To commemorate their 40th year, Dairakudakan, one of Japan’s most important butoh companies will hold an epic spectacle at Setagaya Public Theatre. The performance entitled “Virus”, will run from July 5th until July 8th and focuses on the interplay existing between the destruction and genesis of all living things.
The show represents a rare opportunity to see the charismatic founder of Dairakudakan, Maro Akaji, performing on stage. Furthermore the participation of techno God, Jeff Mills, who will provide some of the music as a relief to shakuhachi player and multi-genre composer Keisuke Doi, makes this a show which absolutely cannot be missed.
Under Maro’s guidance, Dairakudakan has established itself as one of the most important butoh companies in Japan. Their use of precise choreography and spectacular direction has also seen them draw critical acclaim around the world.
This unusual collaboration with Jeff Mills is the fruit of a chance encounter in Paris last year, when members of the theatre happened to attend one of his perfomances. Maro was said to be instantly inspired by Mills’ sound and its ability to stimulate the whole body. Meanwhile Mills himself had previously enjoyed one of Dairakudakan’s performances and so a friendship was quickly formed. Maro and Mills, despite the difference in mediums, saw a clear synergy between their works and so it was inevitable and fitting that Mills should be asked to compose a piece for Dairakudakan’s 40th year performance.
Maro’s works tend to fuse opposite elements such as tranquility, flamboyance, cruelty and grace, the grotesque and the sublime. The aim being to show us that these concepts are but two sides of the same coin. The addition of Jeff Mills’ techno music will offer an unpredictable alchemy sure to draw a strong reaction from the large audience. It is the perfect occasion for those who are unfamiliar with the world of butoh to come and open the door.
Words: Asuka O.
June 18, 2012