Split Flow / Holistic Strata
Hiroaki Umeda

Hiroaki Umeda is a choreographer and multidisciplinary artist acknowledged as one of the most important figures on the Japanese avant-garde scene.


Ever since he launched his company S20, his subtle yet violent choreographies have been performed around the world to great critical and public acclaim. His work is known for its highly holistic artistic methodology which has an important digital component. Umeda considers that dance not only involves physical elements but optical, sensorial and spatial-temporal ones also. Based on his profound interest in choreographic space and time, Umeda has proven his talent as a choreographer, dancer, composer, light designer, stage designer and visual artist.

With a personal style that mixes digital imagery, minimalist soundscapes and extremely powerful corporeality, Umeda’s solo works such as  Adapting for Distortion (2008), Haptic (2008), Holistic Strata (2011) and Split Flow (2013) have fascinated the public at the best festivals and theatres in the world.

In his search to find a way to offer the public a previously unknown sensory experience, Umeda has been working on a series of installations since 2010 that centre on optical illusions and physical immersion. His works, which combine physical and visual sensations, have brought him such awards as a Mention of Honour from the Ars Electronica Institute in 2010. He now visits Madrid for the first time with his works Split Flow and Holistic Strata, which will be performed together (with an intermission) on all three days.


In Split Flow, through an optical dance, he juxtaposes two different physical conditions, the dynamic and the static, to highlight the duality that exists in reality. This work, created originally as a light installation commissioned by the Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands), is an experiment through which to express speed with traces of light. Through the dynamic intervention of the body in a static space, a different reality emerges.

In this choreographic work, the body only appears because of the movement of a laser that slashes through the darkness of the stage. In this minimalist and graphic aesthetic, incisive, fluid and spasmodic dance reveals what remains of the body, animated by life and resistant to all technological changes.


In Umeda’s works, everyone and everything that is on the stage (bodies, lights and sound) is a means of expression based on a post-anthropocentric perspective. In holistic strata, all the elements dissolve into the same units of information (pixels) and, by so doing, Umeda seeks an axiom of kinetic movements that exists as the common denominator of all movements.

“The individual stratum decides the holistic strata, and the holistic strata decide the individual stratum: There are two equal determinants in the world”. Based on this philosophy, Umeda creates a living holistic organism in which all movements come together in a transcendental way in harmony. Immersed in this harmonious world, where all movements are expressed through pixels, the senses of the audiences come face to face with the limit: to experience sensations that precede the materialisation of the emotions.


Choreography & Dance: Hiroaki Umeda
Sound & Lighting Design: S20
Production: S20
Coproduction: Théâtre Louis Aragon – Scène conventionnée danse de Tremblay-en-France, Stereolux


Commissioned by: YCAM (Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media)
Choreography & Dance: Hiroaki Umeda
Image Direction: S20
Image Programming: S20, Satoru Higa, Yoshito Onishi
System Design: Satoru Higa, Yoshito Onishi
Sound Design: Satoshi Hama (YCAM), S20
Lighting Design: Fumie Takahara (YCAM), S20
Costume Design: Ryoko Katayama
Sensing Engineer: Yoshito Onishi, Richi Owaki (YCAM)
Video Engineer: Richi Owaki (YCAM)
Technical Coordination: Takuro Iwata (YCAM)

12, 13 and 14 July


Total 70 minutes approx. (Split Flow: 25 min. + break: 15 min.+ Holistic Strata: 27 min.)
Nave 11. Sala Fernando Arrabal

15 euros

*Warning: Strobe lights are used during this performance