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New and old come together as performing arts innovation

A whole new kind of folk performance for the contemporary age, fusing the traditional lion dance with contemporary dance, live vocals and piano, and augmented reality.
The next generation of artists confronts the current crisis, when presenting and viewing culture and the arts remains restricted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Witness the birth of a folk performance for the digital age, harnessing the viewing experience and performance possibilities unique to streaming.

An encounter with lions reawakens mankind.
A new contemporary folk performance born online.

The Ancient Lion and Modern Man: A 21st-Century Folk Performance takes inspiration from the lion dance, a performance form widely known around the world, to seek out an entirely new kind of performances style and viewing experience online. First streaming for three days in November 2020, this work is now available again on Vimeo On Demand.

Fusing 3D-printed lion head costumes, dance, live music, and augmented reality composited in real time, viewers are fully immersed in the incredible world that unfolds onstage. Created by a vibrant lineup of collaborators including the Okinawa-based eisa folk dance group Sosaku Eisa LUCK and Ryujindensetsu as well as the Tokyo-based art group GRINDER-MAN and the visual design studio WOW, The Ancient Lion and Modern Man presents a folk performance for the digital era, boldly experimental and technologically innovative.


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The Ancient Lion and Modern Man, on-demand version

12.00 USD
5.00 USD

35min., Japan, 2021
Produced and sold by Ikkac Inc.

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Silver Lion
Sosaku Eisa LUCK

Originally known as the Eisa Group of Okinawa Chuo Gakuen in 2007, and later renamed Sosaku Eisa LUCK after graduation, it is based in the village of Ginoza in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa. The eisa (drum dance) and shishimai (lion dance) are a part of Okinawa’s folk performing arts and the culture of Ryukyu. The group aspires to develop these cherished forms into new styles. Alongside festivals in Japan, it has performed in China, the United States, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and more. It has also developed a wide range of other activities, including eisa instruction and appearances in commercials.

Gold Lion

Based in Uruma City, Okinawa. As a new art form based on the ancient traditions of Ryukyu, they perform a variety of dances such as the heroic dragon god dance, lion and drum dances, flag dance, and flower drum (female drum). She has appeared in many events, music videos, and commercials, and has performed in China, the U.S., Taiwan, and Italy, as well as teaching eisa there.

Direction and Choreography

An artistic group in Tokyo created by director Hitoshi Taguchi and the choreographer/dancer Makiko Izu. Their aim is to divert the idea of “here and now” by carefully planned sensory impressions based on dance. The group carries out projects for museums, theaters, art festivals and various other opportunities across Japan and abroad. Their art beats generalization and goes far beyond the boundaries of art.

Visual design

WOW is a visual design studio based in Tokyo, Sendai, London, and San Francisco. It is involved in a wide range of design from advertising and commercials to installations for exhibition spaces, and also invents new user interface design for prominent brands. It is passionate about creating original artworks, holding exhibitions in both Japan and internationally. It constantly strives to discover the tremendous possibilities of visual design, the very best talents of each artist and designer harnessed and brought out by developing visual design with a social function.

Computer graphics studio
Rhino Studios

Rhino Studios specializes in real-time computer graphics. It was established in 2005, bringing together game specialists. It is dedicated to transforming visions and information into content that is interactive in real time. Its production credits include the virtual-reality theater work Prometheus Bound (2019) by Meiro Koizumi, the virtual-reality live music event Hatsune Miku Galaxy Live 2020 (2020), the virtual reality event VR ABAL: DINOSAUR (2017), the PlayStation 4 game Bloodborne (2015), and the PlayStation 3 game AFRICA (2008).

Piano and sound design
Masato Hatanaka

Composer, sound designer. Self-taught in composition, piano, and acoustics, Masato Hatanaka moved to Sapporo in 1995. Exploring sound as entertainment and art, and sound design with a truly necessary social function, he has spent more than 20 years working on stage productions, events, commercials, and more. His output includes planning, conceiving, and directing the sound system for the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Gallerie (2012) and the theme music for the 10th Sapporo International Short Film Festival (2015). His wide-ranging activities encompass everything from designing the sound for public spaces and electronic devices, to holding workshops and lectures.

Voice performance
Ai Kamano

Composer, vocalist. Based in Tokyo and Yatsugatake, Ai Kamano is active across a wide range of fields from full classical music to bands in her pursuit of the possibilities of song and vocal expression. Until February 2016, she was the vocalist and keyboard player for the music group Haisuinonasa. In addition to singing the theme song (written by österreich) for the TV anime series Tokyo Ghoul A as well as for the NHK Educational TV special Sakuramori no Igon, she has lent her vocal talents to numerous TV shows, corporate events, and advertisements. In February 2019, she released her first solo album, “muonk,” featuring tracks entirely written, sung, and with keyboard playing by herself.

Neon Sugimoto

Born in 1996, Neon Sugimoto graduated from the Department of Body Expression and Cinematic Arts at Rikkyo University. She started rhythmic gymnastics and classical ballet from the age of four and then had her first encounter with contemporary dance at age 15. Since 2019, she has been a member of the dance company KAORI SEKI Co. PUNCTUMUN. A choreographer and producer, her work is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, including crossover projects between contemporary dance and photography, textiles, makeup, and film, participating in theater works, and performing with music artists. Her recent performance credits include Star Island’s Singapore Countdown Edition (2019).

Modeling liones artist
Shoichiro Matsuoka

Special effects makeup and molding artist / Director of GM Atelier. Using such cutting-edge materials as optical fibers and silicone, Shoichiro Matsuoka creates special effects makeup, costumes, moldings, displays, and more for commercials, films, music, fashion, brand advertisements, and other media. A first in Japan, he established a style using optical fibers woven into Kyoto Nishijin textiles with silicone-based molds. As an artist with a unique worldview fusing a range of disciplines, not least molding and fashion, with a focus on special effects makeup, he exhibits his work at both solo and group shows in Japan and abroad.


The Ancient Lion and Modern Man: A 21st-Century Folk Performance
(on-demand streaming version)

Project to Strengthen Earning Capacity of Cultural Arts
Agency for Cultural Affairs

Silver Lion
Takuya Shimabukuro (Sosaku Eisa LUCK)
Naofumi Urasaki (Sosaku Eisa LUCK)
Gold Lion
Yasuhide Uezu (Ryujindensetsu)
Kento Higa (Ryujindensetsu)
Modern Man
Neon Sugimoto
Voice performance
Ai Kamano
Compose and Piano
Masato Hatanaka
Hitoshi Taguchi (GRINDER-MAN)
Makiko Izu (GRINDER-MAN)
Visual design
VFX system direction
Katsuya Taniguchi
VFX system development
Hikaru Takatori
Modeling liones artist
Sho-ichiro Matsuoka
Modeling liones assistants
Kiyo Nakamura, Jiro Momose, Hiyori Yamamoto
3D data modeling liones
Costume design for Modern Man
Miki Nakamura
Stage director
Yutaka Endo
Lighting designer
Hiroaki Tashiro
Sound enviroment designer
Takaharu Kobayashi
Recording and mixing engineer
Katsunori Fukuoka
Assistant director
Shumpei Mitsuhashi
Director of Garaman Hall
Tomoya Ogoshi
Shooting camera
Ryo Matsui, Makoto Higa
Shooting camera assistant
Koushin Uehara
Fumitomo Kobayashi
Documentary director
Takafumi Tamura
Documentary camera
Daisuke Ohki
Yuta Nakama
William Andrews
Production management
Saori Nakanojo
Produced by
Ikkac Inc.
Shooting venue
Garaman Hall, Ginoza Okinawa
GM Inc., RHINO STUDIO Inc., Flysound Inc., LUFTZUG, DOTWORKS Inc., Finalist Ltd., Yatsugatake Studio, P.I.C.S. Inc., TV MAN UNION, INC.
Supported by
Ginoza village cultural project committee(Garaman Hall)
Organized by
Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan, Ikkac inc.


About project and interviews

Saori Nakanojyo, Ikkac Inc.