Late March, in a studio located in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. The dancer shows up right on time. He takes a moment to rest, then goes to the edge of the room and begins his preparation. Arms, shoulders, back, hips, legs—he stretches each of his muscles and joints then relaxes them, one by one, as if checking to make sure they’re working. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. When he’s done, he comes over, and we have a short meeting about his outfit for the shoot, his prosthetics (a long one made of metal and a shorter one made of rubber), as well as the music to play in the studio (ballads, not dance music). So begins the photo shoot. He stands tall, spine straightened, in the middle of the studio. Then, his chin begins to move, followed slowly and gradually by his whole body. His whole body folds in on itself, arms and legs undulating and tangling amongst each other, his back and hips distorted. But then suddenly he jumps as if released, using his left leg as a pendulum to turn and build up enough momentum to do a backflip just on his right leg. He falls onto the floor as if crumbling, then lifts—twists—himself back up. His dancing is unpredictable. There doesn’t seem to be a set pattern, both in his movements and in the rhythm itself. After the sequence is over, Koichi speaks.
“My dancing isn’t about the beauty of the body stretched out, of beautiful curves and lines. It’s because I see more of myself in the body when it’s shrunken, tangled.”
After a few more sequences, he speaks again.
“I want to be misshapen. Distorted.”