|Edinburgh : A&E : Festivals : Fringe Reviews|
None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
MA. (Page 71).
Drams None required.
Venue The Garage. (Venue 81).
Address Citrus Club, Grindlay Street.
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat.
Ankoku Butoh, or Dance of Darkness, was born in 1959 in post-war Japan, when choreographers Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno performed a short piece Kinjiki (Forbidden Colours), based on Yukio Mishima's novel of the same title. Kinjiki explored the taboo of homosexuality and its content raised a scandal. Butoh has always been considered shocking, provocative, erotic, grotesque, violent. It is also profoundly spiritual. Hijikata and Ohno used this new dance form, a mixture of traditional Japanese theatre, Ausdrucktanz and mime, in order to explore the realms of grotesque, darkness, physical decay and transformation. Since then, Butoh has inspired many international artists who adopted it partly or wholly with varied success.
At its worst it may appear hermetic, while at its best it is a profoundly moving experience. One such extraordinary show, staged on Citrus Club's tiny dance floor, is Tadashi Endo's MA (in Zen Buddhism MA means emptiness and the space between the things), an expression of the life's cycle and nature's tides through fusion of Butoh, traditional Noh and Kabuki, and different forms of Occidental theatre. Tadashi Endo is a superb Butoh performer, expressive and innovative, who has coined his art through studying theatre direction under Max Reinhardt, and continuous collaborations with Butoh experts such as Kazuo Ohno, Yoshito Ohno (Kazuo Ohno's son who performed in the original staging of Kinjiko), and Carlotta Ikeda. Besides presenting his one-man show MA, he also features at this year's Fringe as the co-creator, director, choreographer and designer of Shi-Zen, 7 Bowls, a successful collaboration with Brazilian company Lume, which is currently playing at Aurora Nova.
Endo's performance is pure, undiluted MAMU Butoh, mesmerising, delicate and formidable. Once in flow, it washes over the audience like a primordial tide, creating powerful images, opening the recesses of one's imagination and memories, making the audience one with the performer. It is focussed, concentrated, playful, flawless and full of surprises. MA is the best that Fringe can offer, do not miss it.
Note on the artist - Tadashi Endo was born in Peking in 1947. Between 1973 and 1976 he studied at the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar in Vienna. He has performed worldwide including Austria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland and the USA. He is the director of the Butoh-Centre MAMU and the Butoh Festivals MAMU in Goettingen.
© Ksenija Horvat 09 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 20 August at 19:15, every day.
Company Tadashi Endo.
Company Website www.butoh-ma.de