Finding Butoh at MAO

Yesterday (actually that was Feb13) I arranged to meet a new acquaintance at MAO.  While waiting for our meeting I visited the exhibition ‘Kaleidescope’.  Wow.  I climbed the stairs to the upper gallery and felt an excitement induced by the enveloping sound and the darkness.  This already felt different.  The floor was black and sound absorbant, the walls were punctuated by black canvas.  4 benches were arranged parallel to the big screen.  What was I seeing?  Was it under water? in a cupboard?  Was that gold, was that a bubble ? a dew drop? What is this?  Things slid in and out of focus , suddenly shot past, scuttled or dived in to detail.  Suspended moments.  Something unnerving and visceral. A horror movie?  An insect,  a mysterious world.  Something vast, something tiny. What was the scale?  There was something timeless and particular about it.  It was what for me much of what Butoh is about: mystery, images, hints of the universe in a water droplet, shape shifting, uncertainty, detail, beauty, the grotesque, timelessness in the precision of the moment.

Afterwards I read that the film captured a moment in time, the act of 2 insects caught and preserved in amber over 30 million years old!

What a fantastic piece of work. (‘De-Extinction’ Pierre Huyghe)

I enjoyed the transformation of the space, I enjoyed being offered the opportunity to enter a different world.  I experienced a rush of inspiration for new dance works.  What a treat.

I still need to see the rest of the exhibition!

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