sacred city



Sacred City was a collective quest for an experience of the sacred in the urban environment. Five artists from Reality Research Center and five from Tokyo set out to reinvent the concept, approaching it from a personal, firsthand perspective rather than through the prevailing religious and cultural contexts. The performance grew into a vision of a contemporary temple – a sacred place that is simultaneously subjective, cross-cultural and weblike.


SACRED CITY IN HELSINKI Nov 19th – 20th 2010

The first phase of the project was realized in November 2010, at the Baltic Circle Festival in Helsinki. The ten artists worked together for 9 days, exploring, discussing and preparing for the performance. The Sacred City was performed on the 19th and the 20th of November at the Espa stage, which is an outdoor space in the heart of Helsinki with glass walls and a basement. The performance was an installation-like 5-hour event, in which the members of the audience could take part in several one-on-one or communal scenes with the performers both in the indoor spaces and out in the urban space.

Video at the M2HZ online TV station.


SACRED CITY IN YOKOHAMA Feb 18th-20th 2011

The second phase of the project took place in Yokohama, Japan. During the second workshop, a new version of the performance was created and finally performed at Zou-No-Hana Terrace, a cultural center in the Yokohama harbour area. Sacred City was part of TPAM (Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, former Tokyo Performing Arts Market and the IETM – international network for contemporary performing arts satellite meeting. The performance followed the same kind of structure as the one in Helsinki, being composed of several simultaneous intimate scenes, in which the audience members of take part in their own rhythm. However, the scenes themselves where new and created site-specific in Yokohama.



Yoko Ishiguro (performance artist, JP)

Megumi Kamimura (choreographer/dancer, JP)

Daisuke Kishii (director/playwright, JP)

Natsuko Tezuka (choreographer/dancer, JP)

Taiyo Tochiaki (choreographer/dancer/media artist, JP)

Julius Elo (director/performer, FIN)

Saara Hannula (artist/performer, FIN)

Pekko Koskinen (game designer/director, FIN)

Tuomas Laitinen (director/performance artist, FIN)

Minja Mertanen (dancer, FIN)



Reality Research Center (Finland) and Keizo Maeda (Japan).

Keizo Maeda has previously worked with for example Meredith Monk, Laurie Andersson, Robert Wilson, Trisha Brown, Anne Teresa De Keesmaekel, Needcompany, La Fura Dels Baus, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Kronos Quartet, John McLaughlin, Cesaria Evora, Buena Vista Social Club, Michael Nyman and Jan Garbarek.



Baltic Circle International Theater Festival

Finnish Institute in Japan

TPAM – Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting

IETM – international network for contemporary performing arts


Finnish Theatre Information Center

HIAP – Helsinki International Artist-In-Residence Programme

TEX – Finnish Theatre Export Project