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Japan-Canada International Exchange Project 


​The purpose of "Ladder" is to explore important themes of cultural identity, immigration, and generational differences through the history of Japanese Canadians. The project aims to shed light on overlooked history, learn from each other, and create an innovative performance. The interactive creation between mask art by Miya Turnbull and Butoh dance by Emiko Agatsuma can contribute to a more diverse and inclusive outlook on the arts. This project will also promote cross-cultural understanding, respect, and collaboration with other fields of arts.

このプロジェクトは日系カナダ人の歴史を通して、文化的アイデンティティ、移民、世代間の違いといった重要なテーマを探求し、それによって見過ごされてきた歴史に光を当て、互いに学び合いながら新しい気づきを含んだ作品を創り出すことを目的としています。Miya Turnbull によるお面のアートと我妻恵美子による舞踏が相互に影響を与え合うこの創作は、より多様で包括的な芸術観に貢献し、異文化理解と尊重を進めていきます。また、歴史への新たなアプローチや他分野とのコラボレーションを通じて、芸術における新たな価値の創造を目指します。

Hello, Japanese Canadians!

Your voice matters!

We're conducting an anonymous survey to better understand the experiences of Japanese Canadians.

Please take a few moments to share your thoughts by completing our questionnaire. Your voice will help our "Ladder" project and contribute to mutual learning to build a more inclusive society for all.


Emiko Agatsuma
Butoh Workshop
in Halifax

Boost your creativity! Japanese dancer Emiko introduces you to "Butoh" in a fun way! 


The point of Butoh basic training is to imagine that our body is an empty bag. The empty bag is moved by something. By trying to remove an intention, we are able to feel unconsciousness inside our body. This workshop is for all levels. Even beginners can enjoy this Butoh basic training. You feel relaxed and find a new approach to your inner mind and body. 

● What is BUTOH?
Butoh is a Japanese interpretative dance that was born in the 1960s. The most famous founders were Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno.
Butoh dance is a post-war avant-garde movement in Japan that emerged as a reaction against Western styles of dance. Unlike dances that focus on developing the body's movements, Butoh seeks beauty even in a debilitated body, emphasizing the connection between the body and the subconscious for a more profound exploration of the human condition through body dialogue.
Butoh dancers imagine their bodies as empty bags, and convey a sense of introspection by accepting their inner selves and both positive and negative emotions. This unique approach to dance has established Butoh body philosophy and attracted attention globally.

<Workshop Highlights>
・Learn how to move your body based on Butoh basic training.
・Explore the background of Butoh movements and the connection between mind and body through imagination.

<Emiko's Teaching Approach>
We delicately instruct and explain through imagery to facilitate understanding. Using Butoh dance as a medium, we aim
 to bring awareness to forgotten or overlooked elements and view an individual's inner experiences from a different perspective.  We often use visual images and examples to create movement from within.

<Why Register?>
・Feel relaxed and accept yourself consciously and unconsciously.
・Enhance your sense of body and boost creativity.
・Learn Asian physical methods different from Western ones.
・Even beginners can enjoy Butoh basic training.

We look forward to your participation!

■ Schedule
April 20, 27, May 4, 11, 25 and June 15
3~5 PM each
*They are independent classes with different contents. It can be taken only one time, but it is recommended to take all 6 classes in a row.

■ Venue

Halifax Dance Studio


*We'll let you know the details in confirmation mail later.

■ Fee (It will help support our project costs, thank you.)
$30 CAD / 1 workshop      
$50 CAD / 2 workshops($10 discount)
$150 CAD / 6 workshops($30 discount)

*If finances are a barrier for you to come, we also have a 'Pay What You Can Option'
$20, $15, $10 /1 workshop

■ Butoh instructor
Emiko Agatusma

■ Facilitator
Miya Turnbull

Japan-Canada international exchange project



カナダ・ハリファックスの芸術家Miya Turnbull によるお面のアートと日本の舞踏家我妻恵美子による共同制作の舞台が6月28日から29日、ハリファックスのバスストップシアターにて行われます。日系カナダ人の歴史をテーマに3ヶ月間リサーチと創作を重ね、語られることのなかった深い悲しみや愛情を身体で表現します。Gozu Mezu(杉山仁志)による今回のためのオリジナル曲の生演奏も相まって、大迫力の舞台となります。どうぞお見逃しなく!

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Why is the history of Japanese Canadians chosen as the theme?
Miya Turnbull is a fourth-generation Japanese Canadian. Although she has never been to Japan, she has a strong interest in her Japanese roots. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she participated in Emiko Agatsuma's online Butoh workshop. Through their conversations, Emiko became fascinated by Turnbull's artistic masks, and Emiko realized that she had no knowledge of the history of Japanese Canadians. In particular, she was unaware of the facts such as the confiscation of property and forced labor experienced by Japanese Canadians during World War II. By creating works with immigration as the theme, they aim to promote mutual learning and coexistence in this contemporary world.

What is BUTOH?

Butoh was born in Japan in the 1960s. Butoh seeks beauty even in a debilitated body, emphasizing the connection between the body and the subconscious for a more profound exploration of the human condition through body dialogue. This attitude established a unique body philosophy and Butoh keeps attracting people all over the world.


Collaboration |

Emiko Agatsuma (Butoh dancer)

Miya Turnbull (Mask Artist)

Music creation and performance |

Gozu Mezu (Hitoshi Sugiyama)


Date | 2024
June 28 (Fri) 7:30 pm★
June 29 (Sat) 2:00 pm★ / 7:30 pm
*Opens at 30 mins before

*Performance time | approximately 30 mins

★ Artist talk

Venue | Bus Stop Theatre (2203 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS B3K 3B5)

Fee | $20 CAD

*There are discounts available to use as needed if finances are a barrier for you. Please use passcode: LADDER5 for a $5 discount and passcode: LADDER10 for a $10 discount. You have to manually enter these when you select your tickets. Ticket sales will help support our project and venue costs.

Choreography | Emiko Agatsuma
Mask-art | Miya Turnbull

Co- direction | Emiko Agatsuma and Miya Turnbull

Organized by AGAXART and Miya Turnbull

Supported by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Art Nova Scotia (Support4Culture)
Canada Council for the Arts/ Conseil des arts du Canada

Inquiry | 
Emiko Agatsuma
Miya Turnbull



Butoh dancer


Emiko Agatsuma is a versatile Japanese artist recognized for her role as a traditional Butoh dancer, choreographer, and as the long standing Artistic Director at AGAXART, a platform dedicated to nurturing Butoh talent in Japan and internationally.
She was crowned Best Young Artist by the Japan Dance Critics Association in 2015 and was selected to represent Japan at the 39th annual Battery Dance Festival in New York City (2020). Emiko has since travelled, taught, mentored and performed extensively across North America, Europe and Asia.

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Miya Turnbull Masks.jpg



Miya Turnbull is a Canadian visual artist and mask-maker, originally from Alberta, residing in Halifax
for over 20 years. She has performed and exhibited across Canada and internationally.

Recently she's been collaborating with dance artists as an introduction to movement and choreography which she can combine with her masks to embody and display them in new, more performative ways.

  • Instagram


Gozu Mezu

2022年初頭「Gozu Mezu」名義でアンビエント/エクスペリメンタルなファースト・アルバムをリリース。

  • Instagram

Organized by AGAXART, Miya Turnbull

Supported by

Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)

Art Nova Scotia (Support4Culture)
Canada Council for the Arts/ Conseil des arts du Canada

Kinetic Studio


主催 | AGAXART, Miya Turnbull

協力| Kinetic Studio

助成 |

公益財団法人東京都歴史文化財団 アーツカウンシル東京[東京芸術文化創造発信助成]

Art Nova Scotia (Support4Culture)

Canada Council for the Arts/ Conseil des arts du Canada


Please support the LADDER Project

This project promotes mutual learning and coexistence in this divided society through the history of Japanese Canadians. Your donation will support our performing arts activities and promote cross-cultural understanding through the arts.


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