Aoyama Takes To Its Toes
Dance Festival Triennale, Sep 27 - Oct 14
Utter the words ‘contemporary dance’ and legendary names like Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and Pina Bausch spring effortlessly to mind.
So it’s particularly fitting that one of this year’s highlights at the Tokyo Dance Festival should be Out of Context – for Pina from Belgium’s Les Ballets C de la B, under the direction of Alain Platel and dedicated to the celebrated German dancer who died in 2009. Its 8-strong cast perform a gruelling 90 minute piece of disturbing precision and extreme physicality, set to a diverse and subversive audio track ranging from Bach to pop music and even animal cries.
In just 10 short years, Tokyo’s (now triennale) festival has built an impressive international reputation, this year attracting a roster of more than 20 cutting edge troupes from 10 countries, in a program that will see no less than 67 shows spread over 6 Aoyama venues.
In addition, the festival features a range of seminars and dance film showings, and unique workshops affording the chance to interact and work with world class dancers and choreographers like Brazil’s Lisa Rodrigues (this year performing Pororoca during the festival) and Germany’s Martin Nachbar. Watch out too for homegrown Japanese talent from explosive, street-style dancer Mikiko Kawamura performing her brand new piece Alphard, and Ryohei Kondo’s world premiere of A Love Vacation.