Between 1995 and 2000, a steady working relationship is established between Michel Kelemenis and Japan and South Africa. This develops over several stages through performances of the company’s works during tours in the two countries, but also with workshops at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto and in Johannesburg with the South African company Moving into Dance Mophatong.
Artistic and personal relationships are forged especially with 2 dancers: Takeshi Yazaki, a dancer recognized in Japan and appreciated in France for his performances in shows by Susan Buirge’s group MA TO MA; and Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, choreographer and dancer for the South African country Moving into Dance Mophatong, award winner at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Bagnolet.
The participation of these two artists in the show commemorating the 10th anniversary of Compagnie Kelemenis at the Festival de Marseille in 1997 was the first step in bringing this about. The desire for all three to be on stage together comes naturally and gives birth to the new work, Traduction simultanée (1999). Each of the three dancers performs a solo, an intimate tribute to childhood, revealing a bit of their culture, before dancing a trio written in common that exposes, well beyond skin color, their profound differences. This trio with its emblematic title goes on tour in 1999 and in 2000 in Japan, France and South Africa for Dance Umbrella.
In 2001, 3 poèmes inédits sees Takeshi Yazaki return to the stage in a work by Kelemenis: with 2 pieces danced simultaneously by Western and Oriental artists. The work plays with the performers’ diversity, their encounter and their mutual discovery, which becomes the foundation for a 3rd poem.