Japan’s Longest-Standing Butoh Ensemble  Makes Canadian Debut at VIDF

Dairakudakan performs otherworldly spectacle in Canadian premiere of 
Mushi no Hoshi – Space Insect

In an otherworldly fusion of butoh and theatre, the Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) proudly presents the Canadian premiere of renowned Japanese ensemble Dairakudakan in Mushi no Hoshi – Space Insect, on stage March 20 & 21, 2015 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Under the direction of award-winning Choreographer Akaji Maro, this large-scale spectacle will showcase 22 dancers shape-shifting from humans to insects while asking the question, “Who is the better caretaker of the world?”

“As Kokoro Dance had the absolute pleasure of learning from Akaji Maro during a visit to Japan in 2013 – a butoh artist who has truly pioneered the art form – we are thrilled and honoured to welcome Dairakudakan to Vancouver as part of VIDF,” says Artistic Director Barbara Bourget. “This performance exemplifies the role and mandate of VIDF in the community – to present Vancouver audiences with first-rate, culturally-diverse, and influential contemporary dance performances. Our patrons are in for a rare and transformative experience with Dairakudakan’s profound, ethereal performance, presented in Canada for the very first time.”

Founded in 1972, Dairakudakan is Japan’s longest-standing butoh ensemble, globally recognized for spectacular and theatrically explosive performances. Through past tours to such countries as France, Mexico, and Brazil, among others, Dairakudakan’s international reputation has flourished under the expert direction of Founder and Artistic Director Akaji Maro. At 71-years-old, Maro is a revered grandfather of the butoh genre, having studied under Tatsumi Hijikata – one of the original innovators of the art form. Since this tutelage, Maro has advanced butoh considerably through dramatic choreography and theatrics, coupled with a distinct focus on individuality within the group.

First premiering in June 2014 at the Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo, Japan, Mushi no Hoshi – Space Insectis a reflection of an alternate world in which insects are the superior species. With a score co-composed by Japan-born bamboo flutist Keisuke Doi and American techno DJ and producer Jeff Mills, this unearthly performance features dancers transformed as insects, both real and imagined.

Maro’s newest work marks a bold divergence from subject matter previously explored, which has primarily focused on ancient legends and the origins of man. Bluntly taken from his own experiences with Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Mushi no Hoshi – Space Insect is a direct response to his reluctance to join Japanese society in simply “carrying on” following this nuclear crisis, the repercussions of which are palpable and ongoing.

Characterized by the dancers’ whitened bodies, shaved heads, and fragmented movements, butoh was first performed in post-World War II Japan in 1959. Born as a reaction to western dance styles of ballet and modern, butoh rose to popularity in Japan in the 1960’s before swiftly migrating to other countries around the globe where continues to thrive and evolve.

About Vancouver International Dance Festival
The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is a social-profit, artist run organization dedicated to supporting and furthering the art of culturally diverse contemporary dance.

Each year the festival scours the globe, and its own backyard, to assemble a thrilling month of emotionally rich and intellectually stimulating dance expressions. In doing so, the festival functions as an important link between Vancouver and a vibrant, international community of artists, ensuring that world-class contemporary dance will always have a place in the hearts and minds of Vancouver audiences.

LISTING INFORMATION Vancouver International Dance Festival presents

Mushi no Hoshi – Space Insect
Date: March 20 & 21, 2015 at 8pm
Ticket prices: $40 to $50 or included in $98 All Show Pass (1 Vancouver Playhouse ticket + 3 Roundhouse tickets)
Address: Vancouver Playhouse
600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver B.C.
Box Office: vidf.ca/tickets
Website: vidf.ca


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