Tadashi Endo, Migrations 01

Review in Issue 15-4 | Winter 2003

There continues to be a widening approach to Butoh, with different companies articulating their own distinctive style. Endo’s ‘Migrations 01 straddles both the dark introspection and the comic surrealism of Butoh, creating a shifting emotional landscape on the stage, reflecting the theme of migrations in a variety of forms.

“Migrations 01’ shifts between solo and trio with all the performers having the quality of nomadic ‘spirits’. The concept of a sculptural body is much in evidence as seen in the landscapes created by the performers’ backs and the animal imagery used to inform several motifs.

A striking feature of Endo’s work, that contrasts distinctly with the work of Sankal Juku, is the allowance he makes for each performer’s individuality to inform their work. As the performance progresses, each performer is slowly allowed to communicate an essence of a character, giving us an opportunity to access a humanity within this visceral genre. Particularly effective are Yael Karavan’s clownish facial expressions as the performers inflate their mouths to bursting and Yumino Seki’s melancholic character, at times an outside figure, excluded by the other females.

Music and lighting play a key role, deliberately jarring us out of an entrancement and driving the performers onto the next stage. At times the lighting lost much of its effect due to imprecision in the timing. Having said that, the effects themselves served to further articulate themes of longing, isolation and journeying Most affecting were the arrhythmic and rhythmic soundings of the performers’ feet upon the stage: Endo’s soft and aching patters at the close of the show evoking a desperate repetition and blind faith; and Barbe, Karavan and Seki’s striking ‘boot dance’ lending a darkly humorous epithet to the movement on stage.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-4
p. 26 - 27