"The singular glory of Sankai Juku is that it achieves almost pure metaphor." - Time
"The dance antithesis of effusive Broadway musicals and spasmodic club dancing can be found with Sankai Juku... Born in Japan in the devastated aftermath of World War II, Butoh can suggest inner sorrow, but it can also be infused with the present-moment transcendence… It is slow, deliberate, almost hypnotic, and beautiful in its simplicity." - Flavorpill NYC
YBCA and San Francisco Performances are honored to celebrate the return of Japan's famed Butoh troupe, Sankai Juku, to the Bay Area, performing one of the company's signature works, Hibiki – Resonance from Far Away. For over 30 years, the work of choreographer Ushio Amagatsu for his company Sankai Juku has become known worldwide for its elegance, refinement, technical precision and emotional depth. His contemporary Butoh creations are both sublime visual spectacles and deeply moving theatrical experiences. Hibiki is an award-winning work of unparalleled simplicity and poetic beauty. At the heart of the piece lies a desire to glimpse life’s meaning and beauty in its most elemental form. Performed in a dream landscape with whirling costumes, the company of six male dancers, heads shaven and bodies painted white from top to toe, weave meticulous, hypnotic movement with breathtaking large-scale staging to create a truly hypnotic dance experience.
Public Talk/Q&A with Ushio AmagatsuNov 13, 2010 2:00pm
Behind the exquisite beauty of Sankai Juku's work is its artistic leader Ushio Amagatsu. In an exceptionally rare public talk, Mr. Amagatsu will pay special tribute to Kazuo Ohno, the legendary founder of Butoh, who passed away recently in June at the age of 103. In the intimate space of the YBCA Screening Room, please join us for conversation with this extraordinary artist. YBCA and San Francisco Performances are proud to host this sole public talk with Mr. Amagatsu in conjunction with the presentation of Hibiki — Resonance from Far Away, Nov 11-14. Tickets are extremely limited.
Talk with Ushio AmagatsuNov 13, 2010 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Screening Room$10 Reg/$8 YBCA Mem/Stu/Sen/Tea
Behind the exquisite beauty of Sankai Juku's work is its artistic leader Ushio Amagatsu. In an exceptionally rare public talk, Mr. Amagatsu will pay special tribute to Kazuo Ohno, the legendary founder of Butoh, who passed away recently in June at the age of 103. In the intimate space of the YBCA Screening Room, please join us for conversation with this extraordinary artist. YBCA and SFP are proud to host this sole public talk with Mr. Amagatsu in conjunction with the presentation of Hibiki — Resonance from Far Away, Nov 11-14.
When I'm considering future programming for YBCA, one of the things I do is reflect on prior seasons and look at the body of programming as a whole. In doing so recently, I was struck by the diverse range of ideas, aesthetics and cultural and artistic expressions represented in our programming. I considered how this extraordinary accumulation of performance experiences resides in the collective memory of our audiences. Certain forms of expression and artistic exploration seem to inspire particular curiosity and resonance, and I think butoh is one that, as form of expression and artistic exploration, has clearly permeated the imagination of local audiences and artists alike. It's a form of expression that challenges notions of what a performance experience can be, and defies certain conventions of time, space and notions of virtuosity. Butoh is form that has gone through various interpretations and transformations since its inception, but remains a strong influence in our artistic community, locally and beyond.
It's impossible to consider the current artistic landscape of butoh without honoring the profound legacy of Sankai Juku and Founder/Director Ushio Amagatsu's artistic leadership. To experience the work of Sankai Juku is an immersion, a journey into a realm of the sublime. The company transforms the theater space into an otherworldly environment, and offers s a series of dualities: the calm and frenetic, beauty and the grotesque, darkness and light. There's a sublime simplicity to this expression, and the use of symbolic references are all serve as openings for individual interpretation. The title, Hibiki, meaning resonance, is an apt term embedded in our Big Idea SOAR: The Search for Meaning, our thematic idea that which explores artists whose work is providing provides windows into transformative experience and opportunities to transcend the ordinary.
I'm thrilled to partner again with San Francisco Performances to present the return of this extraordinary company through our ongoing commitment to bringing international artists to the Bay Area. With Hibiki — Resonance from Far Away, a seminal piece in Sankai Juku's body of work, I hope that new audiences and new generations of artists will engage with the imagination, beauty and transformative power of this unique form of expression.
Founded in 1975 by Ushio Amagatsu, Sankai Juku performed abroad for the first time at the Nancy International Theatre Festival in 1980. Since then, Sankai Juku has performed in 40 countries in more than 700 cities. Artistic director Ushio Amagatsu trained in classical as well as modern dance before he created his own unique interpretation of Butoh, a contemporary Japanese dance style which was created in the aftermath of World War II. A gentler and less bleak form of Butoh than that of his precedessors, Amagatusu's choreography focuses more on mysticism and stage imagery to create an abstract vision of the infinite through the relationship of the body to gravity and of gravity to the earth. Sankai Juku first performed in the U.S. in 1984 at the L.A. Olympic Arts Festival and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada ever since. This will be their sixth Bay Area appearance.
Sankai Juku – Hibiki is supported by Japan Foundation, Shiseido and the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2010