<bgsound src="http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2BFBCGCPAD" > My Big Big Adventure: June 2005

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Butoh Dance - 30/6/2005

I have received a email notice from JFKL about a dance in KLPAC at Sentul West.

I thought it would be a nice dance, as it is a joint production with Japanese renown dance performer, Ko Murobushi and our local talent, Lee Swee Keong. It's part of the Japan-Malaysia Technical Design Workshop organised by the Malaysian Alliance of Technical Theatre and The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur, with support from MyDance Alliance and Studio Chombrang.

When I called up to inquire about the dance, I accidentally mentioned about "Nyonya" dance. A mistake until now I still remembered. I have misinterpreted that message, and it is supposedly to be "Nyoba Dance group". How silly I was. No wonder the person on the other line sounded surprised!

Frankly, I have limited understanding of the dance. Furthermore, it's my first dance appreciation. I only attended this with recommendation from JFKL, plus, I have come across Lee Swee Keong's production in our of the theatre I have gone to.

Both of us found the dance was amusing, well, bizaar. That's why he went on to search info relating to Butoh and shared it with me. Here are the details:

What is Butoh?
Basically, Butoh (sometimes written buto), is a contemporary Japanese dance movement, initially called Ankoku Butoh or Dance of Utter Darkness, by its originators, Tatsumi Hijikata and Ohno Kazuo.

It is generally agreed that the first butoh piece was the 1959 performance of Hijikata's, Kinjiki, (Forbidden Colours), based on the novel of the same name by Yukio Mishima. The piece explored the taboo of homosexuality and ended with the smothering of a live chicken between the legs of Yoshito Ohno (Ohno Kazuo's son) and Hijikata chasing Yoshito off the stage in darkness. This piece caused its outraged audience to ban Hijikata and his colloborators from the festival where Kinjiki premiered, and established Hijikata as an iconoclast.

In the post-war political climate artists such as Hijikata were concerned with the growing influx of American culture in Japan. The 1959 Japan Mutual Defense Treaty, a document that allowed the continuance of American military presence in Japan, caused a swell of protest through university, café, street life and artwork. Butoh was conceived on this tide of protest.

Inspired by the works of writers such as Yukio Mishima, Lautrémont, Artaud, Genet and de Sade, Hijikata delved into worlds of the grotesque, darkness, decay and the transformation of the body into other materials such as spirits and animals in a process called "becoming". He was a wild man with language, creating butoh-fu (fu means "word" in Japanese), poetic and surreal scores to help the dancer transform into other materials.

Who is Ko Murobushi 室伏鴻?

Ko Murobushi is one of the best known Butoh-dancers of our time. Born in Tokyo, he was a little boy when Butoh was born in 1959 by Tatsumi Hijikata. By 1968 he had already studied and performed with Hijikata in Japan.

After this first contact with Butoh, Ko retired from the stage in 1970 and practised for two years ascetic life and shamanism as so-called Yamabushi in the Japanese mountains.

Back into society he founded the Butoh group DAIRAKUDAN together with Ushio Ama-gatsu, Akaji Maro and others, doing several performances in Tokyo and Kyoto.

In 1974 he created the Butoh-magazine "Hageshii Kisetsu (Violent Season)" and founded a female Butoh-Compagnie ARIADONE for which he did many choreographies. Two years later he founded a similar only-male Butoh-group: SEBI.

With a co production of these two groups he brought Butoh to Europe. De Dernier Eden - Porte De L'au - De La?succeeded in Paris in 1978 and was followed by a big tour through the whole Europe with ARIADONE in 1981/82.

From this time, on Ko Murobushi settled down in Paris and made Paris the European capital of Butoh. Lots of choreographies followed for ARIADONE as well as for Carlotta Ikeda, Urara Kusanagi, Tadashi Endo and others.

Beneath the work as a choreographer for himself and others, Ko keeps a strong tradition of improvisational performances that culminated in 1986 in a cooperation with the Glenn Branca Orchestra in Tokyo.

To list some titles of works of that period: "En", "Zarathoustra", "Unemumie", "Neon Or Neant", "Utt", "Lotus Cabaret", "Hinagata 8", "Iki", "Waterworks", "La Nuit", "Dehors", "Monsieur Kafka", "Pantha Rhei".

From 1988 onwards, Ko concentrated on duo productions with Urara Kusanagi - "Ephemere" and "Oni One" were created and toured in the following years in Europe and South America; his very successful solo production "En" brought him to Mexico.

Choreographies from the last few years include: "Mamuish", "Nomadic Blue", "Pie" and "Ai-Amour" (duo with Carlotta Ikeda), "Working Process", "Sebi" (Duos with Urara Kusanagi). In January 1996 he created a new solo for the MAMU-Festival in Geingen/Germany: "In Chance", in May 1997 there followed another solo "In Silence", co produced by Le Quartz/Brest & La Fonderie. In 1998 "Working Process" toured successfully through Venezuela and Eastern Europe.

In 1999 and 2000 Ko concentrated his work to Mexico with teaching and creating choreography for Urara Kusanagi in a Mexican film, entitled "Vera", directed by Francisco Athie. In that time he also re-concentrated his work to Japan, doing several performances there.

Ko Murobushi on the one hand continues to open his dance and the Butoh to worldwide influence. On the other hand he tries to research his work deeper into its Japanese roots. His last performace, edge? in Japan in 2000 shocked the Japanese public but has also been highly appreciated.

Also his recent perfomance & teaching in Vienna "ImPuls Tanz 2001" has been recognized as the most valuable event of the festival.



70年出羽三山にて修験道を研究。 72年「大駱駝艦」の旗揚げに参加。





86年パリ・ユネスコ本部で土方巽を追悼して『PANTHA RHEI』を上演、


近年では、 ImPulsTanz(ウィーン)、Montpellier Danse(モンペリエ)、

National Gallery of Modern Art (ローマ)、The Place theater(ロンドン)、

Hivernales d’Avignon(アヴィニョン)等でソロ公演。

またBernardo Montet 振付『Dissection d'un homme arme』にゲスト出演。

Company ARIADONEのために『春の祭典』(パリ, バスティユ劇場初演)、

メキシコ映画『VERA』(F・アティエ 監督/草薙うらら主演)のダンス・シーンを振付。

2000年『外の人、他のもの』(大阪トリイホール)、『Edge』(神楽坂die pratze)

01年 世田谷シアター・トラムにてメキシコ国立芸術院 INBA との共同制作『Edge 01』。


03年3月 『即興三夜』。

「JADE2003 土方メモリアル」に招かれ Ko&Edge Co.で『美貌の青空』を発表。

04年 Ko&Edge co.『Experimental Body』シリーズを開始、vol.1『Heels』、vol.2『始原児』。


05年 Cie.Ariadoneによる『ツァラトゥストラ』再演・振付。

Ko&Edge coによる『Experimental Body vol.3』を準備中。


What he thinks of Butoh?

■舞という字は美しい。歩いていると看板に「舞」と書かれていたりして振り向けば バーのネオンだったり、扉を開ければ舞なんて彼・彼女がいたりしたが・・・舞さん と舞い上がれば必ず墜落や転落があるからカラダにいくつ裏表があっても不足、で、 出口と入口のあたりで踏み迷って舞-踏になった・・・踏み外してダンスだ。 間のハイフンにはなにかあるのか?な-んにもない。ただハイフン、舞い上がらずと も宙吊りのカラダの孤独に見舞われる<間>があるというわけだ。暁には墜落があ り、着水がある。

■・・・神話的なイメージを反復したいわけではない。昨日置き忘れた記憶をいくら探 ぐってもモノは出てこない。思い出そうとして悪戦する現在があるだけだ。わたした ちの、種族の根源のようなところにまでバンジー・ジャンプできたら、できるかもし れない、踊りでそれが出来るかもしれない、って言ってるひとがいたけど、無-起源 の無限の飛翔、場所なき場所の孤独の反復があるだけだ

■忘れた乙女の歩行を憶い出す、童貞の歩行が炸裂する。忘却が捩れ、喉も砕けて声が 出ない。「出来あがらない」ための、これからがステージ。函とロープを用意した。 そしてジョン・レノンも。                                                          
Here are some of the site with regards to Butoh:


Ko Muroboshi's official website


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Wedding dinner

I am glad that my classmates have not married, or invited me for wedding, just yet. If not, I don't know what to say.

Indeed, I have attended my colleagues, even boss' wedding recently and the year before, and more to come as well. The norm of these ritual is that I need to prepare "Ang Pow" for the dinner.

The routine of wedding will start with a reception. The best reception I got was that you could win Magnum number with the registraton. I guess it's for promotion, but at a wedding? How unusual!

What I find annoying about wedding dinner is that you will need to sit with some strangers and talk about work. That would be the last thing on my mind!

"Yam Sheng" (cheers) is something that you can't miss in a chinese wedding dinner. The louder it goes, the more face it gives to the host. Why is that? I really don't know. Maybe the louder the merrier?

Marriage is about moving on with the person you loved most. Wedding dinner is just a formal reception to announce to others that these two love birds are ready to take a big step in life. It's a tiring event.

So, who says wedding if for "just the two of us"?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Banting Trip

Not sure why I have agreed to join this trip. I know my classmate, Huai Heng has organised it and thankfully, we have a local guide, Chee Kian, to help us on our navigation.

I am attracted to the trip as I know it will eventually turn out to be an eating trip for me. Yum~

Along the trip, I have shared my precious moment with my undepartable comics, "Ganbaru, Shun!".

The weather was extremely hot and I was reluctant to get out the car for a walk or so. But some places I did enjoy: Fo Guang San,chill out at Cendol stall, stopover for durian and toiletries.

The memory of this trip has been solely on food. Seafood is a must at the end, we were in Tanjung Sepat at this famed "qing ren qiao" (lover's bridge). Overall, I felt that the food is not as delicious as I could get at Teluk Gong in Klang. Maybe suggest the gang to be there next time.

This trip was an enjoyable one, at least out from my routine job. Most importantly, the fun of picture taking and also the thrill of bill paying.

Shall we do something more adventurous next time?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Revisiting Penang in June

Weather was hot. It is even hotter in Penang.

I was there this time taking another method of transportation to Penang. Not only that is the surprise, but that I and a colleague, Meei, had to work in Penang Mapex 2005, which was held at PISA (Penang International Sports Arena).

It's the second time I am off outstation on duty. My first was in Ipoh August last year. This year, I was off to Penang. Actually, this was my first visit there, on a plane. Was quite excited. How's Bayan Lepas like?

When we touched down in Penang, straight away crab a cab and zoom we are off to PISA for our first official duty in Penang. We met Hanny, our local colleague there.

It's like a gathering of all developers in Penang market. We too went around to survey some of our competitors' products in comparison to our new product in Bukit Gambir, located near USM. Yes, Penang has its own crowd. At least the people who came into this venue were genuinely looking for houses.

Here, we have got full support from HSBC. Gary and Chuah were there full time to assist in our sale. They have been a great help! Thank you!

After work, Meei and I went back to our hotel for our shower and our dinner near McCalister Road. I vividly remembered this place because my ex-neighbour has brought us here before some years back. Ah, from the hotel, you could actually sense the smell of Laksa, fried kuey teow and all the delicious local delicacies of Penang. Find no more, let's feast!

After two nights there, I began to feel bloated. Putting on weight has been the easiest thing for me.

I understand from Meei that her sister has a dim-sum shop, which is quite famously known. So, why not pay a visit to her. After all, her sister is my classmate's mom, what a coincident! I think with the delicious dim-sum, it certainly creates a name for it! Yum~

I did some walking the first night. I managed to walk from our hotel to the end of McCalister Road, and turn back to a small alley where there is 濟公廟會. Performance with dance and singing were held. It's odd to see folks of our elderly were presented for the show. Maybe it's a culture of Penang people, which I do not comprehend.

Second night, Meei's friend, 瑞泉, came by for a visit. Well, actually to put a night. He was a friendly typical Penangite, who is kind enough to buy us breakfast. I understand why my friend has fallen for him. He's just being nice.

It's an experience. To me, Penang people are friendly, and always on the move to eat!

Welcome to Penang!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tennis and I

I remembered vividly telling myself that it's rediculous to play a racket game. Indeed, I have and how fast can that changed when I met up with my tennis mentor, Yi Zheng, and got myself a RM 450 tennis racket. Feel like slapping myself on the face.

I have begun my tennis lesson during my school days. It was mid of 1996. I joined the tennis holiday camp with Hai Ein, my classmate. It was a week's intensive course, I enjoyed it very much. However, my path to professional tennis playing was short lived after I have abandoned the practice right after the camp. Was it timing? money? or just excuse for geting out from home? I think I have to say "Yes" to all of the questions.

Now, I have the greatest opportunity to pick up the game again, I am really thrilled. What is more, starting a weekly routine, together with Yi Zheng, Hong Jau and my brother, the foursome quest to Tennis.

It will be fun and I know it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Birthday Gathering

From the end of May and beginning of June, I have attended three birthday gathering, lunch and dinner, including my brother's.

I have envied peole who are born middle of the month. By far, people remember them, and the fertility is by far the highest, judging from the number of friends born among these months.

It has been fulfilling for me, for my big tummy and emotionally.

I wonder how long would it be take before these happy moments of growing up is changing into grievances of getting young again. I don't want to know about it.

Birthday, a symbol or a marking of another milestone. It's for me to think and reflect what have I been doing for the past year. Have I achieved what I have set out for, or is there anything particular that I have done so great that it has carved a little marking on the stone for that particular exciting moment.