Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 25-26 Water in the Desert Performances

Butoh dance is a recurring interest here. Friday and Saturday is a performance festival of Butoh artists from San Francisco, Seattle, Boulder and Portland along with Portland dancers pursuing independent vectors. It is a perfect opportunity to see butoh in contrast to some related forms. Friday evening Koichi & Hiroko Tamano with their Harupin-Ha Butoh Theatre, Japanese folk dancers from Portland Taiko, PSU’s Kyogen Theatre, Sahomi Tachibana Dancers, Cydney Wilkes and Sheri Brown + Douglas Ridings perform. Saturday it is Mizu Desierto Butoh Theatre, Syzygy Butoh, Christina Braun of SF Butoh Lab, Bad Unkl Sista, Wobbly, Theory1:Dance and Linda K. Johnson.

The Tamanos are very early butoh performers from Japan who worked with the founder of butoh in the 1960's. Forming his own company in Japan in 1972, Koichi Tamano and his wife Hiroko Tamano then came to San Francisco and performed the first butoh performance in the United States in 1976. In 1996 he was named as a national treasure by the Emperor of Japan. The Tamano's have been leading a workshop this week and the students will be incorporated into the performance. This is a very rare opportunity to see them. Kyogen theater provides a touchpoint to another traditional Japanese theater form in contrast. Sahomi Tachibana is a Portland teacher of traditional Japanese dance. Her troupe performs traditional buyo dance. Cydney Wilkes is a gifted Portland performer who has drawn upon landscape for outdoor performances as well as electrifying duets with Mike Barber. For the Festival she has recreated a piece in the style of Mary Wigman, a German expressionist modern dancer who inspired the creators of butoh. Sheri Brown and Douglas Ridings from Seattle started with Joan Laage and have developed powerful solo practices and collaborations.

Mizu Desierto is a gifted performer and excels in creating fantastic performances. She is also a great organizer, even of untrained dancers, and is the creator and organizer of the festival. Syzygy Butoh joins us from Boulder, Colorado. Christina Braun has many years of Duncan training as well as studying with Katsura Kan, Anzu Furukawa, Yoshito and Kazue Ohno, Akira Kasai, and Yumiko Yoshiokao. She is founder of the SF Butoh Lab and organizer of the current SF Butoh Festival. Bad Unkl Sista is a long time collaborator with Mizu Desierto. She is creator of fantastic costumes. Wobbly is a collaboration of partners Eric Ferguson and Yulia Arakelyan who have broken barriers in movement for those beyond the conventional concept of the dancer's body. Theory1:Dance is the creation of Portland dancers Tracy Broyles and Meshi Chavez. Linda K. Johnson is a modern dancer, artist and organizer in Portland's art world.

Details on the performances may be found at waterinthedesertfestival.org. At the Portland Center for the Performing Arts Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway. $25 each evening; students, artists & seniors $18; (both nights: $35 available at the PCPA Box office only)