko Aoyama
Musician: Robert Howat
Shadow play specialist: Sutarath Sinnong
Lighting design: Andy Finn
Costume design: Giulia Scrimieri

Artist Information

Takeshi Matsumoto is a dance artist and a dance movement psychotherapist, working in the sector of Performance for Young Audiences (PYA) and contemporary dance. His practice in performance making places children’s participation and creativity at the heart of collaborative process, exploring possibilities of what dance performance for families with children under 5 years old can be.

His digital choreographic work includes a dance film making with stateless refugee children in Thailand as a way to embody the marginalized voices and tackle social injustice through dance. A short film entitled “We Belong” has been screened in various platforms and festivals in the UK, USA, Canada and Thailand.

If you would like to get in touch about this work, please contact Hannah Slimmon, International Development Manager.

An East Asian man with long, dark hair tied back lies amongst a layer of folded and crumpled white paper. He is wearing a suit made of crumpled white paper, with flashes of blue and red. He is holding a creased piece of paper high in his left hand, looking towards it with joy. In the background hangs bunting made from pieces of white square shaped pieces of paper. Another performer wearing the same costume is rumaging around in the pile of paper. The lighting is warm and the silhouettes of three audience members' heads are visible in the foreground.