Thoughts on Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Bell” (for DanceTabs)

Kuniya Sawamura and Yasuko Yokoshi. Phoot by Ian Douglas.
Kuniya Sawamura and Yasuko Yokoshi. Phoot by Ian Douglas.

Here‘s my review of Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Bell,” a deconstruction of the Kabuki drama The Maiden at the Dojoji Temple through the lens of Giselle. I’ve been a big fan of Yokoshi’s previous experiments with the pared-down Kabuki style known as Su-odori, but this one just didn’t work. The bits from Dojoji and Giselle never cohered, nor did they inform each other in any meaningful way. The “balletic” elements were woefully inadequate. The Japanese elements, beautifully executed, were given little context. Here’s a short excerpt from DanceTabs:

“Both Kayo Seyama, an older female dancer who performs a lengthy, delicate solo (called Kane no Misaki) toward the end of Bell, and Kuniya Sawamura, a young male dancer/actor who may just be one of the finest character dicers I have seen, are fascinating to watch. The utter control of every millimeter of their bodies and face, the refinement of their movements, the total clarity of the placement of each limb and adjustment of weight within the body, are astounding. To this, Sawamura adds an extraordinarily expressive face that suggests flickers of wit, sadness, irony, fear, pleasure, even naughtiness.”


Regarding the Body: John Jasperse’s Fort Blossom Revisited and Eiko and Koma at Focus Dance (for DanceTabs)

Last Friday’s mixed bill of John Jasperse and Eiko and Koma at Focus Dance  stayed close to the body. Naked bodies, bodies barely dressed, bodies well covered. All of it was meant to make us look closely at what they were doing, at the effects of bare or partly covered flesh on our perception of movement. At the vulnerability and strength of its sinews and articulations, at the ways it can become abstracted and suddenly snap into focus. You can read the review here.

And here is a short excerpt:

“Practitioners of ballet often speak of a dancer’s “line” and the way two dancers complement each other’s lines in space. Here, “line” takes on quite different meaning: the line dividing the buttocks is the constant reference point, the home base for Jasperse’s explorations of the many ways two male bodies fit together.”