Central & East Asia have been the cradle for some of history’s most important empires and civilizations, from China and Japan to Korea and the Mongol Empire. The enormous impact this region has had over the belief systems and artistic traditions of the world is immeasurable; the establishment of trade routes between the historical East and West allowed an unprecedented migration of ideas, bodies, materials, and practices. Key to the cultural landscape is an intimate tension between the spiritual and the artistic, resulting in a range of practices ranging from shamanic and animistic ritual to highly codified performance traditions like Noh and Kabuki. This tension is in line with Theater Mitu’s research rubrics, and has resulted in some of the company’s most exciting and dynamic collaborations.
Theater Mitu has carried out extensive, company-led research initiatives across the region, partnering with local institutions and teachers to train and investigate a wide gamut of ritual and artistic practices. Focusing on the connection between the spiritual and the artistic, the company has visited renowned sites of worships, learned and trained under some of the region’s most important masters, and collaborated with local and emerging artists in the production of new, trans-global work. This archive of knowledge, both physical and intellectual, has radically shaped Theater Mitu’s pedagogy, process, and creative methodologies.