MUJO filming

Film shoot for our new piece MUJO.

MUJO (impermanence) is a dance piece using the sandy desert as the performance arena, with visuals projected on a large dune in which the dance takes place. There will be two final outcomes: an immersive multi-channel film installation, and a live performance in the desert.

The piece highlights the impermanence of life. We constantly assemble and disassemble in various forms, experiencing emotions, struggles, and changes in the process of development. We build and achieve some shape, but there is nothing to hold onto as everything will eventually fall apart like sand. We explore this question: “How do we accept the fact of impermanence in our life?” through a repetitive pattern. The dance performance takes place on a desert dune, where the sand symbolizes the transience of existence. The projected visuals on the dune create a contrast between the natural and the artificial, the static and the dynamic, the eternal and the ephemeral.

MUJO reflects Purring Tiger’s vision of exploring the human condition and celebrating diversity through a fusion of movement, sound, and visuals.

Art direction, choreography: Kiori Kawai
Art direction, visuals, sound: Aaron Sherwood
Film direction: Surabhi Sharma
Dance: Mary Chase, Bettina Schober, Lillian Castillo-Müller, Leen ElMobaddr, Kiori Kawai
Cinematography: Talha Muneer, Nathan Jia

Supported by New York University Abu Dhabi, Liwa Art Hub/Ahmed Saleh Al Yafei


2022 April

Movement: Concetta Cariello, Kiori Kawai
Music: Aaron Sherwood
Film making: Kiori Kawai

Developed with support from Ahmed Alyafei at Al Khatim Art Hub, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E

About the project: This piece is a part of a larger project where Italian dancer Concetta Cariello and Japanese dancer Kiori Kawai are exploring their movement in three different environments in the U.A.E including mangrove forest, rocky mountains, and sandy desert.

About the music: The piece begins with a synth drone, paralleling the starkness of the desert. The drone swells from time to time, in a manner similar to desert wind gusts. As the sun rises and the dancers move closer to each other and eventually touch, the music builds and various rhythmic patterns are introduced. There is a definite pulse, with everything fitting together precisely, but, because of the polyrhythms, it’s hard to find exactly where the pulse lands. This feeling mimics the dunes which, one after the other, keep rolling and falling on top of each other, never finally landing, never reaching a point of rest. The listener has to give up on finding that point of rhythmic rest (the downbeat). Thus the music becomes an invitation to let go and dwell in the wild beauty, yet stark brutality, of the desert.