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EMPAC Video Archive 2008–2018

Kota Yamazaki: (glowing)

Bodies emerge, float, and then disappear into the shadows of a dimly lit architecture. In (glowing), Kota Yamazaki draws inspiration from the great modern writer Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s (1886-1965) essay In’ei Raisan (In Praise of Shadows), which plumbs the unique Japanese aesthetics of shadows and darkness. In this subtle and powerful work for six dancers, with a set made following principles found in the traditional Japanese house, Yamazaki draws on his own deep background in butoh, a dance form developed in Japan after WWII that embraces darkness, and connects it with traditional African dance and contemporary movement to mine the inherent similarities between these forms. Dancers from Senegal and Ethiopia join Japanese butoh dancers and US contemporary performers to create a scenario in which lightless vision ignites the imagination, conjuring illusion and upturning the ordinary between the shadows.

April 6, 2012

Curator: Hélène Lesterlin

empac.rpi.edu/events/2012/spring/quote-unquote/fluid-hug-hug-glowing