Ko Murobushi, Edge 01

Review in Issue 15-4 | Winter 2003

Using improvisation between predestined anchor points, ko Murobushi (who studied with the founder of Butoh, Hijikata) is extraordinary - with equally as extraordinary a relationship to his audience. The first section of “Edge 01’ by this radical minimalist of Butoh opens with three monolithic cupboards’ on stage. There is the sound of creaking seats in the audience, low light on us and a suspended haze on stage as Ko, like a shadow in an alley, shifts form behind and between these cupboards. Now in front of us, wearing white shirt and grey trousers, he is standing and contracting and falls backwards onto the ground, hard. No soundtrack, he is talking to himself. It is frightening, alarming, fascinating to witness; you feel you’re looking into something too private and you want to sit very still

Ko Murobushi melts and morphs and stamps. His trousers come off and the soundscape comes in with a sound like vapour escaping. Ko is chilling and disturbing to watch. A muscle and clay-like body out of which something is trying to hatch, emerge; and it’s painful. Like a hybrid between an anatomical model of a man and an alien, he stands, picks up his clothes and indicates to the sound operator to cut the music.

Second section… a square of light becomes a corridor of light. Crawling like a muscular slug with limbs, leaving a glistening trail of sweat. Ko looks to us and asks “Happy?”. He is so within himself and this intense experience, yet acknowledges the audience watching him. I departed feeling I had seen something I had not witnessed before, a concentrated human hurricane enclosed in flesh.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-4
p. 26