Kokoro Dance presents the world premiere of Reading the Bones, a work for six dancers distilled from the 33-year history of Kokoro Dance’s butoh-inspired creations. Performances take place at 8pm, Sept 18th – 21st and 25th – 28th at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Kokoro Dance co-founders, Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi, are reimagining choreography from their past works, and setting their powerful, provocative, and passionate movement on Katie Cassady (in her 20’s), Molly McDermott (in her 30’s), Deanna Peters close to her 40’s), Salomé Nieto (in her 50’s), and themselves. Bourget is now in her 60’s and Hirabayashi, in his 70’s. This 50-year generational spread gives uniquely rich and deep nuances to the performances. Music for the new work is by Joseph Hirabayashi; lighting by Gerald King.
Since 1986 Kokoro Dance has sought to expand Canadian culture and created contemporary performances directly inspired by the art form and philosophical movement of butoh. Hijikata Tatsumi “the architect of Butoh” and Ohno Kazuo “the soul”, founded the movement as an insurrection to the western styles of ballet and modern dance. They created a more primal humanistic movement, frequently characterized by painted and whitened bodies, ethereal and androgynous presentation and shaved heads. Kokoro Dance’s butoh expression gives recurring attention to the seven aesthetic principles of Zen philosophy: kanso — simplicity; fukinsei — asymmetry or irregularity; shibumi — beauty in the understated; shizen — naturalness without pretense; yugen — subtle grace; datsuzoku — freeness; and seijaku — tranquility. These terms are encompassed in a world view that the Japanese call wabi sabi — the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
Reading the Bones draws reference from Osteomancy, or “Bone Reading”. A divination ritual practiced and performed by many cultures world-wide for thousands of years. The practice of foretelling the future through fragments of the past, bones are cast and through the shapes they create, infinity is revealed. Bourget and Hirabayashi explore the notion of returning to one’s roots and past in order to anticipate the future. Through primordial humanistic gestures, tremorous cycles of breathing and erratic yet controlled movement, they convey the trials and vulnerability of different stages of life and being.
Kokoro Dance presents Reading the Bones
Dates: September 18 - 21 and 25 - 28, 2019 at 8pm
Tickets : $25 - $30, (Wednesday 18th + 25th, 2-for-1 Ticket Price)
Address: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2W3
Box Office: www.kokoro.ca/ 604.662.4966
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