Plastic pirouettes: Japan’s recycled bottle ballet

by Katie ForsterAgence France Presse
Yokohama, Japan (AFP) — The dancers’ futuristic headgear glints underneath the lights at a prime ballet present, however simply two months in the past their plastic costumes had been sticky bottles tossed right into a Tokyo recycling bin.
Plastic”, a brand new manufacturing by famend Japanese firm Ok-BALLET, goals to attract consideration to a worldwide air pollution disaster via some uncommon set and wardrobe design (AFP)
Tutus produced from used bubble wrap, 4 big recycled bottle partitions and 100 clear umbrellas left behind within the Japanese capital all function 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 prime ballet present, however simply two months in the past their plastic costumes had 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 approach via a shifting labyrinth on stage.Plastic waste has doubled globally in 20 years and solely 9 p.c is efficiently recycled, in keeping with the OECD group of developed international locations.
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 Ok-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, advised AFP that the “big downside” of plastic waste “actually hasn’t gotten that highlight” within the dance world, and he believes performing arts will help 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 drive folks to assume, ‘nicely, 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, Ok-BALLET’s chief producer Taiju Takano and scenographer Naoya Sakata went rooting via 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 had been utilized in “Plastic”, and 28-year-old Sakata stated it made him realise the quantity thrown away every day is “surprising”.
– ‘Virtually heavenly’ –Single-use plastic stays an enormous downside in Japan, the place even particular person items of fruit regularly come packaged.
Japan’s residents generate a 3rd of the plastic waste their American counterparts do, in keeping with the OECD, and fewer than the common for the organisation’s European members (AFP)
However Japan’s residents generate solely a 3rd of the plastic waste their American counterparts do, in keeping with the OECD, and fewer than the common for the organisation’s European members.Japan additionally collects and recycles extra plastic than many international locations, though usually for “thermal recycling” the place waste is burned for vitality.
Takano, 27, stated some components of “Plastic” are supposed 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 advised AFP.
Up to now, it was believed the spirit of an object “would seem as a ghost in case you mistreated issues and threw them away”, he stated.
MacKay stated the stage design helped him see the plastic gadgets differently.
With PET bottles strapped to his physique, US visitor star Julian MacKay leaped and spun his approach via a shifting labyrinth on stage (AFP)
“There’s a sure form of magnificence… when gentle goes via these bottles and creates one thing that appears nearly heavenly,” he stated.Ok-BALLET plans to maintain its costumes and props for at the very least a yr, 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 Ok-BALLET, goals to attract consideration to the scourge of air pollution via some uncommon set and wardrobe design.
As viewers members filed out of the auditorium, Ayumi Kisaki, a 30-year-old actor, stated the efficiency made her replicate on the issue.“It’s a difficulty I don’t often take into consideration. However these dancers highlighting the problem of plastic helped me consider it as my very own situation to deal with,” she advised AFP.