Monday, May 2, 2011

Butoh dance in Nickelsville

• Nickelsville is  MOVING 5/15 & YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!!! - please, read the bar on the right.

Thank you Sheri, Mary, Will, Joan, Doug and Helen + David and Herbert (music and lights) for sharing your talents and giving us a  night of wondrous art of butoh dancing!
(Click on pics to see  larger version)

Last Saturday the dancers came about an hour before the performance to set up music, lights and prepare the stage:  they put yellow tape on the floor, creating 6 lines, then they disappeared to change and get ready.  5 minutes before the performance Julie read and introductory note about butoh and then the music started.  Each of us probably saw what our senses prepared us to see but here is my short description (not a dance-trained eye)...

The artists  appeared on the side and proceeded in a mannequin-like state to dance their way each into separate line, every performer in a sort of non-descriptive trench coat and each carrying a suitcase.  What followed was a fusion of modern dance and theater influenced by the Japanese culture: 6 stories and 6 lives told sometimes waltzing happily, sometimes whirling half-crazily, sometimes hopping in bewilderment, sometimes  stooped in pain, and sometimes contorted or curled in a fetal position.  Sometimes twisting, leaping or treading solo, and sometimes  getting involved into dance of lives intermingling - looking casual here, accidental or purposeful there.  We found out the things the dancers carried in their suitcases, as each of them opened his or her and used the content to create another persona, perhaps from a different stage of life:  green tutu-like skirt, white caftan, makings of an eastern warrior, red high heels, dramatic kimono, an umbrella. The suitcases also carried the gifts for each other between their shared lives and even presents for the audience - we enjoyed being suddenly pelted with candies....

After the performance the people of Nickelsville were invited to ask questions, and I learned quite a bit from them, too, as naturally sum of collective knowledge and understanding is greater than individual one.   All in all it was a a fantastic, delightful and  thought-provoking performance which was very well received by the audience, in particular  by 4 y.o. LeeAnn, who not only sat quietly through the entire rather adult-addressed form of  theater, but after the end she enthusiastically joined the troupe.
LeeAnn joins the troupe
Sorry that my pics are lousy, I blame it on a camera which doesn't handle darkness well, as I am a perfect photographer:).  Not.

Artists and some of the audience

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