Umusuna: Memories Before History | Dance of Darkness and Sankai Juku at BAM….

NYC Dance Stuff

Ushio Amagatsu, founder and choreographer of the Japanese Butoh Company Sankai Juku performs in the 'Atokata: Imprints' section of his 'Umusuna: Memories Before History' in the 2015 Next Wave Festival at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, CREDIT: Photograph © 2015 Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Ushio Amagatsu from Sankai Juku in Ushio Amagatsu’s “Umusuna: Memories Before History.” Photo: Jack Vartoogian

As you walk into the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House you immediately become aware of the stark minimalist design of the stage’s set. There is a narrow walkway between two slightly elevated rectangular platforms. In the background is a thin column of sand that falls continuously from the rafters. The column of sand is framed by two large conical scales, also with thin trickles of sand that falls into an attached tray. These scales are lowered and raised during the performance. As the piece progress the dancers’ movements spread sand over the floor in sections, invoking the elements of fire, water, air, and earth, each delineated by ascribed colors of light.

This is the opening imagery of the legendary Butoh company from Japan, Sankai Juku, and the New York premiere of

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