Wreck Beach Butoh, this weekend (eleven years and counting)

Wreck Beach Butoh, by Kokoro Dance
Wreck Beach Butoh, by Kokoro Dance
(image from Kokoro’s website)

Wreck Beach Butoh is on this weekend. This will be the 11th year of performances by Kokoro Dance Theatre Society. The venue is the bottom of Beach Trail 4, the top of which is behind the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Note different times for the two days:
Saturday 22 July: 10:30 AM
Sunday 23 July: 11:30 AM

Butoh is a modern, avant garde, dance/performance art form that was developed in Japan in the 1960s. Its founder, Hijikata Tatsumi, believed in moving away from calculated, controlled dance movements in favour of more organic, primal movements. Apart from moving slowly with bent legs and twisting and distorting the body, there is no real set style in butoh. Different troupes and performers have their own styles. (For more info, read a history of butoh written by Canadian butoh performer Don McLeod.)

Kokoro‘s performances are inspired by butoh, but blend in other elements from Eastern and Western forms. Most of the time, the dancers perform in white body make-up and fundoshis (loincloths). On Wreck Beach, though, the twenty-three performers will wear only white make-up. The dance will make full use of the sand and water in the performance, and of course will take place in a wonderfully secluded environment–besides the performers and audience, there’ll be just the ocean, the sky, the mountains, the cliff.

If you’ve never seen Kokoro or butoh, if you’ve never been to Wreck Beach, this weekend would be a good time to kill two (or more) birds with one stone. You’ll remember the experience.

p.s. The cost is free, but a donation of $5 or more is requested and would be appreciated, and will help support more such performances.

p.p.s. Don’t go down the wrong trail. Trail 4 is not the trail to the main beach area (that’s Trail 6, near the residences). Your descent to the beach should start behind the Museum of Anthropology.

p.p.p.s. The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny and hot, with 30°+ C temperatures. Bring sunscreen. The performance will take place rain or shine, in any case.

p.p.p.p.s. No photography or video equipment allowed. Just enjoy the show.

p.p.p.p.p.s. This Saturday, 22 July, is also Pi Approximation Day (22/7). Eat something round to celebrate.

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