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We hosted Horizon residency artist Takeshi Matsumoto in our Nottingham studios in June 2023 to develop his project, Club Ninja.

This residency explored 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 explored a range of possibilities with shadow play, dance, and the body to create new visual and somatic experiences for family audiences.

This project contributed 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

Artists Involved

Takeshi Matsumoto
Takeshi Matsumoto
Find out more