MatchAtria - E X TE N D E D -


‘Prepare a delicious cup of tea ...
and give those,
who share your company ,
your whole heart.’
Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591, Japanese tea-master )


いらっしゃいませ! Welcome! 

MatchAtria is a multimedia dance installation, which invites the audience into a unique and intimate contact with the heart. The title combines ‘matcha’, tea, which is served during the Japanese tea ceremony, and ‘atria’, the anatomical term for the auricle, the heart’s atrium. In collaboration with the internationally renowned Kyoto-based visual artist and film director Yoshimasa Ishibashi, the Japanese dancer Yui Kawaguchi has designed a ‘heart-ceremony’ that welcomes its visitors „heartily“, in every sense of the word. 

The disciplined body of the dancer meets 3D video projections, sound and voice landscapes. Moreover a specially developed tool, the ‘Heartbeat Unit’ emits the vibrations of Kawaguchis heartbeat live, so that the audience is physically connected to her. Seeing, hearing, and touching, we experience the vibrant worlds contained in our bodies. Through this ‘Tea-ceremony’, as the most direct form of hospitality, ancient wisdom is brought to fulfillment. According to Goethe: ‘It must come from the heart, what should touch the heart.’ 

"Yui Kawaguchi handed out a life-size silicone hearts to each one in the audience, let it really throb and danced within her own 3-D projected body. It was crazy. But with these Japanese, madness has method in it." A. Wesemann, editor-in-chief at the magazine "Tanz"  


Wed, 18th February 2015 – 8 p.m.

Thu. 19th Feb. – 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Fri. 20th Feb. – 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m.
Sat. 21st Feb. – 6 p.m., 8 p.m.
Sun. 22nd Feb. – 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m.

Sophiensaele Sophienstraße 18 - 10178 Berlin Mitte

Tickets: 13€, reduced 8€

Tel. 0049 (0)30 283 52 66 -

Advance booking required: each performance is strictly limited to 30 guests.

Duration: about 40 min.


- 2014 -
 Dock11 Berlin (Premiere first edition)
18. & 19. Blueproject Foundation Barcelona (Spain)

18. - 20. Kyoto Art Center (Japan)

- 2015 -
17. & 18. MA Scène Nationale, Montbéliard (France) >>info

12.&13. International Figurentheater Festival, Erlangen >>info

25.-28. Inteatro Festival, Ancona (Italy) >>info

10. & 11. Teart International Theater Forum, Minsk (Belarus) >>info
20. & 21. alte Feuerwache, GLOBALIZE:COLOGNE 2015, Köln >>info
23. & 24. FFT Düsseldorf >>info

17. ZKM Karlsruhe Medienthater, Karlsruhe >>info
20.&21. Madrid EN DANZA, Madrid (Spain) >>info

- 2016 -

Japan Tour >> info
Yokohama, Red Brick Warehouse #1
Kanazawa, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art
Kochi, The Museum of Art

12. Bochum FIDENA - Das Festival >>info

18.&19. Braunschweig Theater Fadenschein >>info

22. Ludwigshafen Theater im Pflauzbau >>info

12.&13. Hong Kong Kwai Tsing Black Box Theatre >>info

- 2018 -
23.&24. Nantes France Stereolux

- 2019 -
13.&14. St. Petersburg, Russia New stage of Alexandrinsky theatre / Blackbox

concept/ dance/ text/ sound
concept/ visual/ music
Yui Kawaguchi
Yoshimasa Ishibashi

stereoscopic 3D-CG
light & technic

Masahiro Teraoka (Galaxy of Terror)
Ichiro Awazu / Hendrik Fritze (BeamAround)
Fabian Bleisch
Saša Kovačević (SADAK)

heartbeat peception unit 
tactile score     

supervisor (hertbeatmeasuring&tactile design)
Hideyuki Ando (Osaka Univ.)
Rieko Suzuki (Facetherapie Co.Ltd),
Yasuhiro Suzuki, ph.D. (Nagoya Univ.)
Junji Watanabe     
         visual design
         sound design

Aki Funabiki
Tetsujiro Suita,
 Akira Nihei 
shooting crew  Shinsuke Tatsukawa
Masashi Nagara
Shin Degawa
Kanako Yoshimoto
Ayuka Mima
Nobuaki Itoh
production Satoko Suchi (JP), Ilja Fontaine (EU)

dramaturgical advice

Ilja Fontaine

ceremony assistants                                                 Karin Nagao
Yuko Sato  

Yui Kawaguchi – Dancer, Choreographer

Born in Japan. She studied Classical Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop and contemporary dance, acting and singing. She danced in the companies of (1998-2000), Kota Yamazaki/Rosy, co (2000-2002) and Motoko Hirayama (2007), performing in Japan, the USA and Europe. She choreographed for the opening festival of East Asian Olympics  2001 and has also worked with music videos, TV-CF films, concerts and fashion shows.  Between 2001-2003 she worked as a choreographer and performer with the “media drive unit 66b/cell". Together with this multimedia performance group, she was invited to perform at ARS Electronica (Linz), Seoul International Dance Festival and Japan Virtual Reality Conference, etc. Since 2005 she works in Berlin. She performed in the companies of Ismael Ivo, Helena Waldmann, NICO AND THE NAVIGATORS, Michaela Lucenti, Darren Jonston and Tomi Paasonen, among others.  Her own pieces have featured at a number of international festivals. In 2006 she received the Jury’s Prize at the Yokohama solo-duo competition. In 2008 her Solo REM − Black Cat was presented in New National Theatre Tokyo. Since 2008 she works in collaboration with the Jazz pianist Aki Takase. She is also engaged in research projects with a sociologist and a cognitive scientist. Together with them she developed the projects "HEREing Loss"(2006-2008) and „Heartbeat Picnic“(2010-). She belongs to the original casts of the cross over project "Red Bull Flying Bach“, by Christoph Hagel and Flying Steps, as show’s only female dancer. The show awarded with the highly reputed “ECHO Klassik Sonderpreis 2010“ and is touring around the world. 2010 her solo performance "andropolaroid“ won the Dance Price Cologne. 2013 she presented "Cadenza-Die Stadt im Klavier V" with Jazzpianistin Aki Tasase.

Yoshimasa Ishibashi – Visual artist, Film director

Born in Kyoto, JAPAN, to a family of traditional Kimono-textile designers. He studied Visual Art at the Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan and The Royal College of Art (RCA) in UK. In 1996 he founded the visual performance unit Kyupi Kyupi, and was invited to perform at Palais de Tokyo (Paris, FRANCE) and Tate Modern (London, UK) in 2003, among other places.
Ishibashi also creates many TV shows and films, like the 2000 television show “Vermillion Pleasure Night.” This program featured among its wacky sketches “Oh, Mikey!” (aka “The Fuccons”), chronicling the surreal adventures of an American family in Japan, all portrayed by mannequins was invited to the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2011, he produced "Variable" at the Kyoto Experiment Festival, which successfully represented the Japanese traditional performing art (Noh-theater, Japanese dance, Japanese percussion etc.) in combination with high technological visual effects. In the latest Kyupi Kyupi highly acclaimed production "Atmesppai" (2012) was encompassing all sorts of visual media (2&3D projection, laser lighting or live visual feedback etc.), virtual and live musicians, contemporary dancers and huge stage set-like costume.
His latest feature film “Milocrorze”(2012) has been invited to various film festivals all over the world and has won many awards.

“One of the best is Yoshimasa Ishibashi’s four-part “Milocrorze: A Love Story,” a wacked-out fantasy that recalls early Tim Burton one moment, late Quentin Tarantino the next...” Milocroze -The New York Times 2011


Michaela Schlangenwelsch 21.2.2015
Where am I, and, if so, who?

It's a crazy performance that misleads all the senses…
A voice begins to quietly whisper something in our ears, pattering noises are audible, we are sprayed with stars, and in the midst of this storm of stars, which soon turns into a journey to the inside of a heart, Yui Kawaguchi dances.
Kawaguchi has created an outstanding concept: she brings 3D imagery and live performance into direct contact with each other and peppers the show with different questions… what remains is this curious shifting between Japanese exotica, which Kawaguchi uses in a completely ironic way; the senses – with the heart beating in your hands even without being connected to the dancer – and the incredibly poetic flood of images. Where am I? And, if I have been found: Who am I? Who would still be able to give a firm answer to that in the digital age?


Volkmar Draeger 20.2.2015
Virtual corporeal worlds

With “MatchAtria”, currently being performed at the Sophiensaele, she presents a multimedia dance installation that poetically combines the matcha of the tea ceremony with the heart, more precisely its atria. In collaboration with film director and visual artist Yoshimasa Ishibashi, she has produced a total work of art lasting three quarters of an hour and of a coherence that is as surprising as it is relaxing…
Yui Kawaguchi proceeds to take us with her on a journey – through the universe as well as through the microcosm of the body. Tea is not actually poured out, but you do hear whispers, now in the right, now in the left ear, and the gurgling of the drink flowing into clattering cups. Announcements are made, steps resound. The dancer greets you kneeling in the Japanese style, while in the film bubbles fly around her and surge into the surrounding space. The hearts in our hands light up as does a glass ball next to Kawaguchi. She absorbs the soundscape as if it were a musical score - whether it be a creaking door or a pitter-patter - and converts it into gestural movement, sinuously, contemplatively; in the film of red flakes, blood cells perhaps, she is wafted about…The only thing that is alive in this virtual world is the dancer, and everything we see, hear, feel, shows how she is connected to her corporeality: a unique experience which merges everything into a single entity…For a moment however something came about that every performer on stage would wish for themselves: the merging of the stage and the auditorium to form a pulsating collaboration. You find yourself wanting to be present at it for longer.

Annett Jaensch 25.02.15
Into the very capillaries

Who would have thought that 300 grams of silicon sitting in your hands could give rise to so many emotions? …What sounds cold and technical soon establishes an unexpected intimacy with the dancer: it is her heartbeat that pulsates in our hands!..It is a multimedia performance and from the off it launches an assault on the senses. The headphones create a surround sound in your ears and the 3D glasses you wear cause the video projections to curve vividly into the space around you. Figures atomise into a thousand particles, then the dancer’s body plunges again into a swarm of swirling cells, at another point the camera flies elegantly through forests and over the sea. Macro meets micro, the interior complements the exterior…There exists in Japanese the expression “Ichigo Ichie”. It is taken from Zen Buddhism and means something like “unique opportunity”, exactly what each tea ceremony seeks to celebrate. At the end of “MatchAtria” it is exactly this impression that arises: we have enjoyed Japanese hospitality in the form of a very special performance.


ventricular fibrillation

Arnd Wesemann February 2015

The beauty of this dancer’s performance is very real. And unreal. Since the spectator, although sitting in the theatre, is wearing headphones for the ultimate surround sound experience, and glasses for optimum 3D effects. And he holds the dancer’s heart in his hands. At least a very precise model of the human pump, made out of plasticine. Yui Kawaguchi dances, draws a stethoscope towards her, holds it to her breast. At this point a realistic 300 grams of live weight in my hand stirs, the artificial heart pulsates beneath my fingers. Instinctively you grasp the soft organ tighter, startled. Your own pulse even beats faster. And yet I am only holding onto a throbbing beatbox connected with a cable. Aren’t I?
...A shudder goes through your body when the heart starts to jitter in your hands, this marvel by Junji Watanabe, a researcher who has devoted his life to the tactile sense: the only sense that dance can never really come close to. That is, if you haven’t experienced it the way Yui Kawaguchi does it. Fear, pity, the whole theatrical arsenal flows through your fingertips.



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A production by Yui Kawaguchi and Yoshimasa Ishibashi. Coproduced by Sophiensaele, Blueproject Barcelona, FFT Düsseldorf and Ma scène nationale - Pays de Montbéliard. Funded by the Berlin Senate – Cultural Affairs. Supported by Sennheiser, Beamaround, Coolike and Dock11 Berlin. In co-operation with Nico and the Navigators.

senat sophien monbeliard bp fft sennheiser beamer coolike

First edition was Supported by Japan Foundation, Moomentary and SPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 23300317 and 24520106.