Thursday 10 May 2007

Au revoir

Once again, it's coming to an end. No need to describe how I felt today. In a blink, it was over. The show was fantastic. Finally. 
I had started to doubt myself since Shizuoka, but the balance has finally been found between the different elements of the piece.
I had invited Nolico to see it for the second time, this time from the back side, and if I found some slight reluctance in her yesterday, she was totally enthusiastic after tonight’s performance.
It’s time now to go back. My heart is empty. I said farewell to the dancers. And my tears flowed like wine, as Lauren Bacall would sing it.
Jo and Sawako wanted, or expected to have dinner with me for my last day, but I had already settled a gathering with Nolico’s friend at Christon in Shibuya.
But the main reason I declined was that I felt I would slip into something dangerously sentimental.
According to Jo’s words, I am to come back sooner than later. We both now we’re good for one another. Such a precious partnership happens once in a lifetime.

Wednesday 9 May 2007

No perfection

She suddenly appeared out of nowhere and was standing in front of me and greeting me. It took me a few seconds to register. This face, this voice, Japan? No. A fan? No. Paris… Izumi!!! Her raspy voice!!!
I hadn’t seen her since my concert at the Café de la Danse where she danced on Second Breath. After a minute, I had learned that she had just auditioned for Noism the same afternoon, that she was attending tonight’s show to find out whether she liked Jo’s work and that she just got married ten days before!
I knew her to be a high speed motion from one part of the globe to another, but I never imagined I'd be speaking to her in Tokyo before a Noism performance!
There is no coincidence, is there?
Jo couldn’t believe his eyes when I came to greet him and ‘introduced’ Izumi as a friend.
He thought everybody knew everybody in Paris, but didn’t expect the world to be that small…
He apparently liked Izumi’s dancing. But since she had never seen any of his work, he offered her to come and see PLAY 2 PLAY.
The piece impressed her and she accepted the offer. It will be so funny to all meet again in Niigata for a new project!

This surprise encounter eased my discomfort at watching PLAY 2 PLAY. The piece was slowly claiming a life of its own; I could hardly recognize it although it was the same choreography, set design and music...
Now that I am taking some distance emotionally from the whole project, I can finally see the imbalance. There’s no such a thing as perfection in art,  although I think this imbalance came from the fact that the dancers have to adjust to a different stage in each city. 
Niigata’s was the widest stage, while Shizuoka and Tokyo are much smaller theatres. The dancers have to focus on the spacing and it affects in their dancing.
We’ll see what they do tomorrow. But I left the theatre with a sense of frustration. Jo also seemed not so happy, but we couldn’t speak that much as I had wished. He’s got so many people to see that it was a miracle I could even exchange a few words with him today.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

The happy after

Premiere of Play 2 Play in Tokyo tonight. The theatre was located on the top floor of a department store, on the eastern side of Tokyo.
The vibe in this area is much different than Shibuya or Shinjuku. More friendly and less stressful.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the show again. As I felt I needed to take a break from Noism for the time being. I didn’t see the point of loitering on that ground anymore. Things had been slightly tense between me and Jo. Unspoken tension.
However I had promised Mihara-san I would join him and his staff for a little dinner afterwards. Since I got lost and missed our previous appointment, I couldn’t refuse.
Some journalists from magazines I never heard of, were there as well. It didn’t turn out to be a serious dinner at all. If I had to talk about the piece and the music at first, the conversation soon shifted to lighter matters. The wife of one journalist made the comment that some dance movements she saw reminded her of robots. Mihara-san then started talking about his collection of toys and figurines, and before we knew it, everyone was reminiscing about the Wacky Race and telling what his favourite manga was.
Jo later jokingly told me he was glad not to have been there. Otherwise his mystique would have gone up in smoke within a second!

Monday 7 May 2007

Letter to Lara

Tokyo, May 7, 2007

Hello my good lady friend!

So many months have passed since we last exchanged whether vocally or by mail. I’m glad to hear about all your accomplishments, and to see you are finding a good life in Toronto. And you know what? I’m seriously thinking about moving out of France in a year time. I have no idea where to, because that shall be the first time I’m without a base. I suppose the ideal would be to keep a little flat in Paris and travel eastward or westward.
But now it’s time to come to terms with that issue.  It’s one thing to complain and state how much I struggle, or how little I can do there. Now I feel fine with it. It’s just sign indicating that I have to make a move.
This year will surely bring lots of surprise to me, so I’ll welcome them with open arms. My little trip to New York has revealed so much to me, and now Japan is also saying the same thing.

You’ve read my general e-mails, so you know what is going on in terms of work. The premiere has been quite successful, although, as I said it, the audience was a bit lost and confused. We didn’t state anything, nor did we state any question. It was simply a human experience in beauty, if I can be bold enough to say so.

Many people who’ve been following the dance company Noism have agreed that PLAY 2 PLAY is their best work so far. The last one, NINA has been very well received - the Japan Times had picked it as one of the best piece of the year 2005.

I know we’ll be performing one of the two pieces at the Japan Festival, held in Washington DC, and we’ll have the great honour to do it at the Kennedy Center! Speak of career evolution!

So I’ll be missing you in Paris… Damn… I hope you enjoy your time without me! And I know you will. Ava is such a beautiful baby. So many friends have been giving birth to a baby. Vanessa has just had a little girl she named Angelina, another cousin of mine gave birth to twin babies. I suppose my mother is expecting my brother to be on his way to fatherhood as well, which is likely to happen, since he just bought a house with his girlfriend to welcome the birth of a new generation.

So how is your love life? I last heard you met a blond bloke you had known for years. Has it led to anything?
For me, it’s butterfly time again, after a rather tough and monk-like year. I’m learning to have fun again. I can’t even imagine it possible I spent all this time in chastity. But as I told a friend recently, I couldn’t offer myself in a relationship if all I had to give was sorrow and unhappiness. I don’t think the role of the partner is to bear your own burden, even if this self sacrifice is seen as noble. But if noble means uncovering a path to insanity, I just say NOOOO!

Now I’m in Tokyo and I’m enjoying the buying new clothes. It’s time for the emperor’s new outfit! Wish you were here. You’d go mad here. Even now, I’m surprised at the weight of my suitcase. I didn’t think I bought so much. Obviously my suitcase doesn’t share the same impression…

Please send my love to Anne when you see her. I will make sure to see more of her when I’m back. I’m supposed to fly back on May 11th, but a little voice is pushing me to extend my stay, maybe for  a few days. We have our Tokyo performances from the 8th to the 10th, and I think it’d be good to stay a few extra days, just in case I’d have to hook up with anyone… Anyone? The stylist’s PR has organized a little dinner on the premiere evening with the magazine editor of Vogue, Esquire or Pen… She’s so nice and efficient. I think she likes me, so she wants to include me in many of her plans.
Let’s see.

Lots of love to you, my dear friend. I do miss you so much. I will have to find a way to fly to Toronto. I know this year will be filled with trips and travels. Let’s hope Toronto is one of the destinations. I will ask Beppe what his plans are.
But you’re right, New York and Toronto are so not far away………..



Midnight cut

The project of turning online friends into real life people goes on. The result goes spans from average to good friends in the making.
I finally met Hide this morning, after two years of exchanging messages and e-mails. He was born in Germany and had lived there most of his life and now is spending a few months working in a architect company. Hard life and hard work, he says, because it isn’t unusual to finish the day at one in the morning. (gasp)
Whence the breakfast early at a café in the Shinagawa station.
He was every inch of the great guy I knew he was. Sitting at a table, drinking coffee and talking to each other was the most natural thing. So people who lament about the paucity of real and true people to be found on internet may read something about the law of attraction...
As far as I’m concerned, I have been lucky to have found precious beings I really love. 


How about getting a post-midnight hair cut ?
After a copious dinner at home, I suggested a walk to Nolico. We were being hypnotized by one of those silly TV series with an impossible plot, a new twist and change of tone every fifteen minutes that would keep you watching nonetheless.
It was time to take action and make a move. I didn’t want to stay in and get a flabby brain in front of the TV.
Shibuya seemed the best option. Nolico tried to join one of her friend, but didn’t get any answer.
We walked around the love hotel area. Some kind of Disneyland of love; one hotel after another advertising for rooms to be rented by the hour or by the night…
Then we passed a hair salon. It was nearly midnight and it was still open! The entrance was very inviting, with water running down on one big window pane.
People could get a cut, a head spa, or dye their hair any time until 8 the next morning…
It was no time to be serious and I told Nolico that I would actually like to get my hair cut. Such a thing was only possible in Japan! I had never done that late in the night before and a cut would be most welcome. 
Nolico had already set an appointment for a little drink not far away, so we walked there. But she slowly got won over by the idea of a post-midnight hair experience. We promised ourselves to come back after.
And we did. At two o’clock in the morning, I was having my hair groomed and trimmed! We both looked great when we got out of the salon.
The only shame was that we had nowhere to go. It was late, week day... So we went home... 

Sunday 6 May 2007


Election day in France today. Second round. I guess it will be no surprise when Sarkozy wins. Let’s see if my guess is right.
The man is a terrible power hungry, ruthless and manipulative politician who totally supports George W. Bush. There’s not an inch of him I like. But I have to agree that France needs to be shaken up and wake up from its lethargy and he may be the man.
When people have got used to abide in difficult time, they forget things can also have a brighter side. The mere mention of change brings fear to them. Change? No better keep on with what we know, even if we do not like it. In that case the accumulated tension leads to even more violence. I wonder to what point people will bear this chaos and confusion.


It wasn’t the toughest guess. Nicolas Sarkozy is now France’s new president.
Welcome to Law and Order, that is, according to him.

Cute - Part 2

Nolico and I decided to throw another dinner party and invite a few of the new friends she’s made recently. They were all young boys in their mid twenties.
I asked Nozomi to join as well. He’s a bloke I have hooked up with online and met a few days before. Very nice and smart, successful on every aspect, and handsome on top of that. I enjoyed his company and thought Nolico would like him. And she did.
Among the young pretty things she invited tonight was one boy who was the epitome of cuteness. The singer I saw in Niigata is nothing compared to him. I was wondering where those manga artists drew their inspiration to come up with all these cute and adorable characters, well now I know. He’s the living example of a handsome cute male character that all the girls are so crazy about: big black eyes, tall, elegantly dressed, well mannered, perfect hairdo and very comic strip-like facial expressions. I couldn’t believe my eyes. When he said that he had to work very hard - he’s a graphic designer,  I found it hard to connect this charming creature with someone working in an office until late at night. No this couldn’t be. He certainly must return to the book he was drawn from!
I said he reminded me of Anthony, the little Prince from the Hills from Candy Candy. I thought he was too young to know about that series, but he did know.
The evening was surreal to say the least. Nolico and I surpassed ourselves and offered a dinner to remember.
I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Saturday 5 May 2007


Five more days and I’ll be sitting on the plane back to Paris. I’m almost happy to come back. For the remaining days, I’ll take it easy and enjoy myself. I’m finally meeting my Japanese online friends. It’s another way to connect and build a friendship. It’s sometime slightly frustrating because I know it will be another few months before I see them again. If ever I do.
My shopping frenzy has died down. My suitcase already weighs two tons, I really have to be careful about that.

My time with Nolico has been very pleasant. We talk a lot and still enjoy eating together.
We are working on two projects. Still have to clarify their foundations before really telling people about them. But I feel we have something good in our hands. Hopefully the first one will see the day this autumn. More music for me to write this summer. And I’m starting to shift my focus to my second album.

I’m in Tokyo now but it’s as if part of myself has flown somewhere. Not to France, maybe to my next destination. The more I travel, the less I find it easy to know where my home truly is. It’s nowhere in particular. I love my flat in Paris, but that flat could find itself anywhere actually, in New York, Tokyo, or London. I wonder if all the people who were born in another country than their parents’ share the same feeling.

I wandered the streets of the Shibuya area tonight. Even if I force myself to buy something, I don’t find anything that appeals to me. I remained hours long in this used cds store, Recofan and eventually put all the cds back to their shelves. Nothing really inspired me… I don’t recognize myself!
I then indulged in a sushi feast in this tiny running sushi restaurant I had discovered the other day. It’s strange and comforting to eat by myself, anonymously among all these people who come and go after a few plates. It’s friendly, the two cooks are kind and humorous. I felt good.

Friday 4 May 2007


Half past midnight. If a few days ago I wanted to find a way to extend my stay in Japan, I saw too many signs indicating the time was ripe for leave the country. My work for Noism is done. I have composed the music, the piece was well received, Jo is happy. End of chapter. 
I have to admit it, I still long for some more acknowledgement. However how much of this ambrosia would have been sufficient to quench my thirst?
Behind, an ocean of uncertainty is waiting to embrace me.

I have just come back from Shizuoka to attended performances of PLAY 2 PLAY. A little voice told me it wasn’t necessary for me to be there. I even caught a cold and was feverish, if that wasn’t enough of a sign. But I went anyway. Hadn’t it been for Shige who had come especially from Osaka to see me and had already bought the ticket, I think I would have cancelled the trip.
The dancers were happy to see me, but they were in their world. Jo was much too busy to have time even for a drink. I should have known better. I felt dispossed, felt like a stranger on my own set. It was the same in New York. 

A woman sitting behind me cried at the end of the performance. The music never sounded better, clear, rich and precise, I could hear the smallest details. Ayako told me she keeps discovering new things in the music at each performance and that she particularly enjoyed this time in Shizuoka in terms of sound comfort.

Shige and I went to see Spiderman 3 for a change of mind. Shizuoka is a lovely city surrounded by layers of mountains, the kind that are often a favourite subject for so many painters. At dusk, one can only distinguish their shape, as they become like a theatre backdrop.
And the Fuji Yama isn’t far…

Shige... An adorable young man with the body of a Greek athlete. We couldn't speak much for his English was rather limited. My selfish restlessness regarding Jo and PLAY 2 PLAY didn't allow me to focus my attention to him. He really loved the show. His presence was like a soothing balm. But as it often the case with people who show care and kindness for a selfish person, the kindness isn't acknowledged until much later. When it is maybe too late to return it.
The only thing I could give was to take him to the show. Being a musician himself he fully appreciated the work. 
Such a kind guy he is.


Tuesday 1 May 2007


My joy of the day: Volta, the new Björk album. On the cover she looks like she is about to do a Orangina meets manga aliens shooting.
Inside, it’s pure pleasure, with lots of elements recalling her earlier albums.
As usual the songs will take time to sink in. But I’m so happy. As an extra, I found a Joni Mitchell tribute album where she also sings one song.
Baby, baby, where does my money go…?