Tag Archives: Contemporary Dance

Poetry in Motion

I’m really excited about the Santa Barbara debut of Sankai Juku at the Granada this Thursday evening, courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures. You can read my interview with the company’s founder and artistic director Ushio Amagatsu here. The evening-length piece they’ll be presenting is called Tobari: as if in an inexhaustible flux, and Amagatsu talks about the work as a reflection on the nature of time and the human condition.

A scene from Tobari

What I’ve noticed about all the butoh I’ve ever seen is that like poetry it cuts straight to the deepest and most universal themes. The stereotype of butoh is the solo male performer in white grease paint, his head shaved, moving almost imperceptibly slowly. While we may see some of that, Tobari has also got physically dynamic passages, stunning lighting, and rich metaphoric material. It’s poetry in motion, and that’s a rare and sacred thing.