“ankoku butō“, the dance of darkness, is at the centre of choreographer and media artist Choy Ka Fai’s new work. Led by the spirit of Butoh master Tatsumi Hijikata, he ventured on an extensive research for the legacy of Butoh: Since the dance style’s inception in post-war Japan and its eventual global conquest since the 1980s, innumerable new forms have come up. Choy Ka Fai appreciates the rebellious potential inherent in the expressive dance form, a potential taking of a stand against the overpowering presence of Western dance culture, searching for a choreographic language for the Asian body. Not least his séances with Hijikata’s spirit provided inspiration for “UnBearable Darkness”, in which Choy Ka Fai lets the extraordinarily active ghost dance again within an avatar. In his customary laconic style, he joins archive material, interviews with Hijikata’s contemporaries and today’s Butoh specialists as well as the creative force of the ghost itself in a virtuosic and tight connection of enlightened technologies and spiritual experience. Choy Ka Fai, Factory Artist at tanzhaus nrw, living in Singapore and Berlin, set out to heal the illnesses in modern dance by means of the artificial intelligence EmberJello in his “Dance Clinic”. His first presented work in Düsseldorf, in which he introduced his multimedia archive and research project on Asian dance culture and the connected critique of Western-dominated perspectives on Asian dance, was “SoftMachine: Rianto”, which already took place in 2015. A first sketch for his new project could be glimpsed at Festival TEMPS D’IMAGES under the title “How does a Ghost choreograph?”.
Duration: 60 min.
Concept, Documentation, Direction: Choy Ka Fai; Choreographical Presence, paranormal Performance: Tatsumi Hijikata; Dance Engineering, Motion Capturing, Performance: Neji Pijin; Shaman in Training, Translation, Performance: Tomoko Inoue; Dramaturgy: Tang Fu Kuen, Visual Design, Technology: Brandon Tay; Music: Raffael Seyfried; Costumes: Rie Usui; Programming, Interface Design: Yusuke Kimura; Management: Yap Seok Hui / Art Factory; Project Management: Yoko Kawasaki; Company Manager: Mara Nedelcu. www.ka5.info
A production by Choy Ka Fai, coproduced by tanzhaus nrw in the framework of MOCCA – Motion Capturing Creative Area, a project of the Hochschule Düsseldorf, LAVAlabs, Velamed GmbH and tanzhaus nrw, funded by EFRE and Kyoto Experiment. Furthermore funded by the Kunststiftung NRW in the framework of the series Ceremony Now!, supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, funded by the Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien and The Saison Foundation. The research was supported by TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, The Saison Foundation, The Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Hijikata Tatsumi Archive at the Keio University Art Center.