Plastic pirouettes: Japan’s recycled bottle ballet

by Katie Forster
Agence France Presse

Yokohama, Japan (AFP) — The dancers’ futuristic headgear glints underneath the lights at a high ballet present, however simply two months in the past their plastic costumes have been sticky bottles tossed right into a Tokyo recycling bin.

Plastic”, a brand new manufacturing by famend Japanese firm Okay-BALLET, goals to attract consideration to a world air pollution disaster by way of some uncommon set and wardrobe design (AFP)

Tutus comprised of used bubble wrap, 4 big recycled bottle partitions and 100 clear umbrellas left behind within the Japanese capital all characteristic within the efficiency, which drew a full home to its first brief run in Yokohama.

The dancers’ futuristic headgear glints underneath the lights at a high ballet present, however simply two months in the past their plastic costumes have been sticky bottles tossed right into a Tokyo recycling bin (AFP)

Resembling space-age creatures with hand-cleaned PET bottles strapped to their our bodies, a troupe together with US visitor star Julian MacKay leaped and spun their method by way of a shifting labyrinth on stage.
Plastic waste has doubled globally in 20 years and solely 9 % is efficiently recycled, in accordance with the OECD group of developed nations.

A performer stretches throughout a rehearsal for the “Vinyl Umbrella Komachi”, a part of a efficiency entitled “Plastic” to spotlight the problem of plastic air pollution, on the Okay-BALLET dance firm studios in Tokyo. (AFP)

The United Nations says the quantity of plastic getting into the oceans will almost triple by 2040.
MacKay, 25, informed AFP that the “big drawback” of plastic waste “actually hasn’t gotten that highlight” within the dance world, and he believes performing arts can assist encourage folks to behave.

“Once you take a medium like ballet or dance, and also you add it along with recycling or upcycling, you form of pressure folks to assume, ‘effectively, what else can I do, what else works?’”

The United Nations says the quantity of plastic getting into the oceans will almost triple by 2040 (AFP)

Again in November, previous midnight in Tokyo’s Harajuku vogue district, Okay-BALLET’s chief producer Taiju Takano and scenographer Naoya Sakata went rooting by way of recycling bins to search out their plastic props.
Becoming a member of workers from waste administration firm Shirai Eco Heart, they shook out tubs and sorted plastic bottles from piles of used espresso cups, aluminium cans and cigarette butts.

Sakata additionally used machine-recycled PET bottles offered by Shirai to assemble the pixel-like bottle partitions and big letters that descended to spell “occasion folks” within the upbeat finale of the present’s first half.

Total, greater than 10,000 recycled and reused bottles have been utilized in “Plastic”, and 28-year-old Sakata mentioned it made him realise the quantity thrown away every day is “stunning”.

– ‘Virtually heavenly’ –
Single-use plastic stays an enormous drawback in Japan, the place even particular person items of fruit ceaselessly come packaged.

Japan’s residents generate a 3rd of the plastic waste their American counterparts do, in accordance with the OECD, and fewer than the typical for the organisation’s European members (AFP)

However Japan’s residents generate solely a 3rd of the plastic waste their American counterparts do, in accordance with the OECD, and fewer than the typical for the organisation’s European members.
Japan additionally collects and recycles extra plastic than many nations, though usually for “thermal recycling” the place waste is burned for vitality.

Takano, 27, mentioned some parts of “Plastic” are meant to evoke outdated Japanese concepts of sustainability.

“A key phrase in our tradition is ‘mottainai’,” which describes what a disgrace it’s to waste issues, he informed AFP.

Up to now, it was believed the spirit of an object “would seem as a ghost should you mistreated issues and threw them away”, he mentioned.

MacKay mentioned the stage design helped him see the plastic objects differently.

With PET bottles strapped to his physique, US visitor star Julian MacKay leaped and spun his method by way of a shifting labyrinth on stage (AFP)

“There’s a sure form of magnificence… when gentle goes by way of these bottles and creates one thing that appears virtually heavenly,” he mentioned.
Okay-BALLET plans to maintain its costumes and props for not less than a 12 months, with the hope of re-staging the present, after which Shirai will recycle the bottles.

“Plastic”, a brand new manufacturing by famend Japanese ballet firm Okay-BALLET, goals to attract consideration to the scourge of air pollution by way of some uncommon set and wardrobe design.

As viewers members filed out of the auditorium, Ayumi Kisaki, a 30-year-old actor, mentioned the efficiency made her replicate on the issue.
“It’s a problem I don’t normally take into consideration. However these dancers highlighting the problem of plastic helped me consider it as my very own difficulty to deal with,” she informed AFP.