Birthday Present to Myself: Hiromoto Ida @ Venables Theatre

Event Dates:
  • Tue March 21, 2023 7:30 PM
  • Event Cost: 20-30

​The latest piece by acclaimed Nelson dancer-choreographer-storyteller Hiromoto Ida is Birthday Present for Myself, a remarkable hybrid of dance and theatre . Despite the whimsical title, Birthday confronts issues of aging and mortality – albeit in a poetical and ultimately uplifting manner.

Inspired by a lengthy visit from Ida’s own elderly mother, the piece centres on the “perfect birthday” and what will be the last day of an old man’s life, with the scene set in his courtyard garden. Between a combination of theatre-like dialogue, the old man’s solo dance – informed by the techniques of Japanese Noh Theatre – and evocative music by contemporary Russian composer Pavel Karmanov, Birthday will move beyond ideas of grief and sadness into a deeper awareness of the stages of life and the inevitability of death.

The setting, a peaceful Zen garden, reinforces the concept of cycles and renewal; and the combination of traditional Noh Theatre with modern dance expresses the old man’s character and inner world with poignant effectiveness. “I see western culture giving messages of aging and getting old as being a negative element of one’s life,” says Ida, whose experience of growing up with his grandparents in Japan remains an inspiring memory for him. “Even when I was small I could feel something special about them.”