The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Archive Index Home
Japan Topics
Tsuyoshi Shirai wins “Choreographer of the Next Generation” prize in Toyota Choreography Awards 2006
 The “Nextage” awards event for the Toyota Choreography Awards 2006 was held over the two days of July 29-30 at the Setagaya Public Theatre, marking the fifth award program’s fifth holding. Among the eight groups of finalists chosen from among some 186 applicants, many were repeaters, which gave the event more the feeling of a high-level competition rather than a stage for new talent. Based on the up to 30-minute performance time allotted for each contestant group to present their newly choreographed works, the top Choreographer of the Next Generation prize was awarded to the improvisational choreographer/dancer Tsuyoshi Shirai, winner of the Prix d'Auteur du Conceil general de la Seine-Saint-Denis 2000. Shirai’s winning work this time is titled mass, slide, & .. In the “Audience Prize” contest in which the audience chooses their favorite group for each of the two days of presentations, the winners were Masako Yasumoto (work: MEKURAnLAKU), known also for her performances in theater and with other dance companies, and Makoto Enda, leader of the Makoto Cluv, for his work Nipponia Nippon that took as its motif the daily lives of suit-wearing business men.
Shirai is active as the choreographer for the company “Study of Live works Baneto” that specializes in live works utilizing visual arts and music. In recent years, Shirai has shifted his attention to solo performances and his winning work this time was a rearrangement of a work previously performed in the Setagaya Public Theatre’s solo dance performance series. The work, which uses a sofa and a variety of installations in a delicate performance exploring the body as “mass,” was praised as “a work that looks deeply into the self with an original vocabulary full of positive tension and compositional strength.”
He winner receives a 2 million yen prize from Toyota Motor Company to be used toward creation of works and another 1 million yen “Toyota Overseas Support” prize to be used as support for an overseas performance occurring within one year of the award. The winner’s profile is given below.
+Choreographer of the Next Generation prize winner
Tsuyoshi Shirai

Tsuyoshi Shirai, the winner of the Choreographer of the Next Generation
prize of the Toyota Choreography Awards 2006
Choreographer, dancer, visual artist
Born in Nagano Pref. in 1976. Tsuyoshi Shirai began dancing with the Chiba Univ. Modern Dance Club in 1995 while studying in the Industrial Design Dept. of the Industrial Studies School of Chiba University. From 1996-2000 he danced with the company “Kim Ito + the Glorious Future.” From December of 1996 he began choreographing for the company “Study of Live works Baneto.” In 2000 he won the Prix d'Auteur du Conceil general de la Seine-Saint-Denis 2000. In February 2004 he danced in the Aichi Arts Center production of the dance opera Akuma no Monogatari (choreographed by Yuri NG). In November of the same year he presented his work mass, slide, & . at Theatre Tram. In 2005 he danced in the work Kinjiki by Ito Kim. Shirai also won the New Artist prize of the 2005 Butoh Critics Association.
+The eight Nextage finalists (in alphabetical order)
(left) Masako Yasumoto, the Audience prize 7.29
of the Toyota Choreography Awards 2006
(right) Makoto Enda, the Audience prize 7.30
of the Toyota Choreography Awards 2006
Makoto Enda
Masahiro Kohama
Kita Mari
Mariko Okamoto
Tsuyoshi Shirai
Zakuro Yamaga
Masako Yasumoto
+Toyota Choreography Award 2006