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A Way of the Dragon series

A Way of the Dragon is a solo performance series about my way of dealing with things.

(I was born in 1976, the year of dragon)
Each performance is made under certain themes and related countries.
There is a slight reference to the format of hero series on TV e.g. the same underwear and boots appears in all pieces as the costume of the main character - myself.


A Way of the Dragon [a method for taking my kit off] / 2004

The theme of [a method for taking my kit off] is ‘peace’, which derived from my short visit to Israel.
The performance features some elements from the political situation in the country as its flavour in order to ‘play with’ their meanings and associations.
That is to question my ideas about and views on ‘peace’ and also to measure the distance between being the insider and outsider of a certain situation.

“One day peace may stop being just a concept.”

Idea, texts and performance: Tashi Iwaoka
Hebrew text taken from the security practise notification for tourists in Ben Gurion airport
Duration: approx 30min
Music: Soft Ballet, John Lennon and Marilyn Manson

A Way of the Dragon [a scheme for making one love] in Suomi / 2005

is the second piece of A Way of the Dragon performance series.
In the second of the series, the theme is ‘love’.
For this occasion I used elements from my long-term affair with Finland. It is rather impossible to explain love and it is also impossible to explain why I am in love with Finland.
(But one of the small yet important reasons is tervasnapsi, Finnish tar liquor)
Yet I attempt to touch this universally unexplainable thing via my personal relation to the world (of my own or of ours).
It also explores my passion for entertaining the audience.
That is based on my strong belief in ‘humour’. I consider humour one of the greatest human qualities.
This is a solo performance that cannot be done without ‘you’ in its essence.

“One loves 'One Love' when it’s right there (like in a smoky party, etc). But is it really possible? If so, how many people is one, actually?”

Idea, texts and performance: Tashi Iwaoka
Finnish translation of the original English text: Anna Torkkel
Duration: approx 40min
Music: Takashi Kako, Rauli "Badding" Somerjoki, Pan Sonic and Madonna


A Way of the Dragon [a frame for waking new clear balance] / 2008

This performance is the third piece of A Way of the Dragon series, and probably the last one.
The theme is ‘death’. (and the previous themes in the series are included whether directly or indirectly)
The performance is set as the last 90min of my life.
What would I like to tell, show, do for and share with the last audience in my life?
How would I (like to) be just before my own unavoidable death?
What and how will I become after my death in this world?
What would the last performance of my life be?
Concerning the questions above, it deals with my Dad who has been dead since I was 8 months old.
He has become my ideal form of unconditional love that is free from identification (having a body) and the limitations of time and space.
Dad now rests in peace in my home town; therefore, Japan is the (main) country for this piece.
On one hand this piece is revisiting (the essence of) my works and life so far, and on the other hand it is my (usual desperate) wishes for the future which continues certainly after my death.

“375% Tashi. Here and n/ever.”

Idea and texts: Tashi Iwaoka
Performance: Tashi Iwaoka [with Kuroko]
Text advise: Nat Miller
Duration: approx 90min
Music: Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Hide, Nat King Cole, General Patton V.S. The X-Ecutioners, Scout Niblett, Masafumi Akikawa, Sigur Rós, a recording of the family breakfast, Monty Python, Dreaming, Death, GeGeGe no Kitaro, Laibach, Flight of the Conchords, Jo Hisaishi, Marilyn Manson, Katsuo Ohno, Gabriel Fauré, Toshimaru Nakamura, Stan Getz, Tadashi Hattori, Squarepusher, a field recording in Hiroshima, Lady Jane Fellowes, an unknown author and sound effects


Return of A Way of the Dragon - Resurrection Again 2010! / 2010

is somewhat one of the A Way of the Dragon series piece, yet, at the same time is a prologue to my future creation or the grey zone between the series and the new.
On 27 and 28 November in 2008 I died as the end of my life came within my final-solo performance A Way of the Dragon [a frame for waking new clear balance]. Since then I had (virtually) been dead from making my own performances.
2 years past and I became 33, it was the time to return to the world.
So, I was to be born again to wander the life of living, like I had experienced before-and-after my (virtual) death in 2008, with (or without) the others' creations that kept my life going while I was being (virtually) dead.
This solo is an experiment on giving a filmic feeling over the live performance after the piece.

'Life is a continuous journey since before, and-after, my death'

Idea, text, video and sound edit and performance: Tashi Iwaoka
Text advice: Danny O’really
Finnish translation and voice over: Eero Tiittula
Music: Autechre, Ryoji Ikeda, Susumu Hirasawa, Brad Fiedel, Michel Legrand, Chris Watson, Major Lazer Feat. VYBZ Kartel, Akira Ifukube, Fatboy Slim, The London Theatre Orchestra, Nicole Kidman+John Leguizamo+Alka Yagnik and Hajime Chitose
‘The Little Girl’ written by Nâzım Hikmet (translator to English not known)

Revived materials from the pieces by Zbigniew Maciak, Aitana Cordero & Daniel Almgren Recén, Zhana Ivanova, Katerina Bakatsaki, Annja Krautgasser, Simsa Cho, Emilie de Vlam, Ossi Hiekkala, Anna Torkkel, Makiko Ito, Inari Salmivaara, Joachim Robbrecht that I had worked between Nov 2008 and June 2010
The performance was supported by UNIGRA B.V.

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