TCC Stories: Going behind the scenes

By True Colors Festival Team

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December 23, 2022

We go behind the scenes of the concert to discover the unseen talents who played a part in bringing the concert to life.

1. Samantha Kan, Lead Choreographer

Storytelling was at the heart of THE CONCERT 2022. To draw these stories out, Samantha worked with The Soulmatics, Tokyo NAKAMA Dancers, Tokyo NAKAMA  Kids and a team of creatives to enhance each performance through emotive choreography paired with jaw-dropping multimedia experiences. The highly collaborative process began in early 2022 and through countless Zoom calls, every bit of choreography was designed to enhance the storytelling while remaining authentic to the identity of each artist who took the stage at THE CONCERT 2022. 

As she explains, “The heart is at the center of everything. We constantly reminded ourselves that if everything is stripped bare and you have just the artists and dancers on stage, can the items still convey the same message? If so, you have done it.”⁠

In this photo: Harumi and the Tokyo NAKAMA Dancers in their ending pose at THE CONCERT 2022

“We want to harness the best of what the artists can do and fit it into our show. We wanted to understand them and their art enough to provide the multimedia, staging and choreography to enhance their sets. We did not want to create things in isolation and not be true to the artists.” 

– Samantha Kan

2. Daniel Yam and Jonathan Choo, Film Directors
In this photo: Daniel and Jonathan (standing, middle) working with Singaporean artist Wheelsmith (seated, right) on his pre-performance film

Enhancing the story-telling experience was a series of short films segueing into individual artists’ performances. Daniel and Jonathan collaborated with the international cast to faithfully capture their real selves and their slice-of-life stories for screening at THE CONCERT 2022. Enigmatic and monochromatic, the short films give the audience a glimpse at the uniqueness of each artist. 

Fuelling their creations was their determination to leave a lasting impression on audiences. As they explain, “If, by the end of the concert, certain imagery is able to stay in the audiences’ minds, we’ve impacted them.”

Singaporean artist Wheelsmith, seated, left, talks to one of the film directors, squatted on his right
In this photo: Singaporean artist Wheelsmith in the middle of a conversation with Jonathan Choo

“We choose certain key experiences and stories, then we translated them visually into emotional imagery and sometimes, their voice overs.”

– Daniel Yam

3. Artist Management Team
Left to right: Sarina Sahari, Ulala, Noah and Taka and Executive Producer Audrey Perera
In this photo from left to right: Sarina Sahari, Ulala, Noah and Taka and Executive Producer Audrey Perera

THE CONCERT 2022 was a global concert produced by an international team of artists, creatives, performers and personnel from 12 countries. Working tirelessly behind the scenes for months ahead was the Artist Management team. Their job was to handle everything that would bring the artists to and from Tokyo, and while in Tokyo, to ensure that the artists’ needs were met, their concerns addressed, questions answered so that they were comfortable and able to perform at their best. Sarina Sahari (one of the four Assistant Producers) was part of this team which included Nao Wakamatsu, Nanako Terakubo and Masaki Nakamura along with Artist Liaison Volunteer leads Ulala, Noah and Taka.

Left to right: Nanako Terakubo, Nao Wakamatsu and Masaki Nakamura
In this photo from left to right: Nanako Terakubo, Nao Wakamatsu and Masaki Nakamura

“The language barrier is unavoidable and cultural differences arise from time to time. It is about overcoming those barriers and learning from those experiences.” 

– Sarina Sahari


You might be interested in the following article:
True Colors Festival THE CONCERT 2022: Spotlight on living without limits

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True Colors Festival

TCF is a long-running international festival of performing arts. We celebrate diversity and inclusion, and embrace the fact that we are One World, One Family. We choose the arts as our platform, for its power to move, inspire and heal.

As a festival, TCF brings people together to generate exchanges, innovation and creativity; and transform the way we relate to each other.

Presented by The Nippon Foundation, TCF brings diverse artists and audiences together through concerts, documentaries, music videos, film screenings, children's programs, musicals, workshops and other activities. Since 2006, festivals have been organized in Southeast Asia and Japan, with more than 1,200 artists from more than 30 countries connecting with a global audience in more than 80 countries.

TCF invites you to journey with us, to enjoy, experience, share and spread our consciousness of being One World, One Family.

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