Interview: DVJ Kent (SIRO-A)

You may have seen the post from a little while back saying that Japanese visual artists SIRO-A were coming to Australia for a series of performances. They’ve been likened to the Blue Man Group for their amazing visual performances. For a taste of what they’re about, have a look at the clip below from America’s Got Talent:

Absolutely mindblowingly good, right? Anyways, I was lucky enough to gain an interview with the group’s visual DJ, DVJ Kent recently where I asked him about the group’s direction, inspiration, plans for the future and more.

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Japandaman: How did the idea for to start SIRO-A happen?

Kent: SIRO-A was formed in 2002 by six classmates from Sendai, Japan. We performed comedy, which included dance, movie, music. In 2002, we bought a projector and started playing with it. In 2010, we performed our current style of performance at the Shanghai Expo. With the mission to attract and impress the audience, we started making new types of performances with visual effects with just a small projector and our imaginations.

J: How long does a show take to put together?

K: There are multiple performances within one show, and each of the performances basically requires three months of preparation time. It takes another one month to further modify and combine the performances into one integrated show. We also practice our performing skills throughout the year to make sure we’re always prepared for the next show.

J: In the start, how was the reaction to your shows from the public?

K: They said it was “mind blowing”. We received a lot of positive feedback when we put on our show overseas at the Edinburgh Festival. We were very surprised and happy to find foreign audiences were showing even a stronger interest in our show. We really enjoyed their instant reactions showing their joy and excitement openly during our performance, this really boosted our confidence.

J: Where do you see SIRO-A in the future?

K: We would like to continue to perform in every corner around the world to share the excitement and happiness with as many people as we can. It is also our dream to perform on a Broadway stage in New York, and have a permanent theatre there one day.

J: What new and exciting technologies would you like to incorporate into your future shows?

K: 3D technologies has been widely used in movies but are not fully matured for live performances. We previously tried 3D hologram in one of our performance and would like to introduce 3D glasses in the short future. However, we place equal importance to the human factors of our shows. We do not want a fully preset and robotic performance but a combination of technologies with “human power” – our natural abilities such as dancing, pantomiming, singing. We think this is very important to preserve humanity in our performances, although technologies are advancing at an exceptional pace.

J: Where do you draw inspiration from for your routines?

K: We are influenced and inspired by all aspects in our lives, from our traditional cultures to pop trends. Now we take an interest in the traditional idea of Zen (peaceful state of mind).

J: Is there a highlight for you out of all the shows you have performed?

K: What we value the most is the interaction between audience and SIRO-A, so we’d like to highlight the connections that we build with them during the shows. It will be energy to make something new in the future!

A massive thank you to SIRO-A, DVJ Kent and Marissa from KABUKU for arranging this amazing interview!