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Friday, Aug. 29, 2003


Butoh to mix it up with kyogen

Acclaimed butoh dancer Kayo Mikami and her dance company, Torifune Butoh Sha, which has performed in 11 countries including the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Italy and Spain, will give performances in Yokohama and Kyoto in September and October, accompanied by a Korean dancer, three kyogen performers and an itako (a necromancer from the Tohoku region).

Mikami studied butoh -- an avant-garde style of dancing based on the movements of Japanese peasants -- under late butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata from 1978 to 1981. She became the first person to develop a theory of butoh based on Hijikata's teachings and dancing and obtained a doctorate in 1997 for a dissertation that analyzed his dancing method.

The butoh performance, titled "Bakke," will depict the life energy transmitted from generation to generation. The word bakke, in the Tohoku dialect, refers to the bud of the Japanese butterbur, which grows even under snow cover.

Yukio Mikami, who has directed and choreographed "Bakke," said the three kyogen players -- Okura Sentaro, Okura Motonari and Okura Noriyoshi -- will be attempting to mix kyogen with butoh for what may be the first time ever.

Korean dancer Lee Chilnyo will also sing, and Hiroko Matsuda, a necromancer from Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, will carry out a divination ritual.

"Bakke" will be staged at Kanagawa Dome Theater [(045) 651-2163] at 4 p.m. on Sept. 20 and 3 p.m. on Sept. 21, and at Kyoto University Seibu Kodo Hall [(075) 753-2590] at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Advance tickets for the Yokohama performances are 3,000 yen [(0467)-87-2125], while those in Kyoto are 2,500 yen [(075) 702-5118]. For more information, e-mail torifune-butohsha@jcom.home.ne.jp

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