Image: Pola Fanous, Anna Kuroda and Ryuichi Fujimura
FORMIDABLES EPISODE 8
EPISODE 8: ANNA KURODA and RYUICHI FUJIMURA
Thursday, 16 September 2021
In this meditative episode, Murasaki Penguin co-founder and multidisciplinary choreographer Anna Kuroda with charismatic dance artist Ryuichi Fujimura share their love of performance and the joy of connecting with an audience. Their distinct paths to becoming a professional dancer tell us that there is no one way of building a career and that it’s never too late to give it a go.
Running Time: 32 mins
Pola Fanous is a young poet and performing artist from Western Sydney. An Egyptian-born immigrant, at age 21 Pola is a prominent figure in Sydney’s slam scene. In 2016, Pola competed in the Poetry Olympics and spoke at the City of Sydney’s Youth Leadership Conference. In 2017, Pola was published in ‘The Resurrection’ Anthology and performed at the Digital Writers’ Festival, The Plot Music Festival, and the Parliament House of Australia. His poem ‘Mr War (Palestine)’ incorporated into Warren Armstrong and Susannah Williams’ multi-sensory artwork ‘Listening Device VII: Felt Histories’, was awarded the 2017 Paramor Prize for Art & Innovation. In 2018, Pola began writing for Honi Soit, performed at the Sydney Writer’s Festival and made waves with his now-iconic ‘Westies’. Pola was the 2018 NSW Slam Champion in the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at the Sydney Opera House. In early 2019 he released his debut collection of poetry, STRONGSOFT. He was the Speaker in FORM Dance Projects’ 2020 Sydney Festival creation ENCOUNTER directed by Emma Saunders.
Anna Kuroda is a dancer and choreographer based in Sydney and Yokohama. Her movement practice focuses on sensitivity to internal and external air flow around the body, sharpness, fragility and unique rhythm. She aspires to make work where, through focus and technical skill, the dancer’s body is, in a way, unseen; leaving cells and memories. Kuroda founded Murasaki Penguin in 2010 with sound/multimedia artist David Kirkpatrick. She is Associate Artist and teacher at Seet Dance (2015 – current). She was one of 6 finalists at the TOYOTA Choreography Award, Japan (2016), was Resident Artist at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2015) and Blacktown Arts Centre (2019), and was one of 8 artists for the Western Sydney Parklands Accelerator (2020). Kuroda has worked with Nibroll, Ong Keng Sen, KENTARO!!, Maki Tabata, Ko Murobushi, Phillip Adams, Brook Andrew, Sioned Huws, Reina Kimura, Heather B Swann and Charemaine Seet. She is a performer in Marvel Studio’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021).
Ryuichi Fujimura is an independent dance artist based in Sydney. Since the mid 1990’s, he has studied contemporary dance technique as well as improvisation and choreography in Australia and overseas. Over the last fifteen years, Ryuichi has collaborated with both emerging and established artists/companies in various dance, theatre, opera, site-specific performance and film projects including Xavier le Roy, Tino Sehgal, Asad Raza, Vicki Van Hout, Jim Sharman, Force Majeure, De Quincey Co., La Fura dels Baus, Clockfire Theatre co. and Flightpath Theatre. Ryuichi began his choreographic practice in 2013. In collaboration with Kate Sherman, he created two site-specific performance works (Under Harry’s Circumstances in 2014 and Under Different Circumstances in 2013). He has also created and performed two solo works (How I Practice My Religion in 2017 and How Did I Get Here? in 2015). He has toured internationally with these solos to Finland (2017) and Taiwan (2018). In 2020, Ryuichi performed in A Night Parade of One Hundred Goblins (Clockfire Theatre co.) for Sydney festival, We, the Lost Company (Clockfire Theatre co.) for Sydney Fringe and AEON (directed by Justin Shoulder) for Liveworks. In 2021, he choreographed a solo to be performed by Chris Wade for In Situ (Dance Makers Collective and Future Makers), an official event for Sydney Festival 2021, and performed in Fishy Tales co-directed by Vashti Hughes and Diane Busutill in May. Ryuichi hopes to premier his new solo “Fall! Falter!! Dance!!!” in 2022, which has been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.