At the beginning it is strange to watch, it is difficult, it is not easy to get the code of the movement. I realised that I had no instruments to critize the dance I was watching.
I was only a witness of the difficulty a handicapped body had to move on that stage. Between being sleepy and being looking for a sense I started noticing details of that movement, of that new offer to my virgin eyes: her legs completely relaxed but with her feet alive; one hand more expressive than the other but with fingers that could twist like Balinese dancer; those deep black eyes; the impossible shape of the back.
My mind was twisted too, anxious, waiting perhaps for that body to become ‘normal’, agile, skilled and then I could use my educated filters and known artistic parameters to enjoy it.
I had to let it go, waiting for something to happen was not going to be the way.
When that body spoke, when that body was carried out to and in to the stage by black shadows (like in traditional Noh theatre or Bunraku), it changed clothes, played drums, then I saw that the ill body had become the body of a hero, the body of a mythological Titan. Yes, the presence I was watching moving on that stage became immense, and me, I was only a humble and weak ‘normal’ body witnessing the prowess of the unique, because I knew I will never move in that way, I will never dance like that body, because I’m simply incapable of doing it. I don’t have the divine conditions that body has.
The last choreography was she dressed as a beautiful lady, a Madonna perhaps, with an enormous paper flower as a tocado on the hair dancing a painful Aria like she was singing it.
I only let my tears drop on that espace, and I was grateful for being there.
This was a dance performance linked to the handicapped body performed by a handicapped dancer. A dance influenced by Butoh no doubt, but probably -if we understand some of the original Tatsumi Hijikata’s words- a dance that is one of the sources of our dear Butoh.
(The Suzunari Theatre, Tokyo, Japan. Saturday February 9th, 2019)