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for these tokyo athletes, the street is their stage

A new approach to performance and the body, from Parkour to dance.

by i-D Staff; translated by Emi Kariya
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Oct 24 2017, 4:30pm
BAMBI wears jacket Chika Kisada. Trousers T by Alexander Wang. Scarf Ann Demeulemeester. Boots John Lawrence Sullivan. Ring model's own.

This article was originally published by i-D Japan.

Bambi Naka, 25, from Kumamoto

What do you do?
I'm a dancer and a model.

How do you describe yourself in one phrase?
Free person.

What's the moment you feel joy or satisfaction?
Whenever I feel someone watching me when I'm dancing.

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What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
When I was a student, I forced my mother to come to my recital since she wasn't very supportive about my dancing. Then she started crying after she saw me dance.

What kind of person do you hope to be in 10 years?
A woman who's only doing what she wants to do, cool and shining.

What makes you continue to express yourself?
Continuing to be hell-bent on the challenge of reaching that endless goal [of expressing myself], forever.

What's the fun and joy of expressing with your body?
To be seen by many people and receive all kinds of feedback, whether good or bad. That's my joy and it's also fun.

ZiNEZ wears tank top NikelabxPigalle. Hoodie Pigalle. Pants, earrings, and socks model's own. Trainers Jordan Brand.

ZiNEZ, 27, from Tokyo, grew up in Canada

What do you do?
Freestyle basketballer.

How do you describe yourself in one word?
Wave.

What's the moment you feel joy or satisfaction?
When the audience gets some kind of positive feeling from my performance.

What kind of person do you hope to be in 10 years?
I hope to have a one and only [career] as a performer.

What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
When I [started to see] the future I'd imagined while I was intensely training as a teen.

What makes you continue to express yourself?
[The idea of stopping] scares me. It gives me faith and courage, and it makes me grow.

What's the mission for future artists?
To continue challenging our imaginations and our possibilities. I believe that leads to the growth of humanity [as a whole].

ZEN wears tops, shorts, and pants Y-3. Trainers model's own.

ZEN, 24, from Tokyo

What do you do?
I'm a Parkour athlete.

What do you express through it?
The possibilities of the human body.

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How do you describe yourself in one phrase?
A boy.

What's the moment you feel joy or satisfaction?
Whenever I make a new discovery.

What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
The moment I moved someone emotionally with a trick I planted.

What do you want to challenge next in your expression?
I want to express more freely, beyond the wall of categories.

Which artists do you look up to?
Donald O'Connor, Chaplin, and Jackie Chen.

What makes you continue to express yourself?
There are more things that I want to do.

What's the mission for future artists?
To dedicate ourselves for the development of our culture 'til death. We need to achieve our role that changes from moment to moment.

Daichi wears all clothing Bed J.W. Ford.

Daichi Matsuno, from Tokyo

What do you do?
I'm a ballet dancer and a model.

What do you express through both of those things?
It's always different. It can be the work, or myself, feelings, and sounds.

How do you describe yourself in one phrase?
Intuition.

What kind of person do you hope to be in 10 years?
I hope that I'm a world wide performer on the stage and in movies.

Which artists do you look up to?
Sylvie Guillen, Gelsey Kirkland, and Francoise Sagan.

What makes you continue to express yourself?
I was determined to live as an artist by age one, and I feel it's most natural to me.

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What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
When I played a major lead role for the first time in theatre ballet, there was a moment where I felt the character take over me. That made me tremble.

What's the mission for future artists?
To keep expressing your message toward the world. I believe that there are ways [through which] only artists, not politicians, can affect change in society.

Aoi wears jacket Alyx. T-shirt Marcelo Burlon County of Milan. Pants Alyx. Boots Sacai.

Aoi Yamada, 17, from Nagano

What do you do?
I'm a dancing high school girl.

What do you express through it?
My ideas.

How do you describe yourself in one word?
The gap.

What's the moment you feel joy or satisfaction?
When I initiate [the] beginning of a story for somebody.

What kind of person do you hope to be in 10 years?
A person who can view all artists with an open mind.

What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
The moment you exceed the limit you thought you had.

What do you want to challenge next in your expression?
To be able to express a stranger's feelings instead of my own.

Which artists do you look up to?
Ms. Sayoko Yamaguchi [a 70s model, actress, and fashion designer].

What makes you continue to express yourself?
Being alive.

What's the mission for future artists?
To capture "humanity" within this growing amount of machines and technology.

Mariko wears top John Lawrence Sullivan. Trousers Sacai. Boots Alyx. Inner top model's own.

Mariko, 22, from Tokyo

What do you do?
I'm a contortionist.

What do you express through it?
Feelings that are hidden inside of people.

How do you describe yourself in one word?
Challenge.

What's the moment you feel joy or satisfaction?
Right in the middle of the show.

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What kind of person do you hope to be in 10 years?
I want to continue feeling all joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure through things that get me excited.

What was the experience where you first felt the joy of expressing yourself?
I gradually learned to find joy as I continued. But the experience I'll never forget is the rhythm gymnastics show I performed at a school event.

What do you want to challenge next in your expression?
The concept of surrealism.

Which artists do you look up to?
I can't pick. There are many parts and moments [of an artist's work] I love that I admire.

What makes you continue to express yourself?
I don't have a reason I can explain. I believe I was born to do this.

What's the mission for future artists?
To enrich their lives in an emotional [manner] by reaching people's unconsciousness, and expanding and deepening their [expressions] through what they feel.

Credits


Photography Kento Mori
Styling Masataka Hattori
Hair and Make-up Rumi Hirose (Bambi, Zinez. and Marika) and Takae Kamikawa at Mod's hair (Daichi and Aoi)
Styling assistance Haruna Aka, Yu Araki.
Translation Emi Kariya

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