Tsuyoshi Shirai – Dance/Visual from Japan

May 3rd, 2011

Wani Ballet (Crocodille Ballet)

See Theco (youtube dance clip by Tsuyoshi Shirai)

The Dancer 1Tsuyoshi Shirai- (via Shift)

Interview with Tsuyoshi Shirai

TSUYOSHI SHIRAI is a dancer, choreographer and founder of the Contemporary Dance Group daneto, which performs dance, music and video works. The groups performances, which feature collaboration with contemporary music and a wide range of artists, have been well received both at home and abroad.
In 2004, Shirai performed the solo work “mass, slide, &.” In 2011, he created and presented a new visual work based on “mass, slide, &.” called “mass, slide, &. in frames” at YCAM. He has been trying many new things not only showing his visual works on the web but also make all materials downloadable. He describes this new creation as “dance as a visual work.” We asked Shirai to explain his views on the difference between theatrical and video works.

R.I.P Jill Johnston

September 21st, 2010

Jill Johnston 1JOHNSTON-obit-popup May 17, 1929 – September 18, 2010
(author and critic)
NYtimes obit

Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

Ms. Johnston continued to write on the arts but took a strong political line with a marked psychoanalytic slant evident in “Jasper Johns: Privileged Information” (1996), which explored the artist’s works as a series of evasions and subterfuges rooted in conflict about his homosexuality, and in the two volumes of her memoirs: “Mother Bound” (1983) and “Paper Daughter” (1985), both of them subtitled “Autobiography in Search of a Father.” (NYtimes obit)

[Paper Daughter] is a joy To be sane about insanity is the neatest trick in anybody’s book, and Jill Johnston’s has it.
Peter Schjeldahl

Thespian lemonist, dance cricket, and irrepressible funster…(Vancouver Observer Obit)

Feisty, irreverent, difficult, incomprehensible, surreal, as one critic put it, she was “part Gertrude Stein, part E. E. Cummings, with a dash of Jack Kerouac thrown for good measure.”

Book on Jasper Johns.1JilljasperPg-JJ-10

Magill Book Reviews for EBSCO Publishing
In her book on Jasper Johns, Jill Johnston combines a superb background in art history with a penetrating understanding of the artists psychology. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said, the biographers first obligation is to the truth. Of course, the biographer must be tactful and subtle qualities that Johnston exhibits on every page of her fine book.
Carl Rollyson

Jill and Dick Cavett 1JillandCavet

Throughout her childhood she believed that her parents had divorced, but in 1950, when The New York Times ran a short obituary about her father, an English bell maker named Cyril F. Johnston, she learned the truth.

Her mother informed her that she and Johnston had never married. A lifelong fascination with this absent figure, whose company, Gillett & Johnston, supplied bells and carillons to churches and cathedrals all over the world, motivated her to write “England’s Child: The Carillon and the Casting of Big Bells” (2008), a biography of her father and a history of bell making.

Jill Johnston (wiki)

Johnston’s most recent writing March 2010

Jill Johnston (Huffpost)

Jill Johnston On Palin: Little More Than A Smokescreen

Jill Johnston on “Life” Jan 1, 1971

Columnist Jill Johnston who recently announced her lesbianism in dance column of THE VILLAGE VOICE.

Kazuo Ohno R.I.P

June 4th, 2010

(photograph by Eiko Hosoe)

A tribute to Ohno

Ohno at 95 years (Adagio Samuel Barber)
Ohno kazuo_ohno October 27, 1906 – June 1, 2010

Kazuo kazuoOhno Ohno

NYtimes Obit Kazuo Ohno a Founder of Japanese Butoh, Dies at 103

Kazuo Ohno, a founder of Butoh, the influential Japanese dance-theater form whose traditional look of darkness and decay evoked for many the horrors of the wartime bombings of Japan, died on Tuesday in Yokohama, Japan. He was 103 and had continued to perform beyond his 100th year.

Obit from Times online (Ohno’s first performance was at an advanced age of 47 years)

A short clip of Ohno dancing while sitting on his chair

Kazuo Ohno Studio

On the verge of death one revisits the joyful moments of a lifetime. One’s eyes are opened wide-gazing into the palm, seeing death, life, joy and sorrow with a sense of tranquillity.”

Mikhail Baryshnikov & Cesc Gelabert

December 12th, 2009

  • Who is Cesc Gelabert ?

  • Sense Fi 2009

    An extract from one of the last two works of the Company. Choreography: Cesc Gelabert Comissioned score: Pascal Comelade. Costumes:L.Azzopardi

    Jean Philippe Rameau

    September 25th, 2009

    J.P. Rameau

    Les Paladins

    Jean-Philippe Rameau (September 25, 1683 – September 12, 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era.

    Les Boréades, Eros

    Director Robert Carsen and his creative team flood the stage with summer blossoms, drifts of autumn leaves, winter snows and thunderous spring storms. The cast of 140 are attired in elegant costumes inspired by late 1940s Dior. This mythical tale of a young queen, Alphise, determined to abdicate rather than contemplate an enforced marriage to a descendant of Boreas, is nothing less than highly-charged.
    Ground-breaking modern dance ensemble La La La Human Steps, choreographed by Édouard Lock, perform dance ‘divertissements’ in this strikingly beautiful staging.

    Sylvie Guillem selected la Poule for you.

    Agnes de Mille

    September 18th, 2009

    Agnes de Mille agnesbio
    (18 September 1905 – 7 October 1993) was an American dancer and choreographer

    When Agnes was very young, her father followed his brother, Cecil B. de Mille to California, to try for work in the new gold field of motion pictures. He went for a year’s stay and remained for the rest of his life. (Her bio here)

    Her autograph agnes4

    Oklahoma ! – Out Of My Dreams (Part 2)

  • Theater people are always pining and agonizing because they’re afraid that they’ll be forgotten. And in America they’re quite right. They will be.
    Agnes de Mille
  • To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.
    Agnes de Mille
  • Agnes de Mille’s career was a long, successful, but also turbulent journey through the world of 20th century American theater and ballet (via)

    W/Thanks to Steven Schwartz!

    Merce Cunningham R.I.P

    July 27th, 2009

    annie_leibovitz_merce_cunningham (photo by Annie Leibovitz)
    Merce Cunningham( April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009)

    Goodbye Merce and thank you.
    About Merce and Merce org. here.

    Three clips from Ubuweb including one with John Cage and Nam June Paik.

    Perfect Balance Memoir of Cage/Cunningham by Carolyn Browns

    For all of her devotion to and love of Cunningham, Brown reveals that of the famed duo, Cunningham was the difficult one, a man often lost within himself, at times almost reclusive, failing to explain his decisions….
    Cage, on the other hand, comes across as a generous spirit throughout, a man who loved games, eating (his mushroom-hunting expeditions are renowned), and, most of all, talking. The gregarious Cage, traveling in the early days with the company, was responsible, so Brown suggests, for the feeling that they were, in fact, a company, for the sense of group spirit. Like a loving mother, Cage is always there to help Cunningham get through the ordeals of travel and the horrible pain the body of any dancer must endure.
    Cage is presented as a joyful being, seeking everyone’s happiness. Brown writes:

    Obit from artbeat blogs NYtimes.

    Merce Cunningham, the American choreographer who was among a handful of 20th-century figures to make dance a major art and a major form of theater, died Sunday night. He was 90 and lived in Manhattan.
    Mr. Cunningham ranks with Isadora Duncan, Serge Diaghilev, Martha Graham and George Balanchine in making people rethink the essence of dance and choreography, posing a series of “But” and “What if?” questions over a career of nearly seven decades.

    Pina Bausch R.I.P

    June 30th, 2009

    Pina Bausch (1940 – 2009) Photo by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan

    So shocking, terribly sad.
    The Guardian obit

    Farewell to Pina Bausch, the dangerous magician of modern dance
    Beautiful and strange, tragic yet hopeful, Pina Bausch’s creations entranced the audience. The news of her death is terribly sad – and a challenge for dance-makers

    German dance legend Pina Bausch dies at 68

    The director of the Wuppertal Tanztheater said Tuesday that Bausch had passed away unexpectedly earlier that morning. The choreographer had just last week been diagnosed with cancer, but had continued with her work up until her death.

    Chantal Akerman made a documentary of Pina Bausch

    Pina Bausch Picture galleries from Guardian here.

    Dreaming of Pina (A wonderful Video)

    Her influence is clear in the work of European choreographers like Jan Fabre, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Sasha Waltz and Alain Platel. Her work has also been a major influence on American contemporary dance choreographers who question the boundaries between theater and dance.

    A scene from “Orpheus and Eurydice” at the Opera Garnier in Paris in 2005.

    Created a Pina Bausch archive under dance.

    Kontakthof Pina Bausch 1

    Beaming Balanchine

    May 25th, 2009

    George B and Igor (Early career of G.B on Yourtube)

  • Mr B and Stravinksy Balanchine and Stravinsky

    More on youtube.
    Pacific Northwesat performs George Balanchine’s JEWELS

    What is the Curse of Balanchine?

    Magic spells, poisons, potions and enchantments may be frequent plot devices at the ballet, but the art form itself is under a bewitchment of its own making. It’s the Curse of Balanchine. (Read more here at Washington Post Ballet Must Make Room Onstage for More Than One Genius)

    Blue Kaipoi

    November 3rd, 2008

    Trisha Brown
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    R.I.P Madelyn Dunham (Obama’s Grandmother) – To the Mountaintop – Joe Klein

    “She was a quiet hero” Obama on youtube.

    Byodo (Digital image by
    Fung Ching

    Byodo image is dedicated to Madelyn Dunham. Fung Ching lives in Honolulu, not too far from Obama’s grandmother’s apartment. (See Byodo Inn in Haiku village).


    (Digital image by Fung Ching Kelling)

    Akram Khan

    August 1st, 2008

    Akram Khan Zero Degrees

    Zero Degrees

    About a decade ago, the London-born choreographer Akram Khan and his Bangladeshi cousin were boarding a train from India to Bangladesh when police confiscated their passports and wouldn’t return them until Khan’s cousin slipped them some money. Then the cousins found a dead man in their carriage.
    Khan moved to help the man’s distraught wife, but his cousin told him to stay put. “They’ll just blame you for the death,” he said. “They need to blame someone, so they’ll blame you.” They’d recognize that Khan was a foreigner–he had insubordination in his eyes–and they’d throw him in prison and he’d never get out.
    When Khan and the Moroccan-Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui sat down to plan a joint work in 2005, Cherkaoui asked Khan to tell him something he’d never told anyone before. Khan told this story.

    Akram and Juliette juliette
    Juliette Binoche will debut as a dancer, choreographed by Akram Khan and set design by Anish Kapoor.

    Portrait of the artist Akram Khan

    Sacred Monsters by Sylvie Guillem, choreographed by Akram Khan (Youtube).
    (The fact that Juliette Binoche is not a professional trained dancer like Sylvie may bring more surprises and warmth to Khan’s work, as evidenced by the sample of this clip).

    Rhada’s Dance (traditional Indian dance excerpted from Jean Renoir’s film “The River”)

    Happy Sneaker Feet – De Keersmaeker and Derbyshire

    July 19th, 2008

    Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker –

    Counter Phrases 3/4

    Rosas_Fase_Clapping Music

    De Keersmaeker’s biography here.

    (See Happy Geta Feet – Japanese tap dancing video from previous post)

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    Listen to Delia Derbyshire’s Experimental dance track

    Delia is a pioneer in Electronic music

    A recent Guardian article called her ‘the unsung heroine of British electronic music’, probably because of the way her infectious enthusiasm subtly cross-pollinated the minds of many creative people. She had exploratory encounters with Paul McCartney, Karlheinz Stockhausen, George Martin, Pink Floyd, Brian Jones, Anthony Newley, Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson.

    Delia at BBC delia.jpg