Inside the Green Room: A Closer Look at tarinainanika’s Rey Camoy

This October, you can experience the magic of Japanese physical theatre when tarinainanika breathe life into the extraordinary paintings of cult artist Rey Camoy on our Northcott stage using their unique Corporeal Mime style.

We’re inviting you to get to know tarinainanika a little better, and discover a world where movement transcends words, and the body becomes the storyteller.

Watch the mesmerising trailer for Rey Camoy, or scroll down to dive into the creative process behind the show in our exclusive interview with tarinainanika Co-Artistic Director, Tania Coke.

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Read our exclusive interview with tarinainanika Co-Artistic Director Tania Coke

Tania explains what makes Corporeal Mime so special, what inspired them to re-imagine the paintings of cult Japanese artist Rey Camoy on our stage, and what they enjoy most about performing in the UK. 

tarinainanika's Rey Camoy production photo. A mixed group of people fall to the ground around tarinainanika co-artistic director Tania Coke (centre), wearing a long blue dress.

Who are tarinainanika?

Tania: tarinainanika is a physical theatre company specialising in Corporeal Mime. tarinainanika Co-Director Kentaro Suyama and I trained and began our careers in the UK with Steven Wasson and Corinne Soum (last assistants of the founder of Corporeal Mime, Etienne Decroux). In 2010, we moved to Kens’s native Japan and set up tarinainanika. We are based at the Flying Carpet Factory, an old carpet warehouse in Osaka. ‘tarinainanika’ means “the missing something”. Every show we create is a search for that missing something.

What is corporeal mime?

Tania: Corporeal Mime is a theatrical art based on the body. It has a very specific technique which we use to create drama out of action. Corporeal Mime also has its own repertoire, vocabulary, teaching methods and creative processes, making it a complete and independent artform. It’s beautiful and uplifting and we can’t wait to share it with you when we visit Exeter in October!

What do you enjoy about performing this form of physical theatre?

Tania: The sheer joy of using your whole being (body, intellect, imagination, intuition…) to search for and express what you care about.

tarinainanika's Rey Camoy production photo. A mixed group of people crowd around a Japanese man, wearing a brown suit. A man wearing a black suit jacket is restraining the Japanese man, and another man is about to punch them.
tarinainanika's Rey Camoy production photo. A young Japanese man, wearing a black bowler hat, grey shirt and velvet suit jacket, looks afraid while holding an abstract puppet of a human baby, which is clothed a similar style suit jack to the man.

Who is Rey Camoy?

Tania: Rey Camoy (1928-1985) was a Japanese painter. During his career he painted hundreds of self-portraits, as if constantly searching for his true self. He took his own life at the age of 57.

What inspired you to create a show about their work?

Tania: We were moved by Camoy’s longing to know himself and his obsessive search for beauty. We were also inspired by his ability to express states of mind through the human form – something we seek to do on stage.

How are you reimagining their paintings on our stage?

Tania: When we first began working on this show, we asked each actor to create a solo inspired by one of the characters in Camoy’s paintings. Then we combined these solos, adding transitions and new elements to produce a poetic collage of the passion and anguish we sensed in Camoy’s life and work.

What can people expect to experience and take away from your performance Rey Camoy?

Tania: We hope our show will resonate with your deepest longings, and that you come away feeling re-inspired in your own life and work.

tarinainanika's Rey Camoy production photo. A young Japanese woman, wearing a brown apron over a black top, holds a cleaning rag up to her face. Behind her, a mirror, reflecting a person wearing a blue dress and a man in a grey suit sitting beside a white table.
tarinainanika workshop photo. A mixed group of people wearing black clothing lean forward simultaneously during a physical theatre workshop. They are practicing in a black-walled room.

This is your third UK tour. What do you enjoy about performing in the UK?

Tania: Sharing our work in the UK is always a reminder of the power of art to connect people beyond differences of language, culture and geography. It’s a life-affirming experience!

Where can people learn more about corporeal mime?

Tania: We teach regular online classes and would be thrilled to welcome friends of the Northcott. You can find details on our Patreon page here. And Osaka is only a plane-ride away! We run a school at the Flying Carpet Factory, offering full-time professional training as well as ad hoc classes and workshops.

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