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Totsu-Totsu Dance Online

Start Date: 1/11/2020 ::: Organized By JFKL

The Japanese society has for some time been aging. According to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, one in five seniors over the age of 65 will suffer from dementia by 2025. Against this social backdrop, the Japanese General Association torindo has been holding dance workshops and dance performances with choreographer/dancer Jareo Osamu in collaboration with elderly residents, facility staff, and local residents since 2009 at the Graceville Maizuru nursing home for the elderly in Maizuru City, Kyoto.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, where the population is seeing a rapid age growth, the percentage of people suffering from dementia has been increasing every year, Malaysian sound artist Kamal Sabran has been researching the possibility of using music as a form of therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The spread of the Covid-19 led the two artists to conduct online dance and music workshops for the elderly with dementia. Using the video recordings of the workshops and reports on their activities as a starting point, the following roundtable discussion will be held online with the participation of guests from various fields.


  • Jareo Osamu (Dancer/Choreographer)
  • Kamal Sabran (Sound artist / Lecturer from School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia)
  • Fujinami Tsutomu (Professor of Intelligent Informatics, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Ito Asa (Aesthete/Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
  • Okui Lala (Visual Artist/Cultural Worker)
  • Mori Mariko (Art Producer/torindo Representative Director [Moderator]

Content & Panelists

[First half: 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM]
Speakers: Jareo Osamu, Kamal Sabran, Fujinami Tsutomu

  • An introduction to the two artists’ activities, along with a video #1 of the online workshop held in September by Osamu Jareo and Kamal Sabran.
  • The effects of dance and music on the elderly with dementia and its possibilities in the field of elderly care
  • Q&A session

[Second half: 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM]
Speakers: Jareo Osamu, Kamal Sabran, Ito Asa, Okui Lala

  • Introducing video #2 of the online workshop held in September by Jareo Osamu and Kamal Sabran.
  • On the possibilities of online art expression with elderly people across boundaries
  • Q&A session


1 November 2020 (Sunday), 1:00 PM – 3:45 PM [Malaysian time]


Online, via Youtube Live (link will be delivered to registrants)

*There will be consecutive interpretation in English and Japanese for the discussion.
**Participation is free but prior registration required.

Organised by torindo
Co-organised by The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur
Supported by Graceville Maizuru

About The Title “Totsu-totsu”

Totsu-Totsu dance is the name of the dance performances, related workshops, and study groups with elderly residents at nursing homes conducted by torindo and Jareo Osamu, together with Graceville Maizuru, since 2019. The word “totsu-totsu” comes from the Japanese language describing a hushed and musing way of speaking.

Panelists' Profile


In 1991, he formed a dance unit with Misako Terada. In 2002, he was awarded both the Grand Prix and the Audience Prize at the TOYOTA CHOREOGRAPHY AWARD 2002. In 2004, he was granted a fellowship from the city of Kyoto, and in 2008, he spent a year in Berlin in artist residency funded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

In recent years, he has worked mainly as a solo artist, including in the Thikwa+Junkan Project (with Nanako Nakajima of Dramaturg) with the Tikva Theater Company for the disabled in Germany, “Totsu-Totsu Dance” and “Totsu-Totsu Dance part.2-Lessons of Love (Ai no Lesson)” with the elderly in Maizuru, Kyoto, “Monkeys and Mortale (Salto Mortale),” which was inspired by his interviews to those living in shelters in Yuriage, Miyagi, Japan, “Metamorphosis: Yes, it’s me, and it’s you (Hensin: Ee, Watashi Desu. Mata Anata Desu)” in which illness and disability are regarded as “transformations in the process of living” and are transformed into dance through dialogue. He has also choreographed and performed in “Touching the Skin of Eeriness (Bukimi na Mono no Hada ni Fureru)”, a film directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

He is the author of “Slow Dance at Nursing Home: Like a Dance, Like a Nursing-care (Rojin Home de Umareta “Totsu Totsu Dance” – Dance no Youna, Kaigo no Youna)” [Shobunsha]. He is a specially appointed professor in the Department of Visual and Physical Sciences at Rikkyo University.

(Sound artist / Lecturer from School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia)

He is an artist-researcher based in Ipoh Perak. His practice is inter-disciplinary and exists at the intersection of art, science, and technology. His passion in art-health field, motivates him to continuously produces several projects which includes The Healing Art Project and Soundscape for Alzheimer’s Patients. He has won the ‘Best New Media Artist Award’ Young And Contemporary from the Malaysian National Art Gallery in 2004, Best NOKIA Music Video Director in 2006 as well as the ‘ASEAN New Media Artist Award’ from the Indonesian National Art Gallery in 2007. He was Artist-In-Residence at the National Space Agency, Malaysia in 2005 and invited to be part in visiting artist program for 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica California in 2015. He is also the founder of an experimental music/sound art collective known as “Space Gambus Experiment” and Ipoh Experimental Art School, a creative space focusing on producing experimental art project. He has been scoring several award-winning Malaysian film soundtracks with film director such as Mamat Khalid, Shanjhey Kumar, Pete Teo and many others. He is currently working as a lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang. For his doctoral dissertation, he wrote a consideration of Alzheimer’s patients and music, “A Study on Applicability of Sound Art as Therapy for Alzheimer’s Patients”.

(Professor of Intelligent Informatics, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

As a hyperactive child, he was forced to learn the piano, abacus, calligraphy, and painting as a way to train himself to sit quietly. His pre-school dream was to become a cook. In high school, he joins the drama club after his junior asked him to join just to boost the number of members. He worked as a researcher in skill science, but his interest in physical skills was developed early on.

He studied philosophy at university, but realizing his abilities were lacking, he began to work and became involved in research and development related to artificial intelligence. He then went back to university to study semantics. After working in Germany, he returned to Japan and became an advocate of knowledge science. He met Mr. Jareo through an experiment held at an elementary school called “Let’s Dance with Robots”. His wife was reading a book by Asa Ito at home, and he secretly read it without her knowledge. His work involves meeting people and going out into the field, so he was at a loss at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has reset his mind and is now thinking about ways to play with the human body through remote dispersion. His specialty is “artificial intelligence,” but it might be easier to describe it as “researching the skills of masters”.

(Aesthete/Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)

Associate Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Liberal Arts Research and Education. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Human Sciences of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Environmental and Social Science. She specializes in aesthetics and contemporary art. In 2010, she left the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Division of General Culture, with a Bachelor of Arts in Aesthetics and Fine Arts, and received her Ph.D. in Literature in the same year. After working in the Research Fellowship for Young Scientists funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), she was appointed associate professor at the Center for Liberal Arts in the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2013 and was appointed to her current position in April 2016. She is the author of “Valerie’s Philosophy of Art, or Anatomy of the Body (Valerie no Geijutsu Tetsugaku, Aruiha Karada no Kaibou)” [2013], “How the Blind See the World (Me no Mienai Hito ha Sekai wo Dou Miteirunoka)” [2015], “눈이 보이지 않는 사람은 세상을 어떻게 보는가” [2016], “The Body Theory of the Blind Athlete (Me no Mienai Athlete no Shintai-ron)” [2016], and “The Stammering Body (Domoru Karada)” [2018]. In parallel, she has been involved in the production of numerous projects.

(Visual Artist/Cultural Worker)

Chew Win Chen aka Okui Lala (b. 1991) is an artist and cultural worker based in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia. Her practice spans from video, performance to public engagement. Okui‘s work explores themes of diaspora, home and belonging through the performances of domestic acts or vocational labour, such as sewing, cooking, conversing and building.  Recent presentations include shows at Singapore Biennale (2019, Festival/Tokyo (Japan, 2019), Yamaguchi Art Centre for Arts and Media (Japan, 2019), Para Site (Hong Kong, 2018) and National Art Gallery (Malaysia, 2017).

Aside from teaching multimedia and moving images subjects at local colleges, Okui also facilitates visual workshop (photography and video) with NPO such as Arts-Ed (Penang) and Kuriya (Japan) that works with placed-based education and different communities.  Okui was a recipient of the 2017 Japan Foundation Asia Centre Fellowship Grant for her research on migration, mobilities and identities in Myanmar and Japan. 

(Art Producer/torindo Representative Director)

After working at institutions including the Kyoto Performing Arts Center of Kyoto University of the Arts, she began working in 2007 as a freelance producer of a wide range of projects from performing arts to exhibitions, including “marebito theater company”. Since 2009 she has served as a director in “Maizuru RB,” an art project based in Maizuru, Kyoto, Japan, and has planned projects in collaboration with the local community, such as Hibino Katsuhiko’s “Seeds are Ships Project (Tane wa Fune Project)” (2009-2013) and Jareo Osamu’s “Totsu-Totsu Dance” (2010-). In 2012, she established “torindo” as a general incorporated association and serves as the president. She was the program director of “Roppongi Art Night 2014” and “Saitama Triennale 2016”. She is currently working as the producer of the “True Colors Festival” within the Nippon Foundation DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS.


1:00 pm3:45 pm
Event Category:


Organized By JFKL