Visionary Japanese manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka provided the inspiration for TeZukA. Working with an international cast of 11 performers, 3 musicians and a calligrapher, Cherkaoui explores Tezuka’s fascinating world – a blend of tradition, science fiction and contemporary reality. Two of Tezuka’s manga stories which are well known in Japanese popular culture – Astro Boy and Buddha – particularly captured Cherkaoui’s imagination in creating this work. TeZukA features a specially commissioned score from award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney with lighting and set design by Willy Cessa and costumes by fashion designer Sasa Kovacevic. Tezuka’s original illustrations are projected alongside work by video artist Taiki Ueda and calligraphy by Tosui Suzuki.
Using the dancers’ movements to trace the physical evolution of Tezuka’s drawings – from a line on a blank page to a single Japanese kanji (letter) to a fully-formed manga character – Cherkaoui brings the ‘God of Manga’s’ philosophy, drawings and characters to life.