San Francisco Butoh Festival. (National: `Dance Of Darkness' Finds Lightness Of Touch).SAN FRANCISCO BUTOH Butoh (舞踏 butō) FESTIVAL THEATER ARTAUD SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA “San Francisco” redirects here. For other uses, see San Francisco (disambiguation).
The City and County of San Francisco (EN IPA: [sænfrənˈsɪskoʊ] AUGUST 1-5, 2001
If it is the purpose--or even the mandate -- of a dance festival to alter preconceptions and extend visions, then the seventh annual edition of Brechin Flournoy's butoh festival scored an unqualified triumph. Almost nothing was what it should have been during the three ticketed events of this popular summertime celebration.
Think ankoku butoh (dance of darkness)--the Japanese movement form inspired by post-Hiroshima angst and influenced by Mary Wigman-era German expressionism--and the image that settles in the mind is one of shaven, chalk-coated, undraped bodies locomoting through space with the speed of commuter-hour traffic. No doubt about it, despite (or maybe because of) its high seriousness, the school has lent itself to vapid posturing; an element of camp was bound to creep in.
But specialists in the field now talk of a post-butoh generation in Japan and it was those artists, several of them making their San Francisco Bay Area “Bay Area” redirects here. For other uses, see Bay Area (disambiguation).
The San Francisco Bay Area, colloquially known as the Bay Area or The Bay debuts, who left the most lasting impressions. If you were looking for a butoh tradition, Yan-Shu's Zunnja, the middle attraction on the August 1 "Japanese New Wave The Japanese New Wave, or Nuberu bagu (ヌーベルバーグ " program, began by exploring familiar terrain. Three men in skivvies Skiv·vies
A trademark used for underwear. This trademark often occurs in lowercase in print: "About 500 yards away, on three destroyers snubbed up to the dock, men were clambering on the deck in their skivvies" suggested living statuary in the semi-darkness, as the company's founder, Kinya "Zulu" Tsuruyama, metamorphosed from priestly figure into a faceless monster in brown chenille che·nille
1. A soft tufted cord of silk, cotton, or worsted used in embroidery or for fringing.
2. Fabric made of this cord, commonly used for bedspreads or rugs. , menacing the trio by redefining the stage space with an endless rope. But then, the dynamic changed and a subversive element crept in. During a frozen unison, one performer patted his neighbor's posterior and tickled him mercilessly; it was a subtle but effective repudiation of a tradition.
Even more unorthodox was Looking at Far East (at least the four episodes performed here), a wry satire on Japanese customs, delivered with extraordinary panache by the Kyoto-based duo who call themselves op.eklekt. Garbed in costumes that owed as much to John Tenniel as they did to samurai movies, Nobuo Kanetani and Mutsumi Oku gave away the game early. In the tea ceremony, the couple punctiliously punc·til·i·ous
1. Strictly attentive to minute details of form in action or conduct. See Synonyms at meticulous.
2. Precise; scrupulous. distributed canned soft drinks toted in plastic shopping bags and snapped photos of each other. In "Tennis Training," the pair sparred with a weird assortment of rackets. In "Oseibo," the end-of-the-year gift-giving custom, the duo attacked an endlessly wrapped package, groveling grov·el
intr.v. grov·eled also grov·elled, grov·el·ing also grov·el·ling, grov·els also grov·els
1. To behave in a servile or demeaning manner; cringe.
2. before each other with exaggerated politesse. At the end, they deluged their audience with party favors; icons may not have been smashed, but they were a bit defaced de·face
tr.v. de·faced, de·fac·ing, de·fac·es
1. To mar or spoil the appearance or surface of; disfigure.
2. To impair the usefulness, value, or influence of.
With No Parking, the high-energy collisions and tumbles of the five-member NIBROLL (directed by Mikuni Yanaihara) arrived like a pistol shot. The snazzy projections and films of contemporary Tokyo streetscapes suggested a society hurtling toward destruction. The five dancers, clad in school and military uniforms, moved in an aggressive style indebted to contemporary Quebecois choreography, and structure was a problem, but NIBROLL's ferocity of attack was worth remembering.
A rare visit (the first since 1984) by Kei Takei reaffirmed her honored place in the butoh tradition. A recent solo, Absence of Izanagi, proved a mesmerizing mes·mer·ize
tr.v. mes·mer·ized, mes·mer·iz·ing, mes·mer·iz·es
1. To spellbind; enthrall: "He could mesmerize an audience by the sheer force of his presence" display of musculature and, thanks to Somei Satoh's spare piano score, an evocative metaphor of obstacles conquered. Part 8 of the thirty-one-part Light was a hilarious striptease in reverse, as the topless Takei methodically bound herself with a variety of pillows, rendering the performer immovable. The good humor of this enduring artist (who studied with butoh progenitor Tatsumi Hijikata, through Juilliard) and her gift for imbuing even the most pedestrian gestures with expressive inflections made this act of reacquaintance a moment to cherish.