Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wreck Beach Butoh Boot Camp: Day 1

Five hours a day, five days a week, for two weeks: what was I thinking!!!

I'm certainly stiff this morning, the day after my first workshop and rehearsal for this year's 20th anniversary production of Kokoro Dance's Wreck Beach Butoh, which will be held this year in the early afternoon on July 4 and 5. Check out Kokoro's website for full details.

But I'm not half as stiff as I thought I'd be. And my awkwardness in initially executing much of it notwithstanding, I am very excited by the choreography that we've learned from Barbara so far. I actually went over the first section in my head several times last night while trying to sleep and found that I had all of the bits more or less inside me already--which is something I haven't been able to say about either LGC or Mountain View Solstice at such an early stage.

The piece Barbara is creating this year is based on the Icarus myth, but as retold in a poem by Mishima. Kokoro always recycles a few favourite bits from previous WBBs. In giving us (there are twenty folks participating this year, most veterans of the process, but a few newbies like me) the lay of the land (quite literally) re practicalities around performing on the beach, Barbara and Jay said that we'd be doing some of the Pirate sequence again, as well as the bit called Chef--a splash dance in the water.

Because this workshop is so intensely concentrated and exhausting, I don't think I will blog as fulsomely about it as I have the other community dance projects I've been involved in this year (though I do think I will write about it more extensively in another form). Instead, I'll just share a few isolated impressions and/or lessons from each day's rehearsal.

Two things I learned from yesterday: the importance of visualization and above all slowness in butoh.

One thing Barbara threatened that I'm dreading: doing the ecstasy jumps on the beach. Especially if she wants 40 of them...


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