Gigs, dance, art

April 27th, 2010: Sankai Juku – Kara Mi

@théatre de la ville

I usually like to take it all in when seeing Sankai Juku, so I was not really happy about being much closer than usual. Indeed, it spoiled some parts, like when some dancers retreated to the sides of the squares, or when they were standing next to the transparent plates and I had to keep turning from one to the other. It also made it hard for me to get much of the sequence when dancers would repeat the same sequence with a slight delay. I knew it was going on, but I couldn’t see more than two of them at the same time.

It also lessened the effect of the blue and red drawings on those plates because I could see the pixels. And I also was too low to see the back of the square and missed part of the stage setup.

On the other hand, the dancers were even more statue-like with their white makeup and the white or bluish light, especially during the first sequence. There one would lie down and remain perfectly straight with his arms on his side as two others would hold his feet while the remaining two lifted him to a stand. Then the two in front would step aside and freeze in a familiar bent posture, and the central dancer would go through a series of pauses and quick motion, bending to a side or the other, getting lower then back up. This was repeated several times with a different one in the middle, and the last phase got longer and more elaborate each time. Being close wasn’t an issue at all with such a narrow focus.

It was fine too with Ushio Amagatsu’s two solo parts, it actually helped if anything because I could see his eyes and see more of the expressions on his face, something I had just missed before. Speaking of which, there were few of the gaping mouths once so common, and come to think of it this show felt a little softer somehow, though it’s not really something new, more like a long-term shift toward more harmony. Not that all was soft and nice either, there’s still an edge, and the familiar slide and postures are still charged with tension. The music even had a noisier side this time.

I don’t think being so close changed much to my appreciation of two hand sequences, the one where dancers formed a close group with stretched hands going up in a forest of arms, and the one at the end with the fluttering red-dyed fingers of half the dancers. And the light was just as amazing as usual, changing the colors on the ground, shining through those plates at times to paint those colors on dancers, and dimming or brightening in different hues to become a full part of the dance.

I still think I would have liked it better had I been further away, but I’m glad I had the chance to see them this way. Another piece for the expanding place in my mind where I store those prized memories.


May 2, 2010 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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