Per Diem & Co


31. Shows

Shows on tour

samedi 31 octobre 2009, par perdiem

The pieces, here below, are available on tour.

Presenters : you may download the leaflets, technical riders and high resolution photos on ESPACE PRO.

KINKAN SHONEN Seed of Kumquat (1978, re-created in 2005)

It is carved in our memories : kid Ushio Amagatsu in his schoolboy uniform, staring at the sea. But also the naked backs powdered in white, that slowly seem to tear off an old skin for a rebirth.
We remember all this although it is not from yesterday. In 1978 japanese choreographer Ushio Amagatsu was founding his group Sankai Juku and was premiering Kinkan Shonen. In this referent piece, Sankai Juku dancers, these “beings for the middle”, as Amagatsu names them, were offering a calm ritual, full of majesty, fusioning with the animal, fish or peacock. The back wall was a true framework composed with dried fish tails, the dancers were moving with the buto type slow motion, pulling the time until its suspension... Twenty-seven years after, Ushio Amagatsu had the good idea to present Kinkan Shonen again.
by Marie-Christine Vernay in Le Monde

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UNETSU Des Oeufs Debout par Curiosité (1986)

Sankai Juku’s piece is artistically and symbolically so strong that it carries a deep emotion in it. On stage, a surface of water, as a pond surrounded with stones. Between a sand rain (death) and a water fall (birth), the piece, true ceremonial, uses with an exquisite sense of art, the space, the lights, in a sound environment, sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent and aggressive.
Red fingers, white painted faces, dancers slide around and inside the bassin through which Amagatsu has just crossed as in a prayer.
Then a dance sequence designs 8 traces in water that come to life as concentric waves ; and a very strong moment when Amagatsu lying on the front platform raises the egg, carries it to the water basin, and lifting it very high under the water fall until it explodes under its strength.
We should also evoke the plastic beauty of the horizontal surfaces (water, platforms) and the vertical elements (sand and water falls, egg suspended in air), and, of course, other eggs laid at the surface of water and mysteriously standing as tangential elements...
The vision of Amagatsu buried under sand ends the show when the lights fade out. "They are away. An empty scape. One keep walking" this is an excerpt by Amagatsu. And this phrase, doesn’t it say the essential ?
by Lise BRUNEL, in Le Matin

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HIBIKI (1998, Laurence Olivier Award, for best dance production, London 2001)

With elegance and harmony the dancers of the Japanese dance company display on stage a metaphorical world with visual richness and breathtaking simplicity.
Water drips from elliptical water containers hung high from the ceiling into transparent bowls dispersed on stage. Five dancers lie in embryo-like position, their upper torso naked and painted white, as well as their shaven heads. They spring to life in minute movements, almost un-seen, and sudden bursts.
Hibiki is a wonder combining and balancing movement, music, scenery and lighting. It engraves in the spectators’ consciousness images of extreme power and impression. It is a unique and supreme aesthetic experience, a "school" for conceptual design of movement, stage, costumes and concept - briefly, a must for all those who admire beauty. Especially moving is the bowing ceremony at the end, when the dancers return the love to the audience with their humane and noble movement.
Merav Yudilevitch, in YNET

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KAGEMI (2000)

Beauty that Transcends the Times
Sophisticated beauty even makes me feel dizziness . . . . Sankai Juku creates its unique art form that transcends the times.
by Sho Suzuki, Nihon Keizai Shimbun / May 17, 2001
Expansion of the Universe
Kagemi is said as the origin of the word Kagami (mirror) . . . . the highlight scene is Amagatsu’s solo. When he holds his arm aloft gently, it cast a shadow. When he twists his waist, it casts another. He continues to cast shadows, then deletes each of them in turn, which seems like the flickering lights at the bottom of the water. Before long, Amagatsu finishes his fervent solo, and looks up in the air. In this sublime figure, an expansion of the universe beyond the flux of all things is felt...
by Hideki Sukenari, Yomiuri Shimbun/ May 22, 2001
Sparkling (or Rich) Tidemark
...Sankai Juku has transformed the bodies of suffering or of negativity that often seen in Butoh into dazzlingly aesthetic spectacles. Put simply, Ushio Amagatsu has given Butoh sheer transparency as frescos have. The white big flowers, that cover the whole stage, look like lotus flowers in the age of Buddha or maybe water lilies in the Monet paintings. The dancers move as elegantly as waterweeds are supposed to do, and they are free from any special meanings or burdens. Sensuality that takes the shape of an intellectual design. We see there a body wavering as a bundle of perceptions.
None of movement, costumes, nor the beauty of stage setting can be expressed with a single word. Far from Japaneiserie or Occidentalism, I felt the dynamism that multiculturalism emitted through bodies.
by Tatsuro Ishii, Asahi Shimbun/ May 22, 2001

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TOKI (2005)

...I realized something while watching Sankai Juku’s new work TOKI - A Moment in the Weave Time. Butoh is dance that involves no vanity or proud display. It is dance that constantly seeks to defy the essence of dance. It harbors at once the ancient and the post-modern.
On the ocher stage floor that brings to mind the sands of some ancient ruin site, seven slabs reminiscent of the monolith in Kubric’s 2001, A Space Odyssey stand in an asymmetrical array. Hanging above is a metallic ring. Here again, one feels a consciousness of both the figurative and the abstract at the same time. Symbolism is meticulously avoided.
The gestures are not symbolic, nor do they take on some coded meaning. Such coarse things as meaning are left behind. There is no easy, coded dialog with the viewer. The movement of the upper body is that of a moving crest. The movement denies the unspoken promise of dance as beauty and, instead, is composed of broken sequences of noise without meaning. And yet, how exquisitely beautiful ! (...) Amagatsu Ushio stands alone and moves in a different dimension. Now it is not fear and trembling but he, alone, looking down on the ripples that form in a surface of water with its quiet spirit and turning it into movement. As he dances on a sling of cloth that hangs like a boat in the sky, Amagatsu looks pathetically fragile, and beautiful. In the final group dance, the dancers are figures from the relief sculptures of an ancient Indian temple, moving slowly to the front of the stage with free-form movements. The movement aligns and comes into focus. At this moment butoh, this dance that should never show pride or triumph, succeeds in restoring awe and trembling. And that makes this ending a moment of mastery, and masterpiece.
By Yasuhiro HARIKI in Asahi Shinbun

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TOBARI (2008)

"TOBARI", was performed at the Theatre de la Ville, Paris, in May 2008. All performances were sold out, and the performers received curtain calls every night by impassioned audiences. The Le Monde newspaper gave a glowing review of the performance in an article titled "The Cosmic Dance," saying, "The audience could not help but gaze at this soothing philosophical performance."
The starry sky that appears silently in front of us, a small galaxy that emerges as we look down, the dry ground, and the shining blue darkness—Ushio Amagatsu uses fewer elements on the stage than in any of his past performances to create a new world with a dense darkness, and flickering, reflecting light. The performance, which lasts one-and-a-half hours, is filled with the sequence of birth, death and rebirth and invites the audience into "the cosmos of life."
The emotion changes, the season shifts, and time flows without stopping—Amagatsu audaciously changed his stoic poetic style in his new work, "TOBARI." In this production, Amagatsu fuses the boundaries of seven tableaus in swaying time and space, displaying a metempsychosis within the cosmos of life as a beautiful current that advances in a single direction without stopping.
Text from Pomegranates Arts website, New York.

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UTSUSHI (2008)

More than twenty five years ago I saw for the first time Sankai Juku’s "Kinkan Shonen" but I don’t have to look at photographs to remember the piece. Images from this early creation are still in my head and in my heart
- for example the dancers with masks in front of their faces, dancing with their naked back. This scene of "Kinkan Shonen" is now also part of "Utsushi" . Ushio Amagatsu created this piece for a space outside and connects in this work sequences from different performances of Sankai Juku. But "Utsushi" is much more than a compilation. Ushio Amagatsu creates a breath taking dialog between the beauty of his work and the beauty of nature, the sounds of nature and the composed music, the dance and the wind, the floor and the sky, the stars over our heads and the fire in front of us. On another level than in a theater the audience becomes part of the ritual. The dancers and the audience are under the same sky, the fire is burning for both, and when the wind is blowing and moving the sand it seems that also the movement of the sand on the floor is choreographed by Amagatsu. Everything seems to be connected with everything. Outside becomes inside, the nature reflects the art and art becomes part of nature. With "Utsushi" Ushio Amagatsu opens a new door - and we can see and feel the beauty of life, reflected nature and Amagatsu’s art.
by Raimund Hoghe, choreographer

_ UMUSUNA (2012)
Créé à l’opéra de Lyon dans le cadre de la Biennale de danse 2012, UMUSUNA, mot venu du fond des âges de la langue japonaise, renvoie à la naissance, à la notion de double et de contraires qui s’harmonisent, au sol aussi, à la terre natale. Ici, c’est une danse des racines humaines dans un environnement de sable, omniprésent.

2 vastes rectangles couverts de sable, séparés par un étroit passage se prolongeant sur le mur de fond de scène par un vide qui suggère une présence invisible. A cour et jardin, en arrière-scène, 2 immenses pendules (parfaitement équilibrés et immobiles) en forme de quasi cœur égrènent dans un rythme ininterrompu 2 fins filets de sable venant se déposer sur 2 vastes cercles. Le temps rencontre l’éternité, l’unité se dévoile trine.

Ushio Amagatsu apparaît au cœur de cet espace mesuré, et avec lui se matérialise la ligne invisible joignant ciel et terre. Le sable et le mouvement. La danse est comme insufflée de cette vitalité légère, chaude et douce. Le « geste diaphane » acquiert la qualité du sable, organique, mû par le poids et sans cesse traversé par l’air et le traversant. Le sable invite le geste à une physicalité non-matérielle –« unearthlike quality ». Sept tableaux composent Umusuna, chacun dominé par une couleur (rouge, turquoise, jaune vif, vert, blanc, etc.), des feux de plongée latérale –tels les rayons au travers des vitraux de cathédrale– rappellent aux corps en mouvement cette peau de sable qui pourrait laisser vivre dans le geste quelque chose de l’âme.

Il y a, c’est sûr, de l’universel dans le butō d’Ushio Amagatsu, modernité puisant, elle aussi, aux mémoires d’avant l’histoire. Quelque chose d’universel qui, dans Umusuna, s’inscrit par contraste dans la chair de l’histoire d’un peuple.

Par Franck Waille in Paris-Art

MEGURI (2015) A space breath beyond the difference of cultures
Butoh, born in Japan to question the modern dance of those days, is now internationalized, and a variety of expressions coexist. At the center of this art form, Sankai Juku has caught spectators’ hearts long. The relief of fossils stands upstage. Sand is laid thinly on the floor. The space shines in beige as a color of the earth. In silence, Amagatsu appears and embraces the air around him gently. Four dancers lying back in the center stage begin moving four limbs as if they were fetuses. Tranquility dominates the space every inch. A perfect opening for this piece.

Amagatsu doesn’t try to explain anything with concrete gestures, but his choreography fully conveys the atmosphere and the presence of the body as it is. Gradually the space itself begins breathing deeply. This is Amagatsu’s way to give a clear outline to something uncertain by reeling in ancient layers of images that lie far beyond the unrestful reality.
Amagatsu has been searching for space and time beyond the dichotomy between the two such as birth and death, shigan (this world) and higan (another world for life after death), virtual images and real images, and he has given shapes on them in this dense space where we feel as if a chamber music of fine quality is played. Here lies something that sympathetically vibrates many people beyond the boundary of language and culture. I realized it while I watched this new piece.

By Tatsuro Ishii, Dance Critic, Isahi Shimbun

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