Monday, March 10, 2008


Dance Project based on Un captif amoureux

I watched a two-years-long-termed dance project Un captif amoureux by Jean Genet in Kyoto last night. It was very impressed and is still growing up in my mind. It's very difficult to say something about my impression. But I cannot to help to try to say anything.
The project was started by a contemporary dancer/choreographer Setsuko Yamada with her colleagues at an art university in Kyoto and other contemporary dancers. She has found an essence of Dance in Jean Genet's text L'atelier d’Alberto Giacometti . That's the starting point.
She and her collaborator, actually they are collaborator not as a choreographer and dancers, has studied Un captif amoureux as the text about Body and Text. They have discovered that Body is nearly same as Text (Word) in his text.
The dance piece didn't express or describe about Genet's text. They treat his text likes mirrors that reflect Dance. In my view, a lot of fragments of the mirrors are spread on the stage, in the dark, it's not easy to find them.
The stage design is very unusual. About 100 temporary audiences' seats are in the middle of the stage. The theater has a revolving stage. So the audiences are rotated in the stage each three acts. Each acts are very different. (If we count the pre-act in which we see many babies' faces on the black screen over the ordinary seats, we can count four acts.)
The first act has a lot of tags to let us remind many images, stories etc. For example, a dancer Misako Terada wears a black skirt. It seems a chador. Male dancer Osamu Jareo seems that he was born from the skirt in the scene. But the skirt is not for only female. Jareo is also covered by the black skirt. There are two big mirror walls in the horizont, another dancer Tsuyoshi Shirai is reflected in the mirror and projected his video image on the screen at the same time. So we see three Shirai's body images included real body, in the stage. Jareo is reading the texts, standing on the papers which stacked in the below the mirror. The scene is full of images which awake us.
On the second act, we see three female dancers and the images of flowers on the big white screen. I felt it's a bit romantic. (The all images in this piece were produced by video artist Takashi Ito.) The last act is very simple, no screen, no trick. The nearly improvisation by all dancers is abstract and ambiguous. The first act has very enjoyable. But the third act seems that it doesn't finish yet. It likes still in progress.
I felt that the dancers has been thinking how dance is possible in nowadays. All they see the limited their capacity and try to destroy that. All we can understand that on the stage. I haven't seen the dance by Setsuko Yamada for long time, may be more than 10 years. She is still young, her attitude is still young and flexible surprisingly. Jareo and Terada developed new aspects. (Terada's dance is sensitive and unstabled, it was so nice.)
I could see the attitude how dancers could be honest for Genet and in this era, specially in the terrible situation in Gaza. What artist can do in cruel political situation. This is one of the very difficult possible responses from the Japanese artists. They reflect their current thoughts and attitudes in their life and art to the Genet's text. It's a really tough work in Japan. It's treasure to see that artists explore the essence of Art and struggle against the limit of capacity or bocaburlary of their expression like this project. Looks unfinished and still in progress is reflection of attitude for Jean Genet. What he has done is not easy and the time we live is not easy.

On the other hand, I remind that I've seen a piece by Batsheba last month. We must see their work while we think what the mean is, to see a dance work by a company from Israel in these day. I couldn't find any new challenging things in the work, not as the 11 years ago. We could see big money to produce a large scale stage with 35 dancers. The projections of dancers' faces is effective. But it seems that "We are various people. We are not zionist." That may be true. To boycott to see art work by Israel is good choice? I've struggled. The art works which using Israel's national money is not guilty? The ticket fee might be used to buy weapons to kill Palestinian people and children? To see the art works made in the country means to help their propaganda? I know that we should see art work by any countries to understand what the people think. May be, it's different from to boycott starbucks. I want to believe that.
Nevertheless, the current situation in Palestine is too terrible. What we can do in the far-east island?
In the newsletter of the project, prof. Mari Oka wrote that she has realized that Art is very important to live to keep dignity of human even we live in war, by a talk of a Palestinian woman. And it treated her, and me too.

I think the project was possible to continue and realized, spending long times, because they have worked at a university in Kyoto. This is a role of university, I think so.



Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home