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Friday, Nov. 26, 2010


Yokohama festival aims to revive the spirit of butoh legend Ohno

Staff writer

BankArt 1929 commemorates butoh dance legend Kazuo Ohno at a festival that continues through Dec. 12. Ohno passed away in June at the age of 103.

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The Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and other organizations are participating in the event, billed as a way to keep Ohno's spirit alive.

The festival's program itself is enough to excite butoh scholars as well as people who are perhaps not so comfortable with what's known as "performance art."

On Dec. 5, "Admiring La Argentina — A Remake" literally suggests a re-creation of Ohno's famous work; however, under the direction of Yoshito Ohno, Kazuo's son, artists from different genres such as Yasumasa Morimura and Hirononu Oikawa will add to the concept as a kind of nod to Kazuo Ohno's philosophy in progress and change.

A "para-para" (a style of dancing that was trendy among young women in the past decade) performance is scheduled for Dec. 7, followed by a table discussion on para-para and butoh's influence on Japan's pop culture.

An exhibition featuring images and media reports of Ohno's performances dating back to 1930 will also be open throughout the festival. Performances, lectures, field trips and many events along with numerous guests from overseas such as stage director Danny Yung and dancer Julie Anne Stanzak will be held mostly at bankART Studio NYK in Yokohama.

Kazuo Ohno Festival 2010 continues through Dec. 12 at bankART Studio NYK 3-9 Kaigan Dori, Naka-ku, Yokohama. Admission fees vary with each program, a festival pass for all events can be purchased for ¥10,000. For more information, call (045) 663-2812 or visit www.bankart1929.com/.

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