Unlimited Creativity Born from Limitations

2021.02.09 release
MIURA Daichi, Shibuya StreetDance Week 2020 Ambassador / Artist

MIURA Daichi, Shibuya StreetDance Week 2020 Ambassador / Artist

A Wish for Respect and Acknowledgement of One Another’s Life Choices

Shibuya StreetDance Week (SSDW) began in 2015 with the aim of establishing street dance as a new artistic culture supported by a variety of people and spreading quality entertainment from Shibuya—a holy ground for street dance—to the rest of the world. 2020’s event was held at the later dates of November 1 to 7 and online rather than at its usual location in Yoyogi Park and other areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

MIURA Daichi, who enjoys incredible support as an artist and entertainer, joined the event this time as its ambassador. Here, we ask Miura to look back on SSDW 2020 as well as his feelings regarding his own activities in 2020.

“I took part this time in SSDW 2020 acting as an ambassador with the theme song, “Yours”. I wrote “Yours” to convey a message from the heart that came to me as we were right in the depths of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic. And I couldn’t have been happier with the way this song let me connect with everyone through dance.”

So, what kind of feelings lie within “Yours”...?

“In 2020, especially with the explosion of COVID-19 infections, it hit me how you really have no idea what life is going to bring—it’s anyone’s guess. I think everyone feels that way. But what you choose to do in that life ultimately comes down to you and you alone. I want all of us to respect one another’s personal choices, whether they are the result of worries or some painful experience. And I wanted to impart how incredible I thought it would be if everyone acknowledged each other’s different choices.”

The Feelings Behind This Song Are Sure to Get Across

SSDW 2020 also offered “ONLINE DANCE WITH music”, a project combining different posted video performances into one video with the SSDW 2020 theme song, “Yours”.

“The project got a ton of posts, and I can’t tell you how happy I was that pairing up the dances in those posts with my song could connect everyone the way it did. I also did my best to make sure everyone’s heartfelt performances would make it into the piece. In it, everyone embodies their own lives through dance, and in their own spaces, may be struggling through some aspect of their life as they do. But even as everyone danced alone, their numbers brought them together. Watching the finished video, I realized how the new possibilities of this song have grown.”

SSDW 2020: “ONLINE DANCE WITH music”

SSDW 2020: “ONLINE DANCE WITH music”

With the significant impact on his live concerts originally planned for 2020, Miura learned he could demonstrate his feelings on video with online concerts.

“In contrast to my usual concerts, created with a live audience, I feel this online concert was a chance for me to unleash a sea of emotions as I imagined everyone on the other side of the lens. I made an incredible discovery in taking up this challenge: I can express myself just as well in an online concert even when its format is so radically different from that of a live performance.”

Using Ingenuity and New Ideas to Transcend the Ideas of the Past

Miura encountered some thoughts on creativity in the process leading to his discovery...

“The limitations from COVID-19 in 2020 were definitely a big deal, but in terms of creativity, you’re never able to totally express yourself on your own terms even in normal times, you know? Even so, there’s always the joy of using your ingenuity and new ideas to transcend the ideas of the past. Take for example the loads of stuff you just physically can't do at a live concert. It’s fun contemplating what I can do to convey what usually doesn't get across in a normal performance. I am faced with plenty of things that don't work out, but always look forward to the fact that, in the end, it’s all for a great show. So, if I can continue to share my strong sense of desire to offer the audience what I'm unable to at normal venues through online concerts, I believe it'll get across just as it would at a real venue.”

SSDW2020 After Movie

Dance Is a Constant Series of Choices

The feelings of respect for one another’s choices related to their ideas and possibilities imbedded in “Yours” also seem to have gotten across in the dancing.

“There is no one right way when it comes to the expressive style that is dance. Take two means of expression for example: different complicated steps and, at the opposite end, a complete stop of motion followed by momentary movements picking up on a single sound. Both of these expressions could be considered correct in relation to the music since the definition of “correct” is not static. You are continually making choices in relation to what you want to express from your interpretation of music and the world.”

Scenes from SSDW 2020’s “ONLINE DANCE WITH music”

It’s the Passion That Allows You to Go on Reflecting upon it

Any message for those wanting to express themselves through music and dance?

“I would say you should dance for yourself and no one else. I think you should dance with all your heart for that reason alone. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t enjoy yourself (laughs). That doesn’t just go for dance either. By no means am I saying it’s wrong to feel down in the dumps when something isn’t going right; that’s what makes your accomplishments so enjoyable. If there was any kind of secret I had to enjoying myself, it would be reflection. Reflection has some similarities to worrying, but reflecting upon something that didn’t go right and deciding how to make it work let you move forward—even if only an inch. It’s the passion that allows you to go on reflecting upon it.

Today’s youth is especially resilient, and I think their adept use of social media and other tools gives them lots of ideas to brave through the tough times while also having a good time.”

Coverage and editing: OKAJIMA Akira

Profile: MIURA Daichi

Born August 24, 1987 in Okinawa Prefecture. Debuted as lead vocal for Folder in 1997, with a solo debut in March 2005 with his single Keep It Goin’ On. Miura has gained attention with his naturally astonishing vocals and innate sense of rhythm, incredible skill as a singer, and world-class dance abilities, and is a super entertainer, choreographing, composing, and playing instruments. He has been incredibly successful in his solo performances at the Nippon Budokan in 2012, Yokohama Arena in 2013, and the Yoyogi National Gymnasium’s 1st Gymnasium in 2017, with the scale of his performances growing each year. On November 11, 2020, he released his new single, Antelope, with the B-sides “Yours” (the SSDW 2020 theme song), digitally released in June with a subsequent choreography video release on YouTube in August, and “Not Today”.

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