Juitamai is a dance full of contradictions. It gives the female performers a voice, but does not let them have their say. It emancipates Japanese women living in a strongly patriarchal society where they often go unheard, but does so by imposing strict rules. In addition, the dance is a form of accusation towards men, yet it takes an erotic form that confirms and stimulates the male gaze.
In the VR project Close, the ambiguity of a more than 200-year-old dance form is heightened by contemporary means. As a viewer, you come very close to the dancers, and can even direct them with hand movements, but there is always distance.
Depending on your preference, you hear two stories from Juitamai performers, who interpret the same dance very differently with their highly personal confessions. In the stunning finale, a central role is reserved for the woman’s mouth, which for once takes no notice of the fact that it is supposed to remain closed.