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November 16, 2002

Sankai Juku Review

Doing less, but doing it very well Japanese butoh dance troupe receive standing ovations is from the Ottawa Citizen, and gives a review of the Sankai Juku performance that Yuka and I saw in Ottawa last week. I think that the show was just not that good, and that makes me very sad, as Sankai is the only troupe that I've ever liked in any form of dance. That is they're the only group who could hold my attention for more than a second. I got the sense that the reviewer didn't know Sankai's previous work... like ""The Egg Sands Out of Curiosity"" which nearly fried my cortex. I can't remember the first performance I saw of theirs back in the late 80s, but it too was so completely overwhelming that time stood still, and the only thoughts in my head were those of the movement of the dancers. No meta-conceputalization. No consideration of the narrative and construction of the piece. Just movement. Each turn of a wrist was an explosion. Butoh is often said to be the child of Hiroshima,and is as post-apocalytic as possible. And post modern without being european. This time, I was recognizing the vocabulary of motion from previous shows, and it seemed overly self referential. And that's death for dance. And I guess that's the death of Sankai Juku. They're now performing themselves. As yuka said, after 27 years, perhaps the founder Amagatsu, need to pass the cowl to someone else."

Posted by jason at November 16, 2002 04:06 PM