DANCE BOX is an art NPO which was formed in 1996 in Osaka and whose activities focus on contemporary dance. We established a theater named Art Theater dB in 2002 in cooperation with Osaka City, and this theater closed in 2007. Beginning in 2009, we moved locations to Nagata-ku, Kobe and established Art Theater dB KOBE there. Our activities are still based in this new theater.
We do not stop at dance expression in the theater but also work to develop activities to discover the possibilities of dance expression. By also performing outdoors, in old Japanese houses, and in other such locations, we are able to come face to face with the power, nature, neighborhood, atmosphere, and memories of each place and, through searching and fighting, create works that are only possible in specific locations at specific times.
Art Theater dB KOBE operated by DANCE BOX is a small theater with 120 seats. However, the projects implemented by our organization are linked to the regional community in a variety of ways. While the operation of the theater is our primary focus, we also take part in projects for training artists and international exchange, as well as regional projects for education, welfare, and the revitalization of the neighborhood.

Business Details

1. Theater Operations

At Art Theater dB KOBE, we organize contemporary dance events and also rent the space for a wide variety of uses, including dance, theater, concerts, public talks, movie screenings, parties, and more. We aim to transmit a new sort of culture from the theater through the events we organize by cooperating with pioneering and experimental artists, works, and initiatives on the theme of “a theater of our own creation.”

2. Public Performances

We produce public performances for performing arts works by both domestic and foreign artists who work with physical expression centered on contemporary dance. Many of the works staged here are produced through an artist-in-residence process and are put on as world-first performances. We aim to produce a time during which the audience can experience dance firsthand by cooperating with artists who pursue the special qualities and potential of dance, express the issues of modern society right before the eyes of the audience, and tie together people from diverse backgrounds.

3. Training for Experts

We hold workshops, lectures, and other events in an effort to contribute to the training of experts in the field of performing arts, including dancers, choreographers, producers, and technical staff. We have been implementing a training program named “Kokunai Dansu Ryugaku @Kobe” (Domestic Dance Study Abroad @Kobe) since 2012 for young dancers and choreographers, and approximately 70 graduates of this program are now growing their activities both domestically and abroad.

4. Regional Cooperation Projects

The neighborhood of Shin-Nagata, in which the theater is located, is bordered by the sea on one side and mountains on the other. With the memory of having flourished as the former center of industry in Kobe, as well as the experience of being hit by the Great Hanshin Earthquake which occurred in 1995, the area is home to a wide variety of people of different nationalities and homelands living together. As a theater in this sort of neighborhood, we perform collaborations while considering the role we should play here together with the people of the area. An art festival named Shitamachi Art Festival began in 2015 in cooperation with local residents, companies, and organizations, and we perform planning and operations for this festival along with these members as the festival’s organizing office.

5. International Exchange Projects

We perform artist-in-residence programs and other programs through dance expression in cooperation with artists and organizations from a variety of cultural spheres. In recent years, we have been focusing on artists whose activities are based in Asian countries to develop projects. At the KOBE Asia Contemporary Dance Festival, which is held once every two years, we set a highly contemporary theme each time and, through performing international co-production with partners from other Asian countries, are able to also invite a large number of artists and introduce these artists and their works to a domestic audience.