On Sunday, July 17, at 7 pm Limen Butoh will present an intuitive butoh performance Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2 inspired by the paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński at Seattle Butoh Festival in Seattle (Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave S). The piece, created by Joan Laage (Kogut butoh) and Sylwia Hanff (Limen butoh) in collaboration with Robert Jędrzejewski (music and videoscore), was produced by Limen Butoh Theatre. Zdzisław Beksiński?s paintings are most often perceived as filled with dark visions and an air of horror, while other aspects of his art remain unnoticed. What we would like to do is overcome the stereotypical view on Beksiński?s art and discover the unappreciated mystical aspects of his works, the spiritual journey particularly noticeable in the second half of his career. Similarly to butoh artists, Beksiński chose a completely individual path of creativity, going even against all the avant-garde movements and trends in modern art.
What is extremely interesting for us, the butoh dancers, is the presence of transgression and transformation of the body in his art, and, in particular, the relationship between corporealness and space.
I demand from the picture the same as from the music: to put me in a state of ecstasy, however, using neither what was painted nor how it was painted, but rather by using something intangible, something that I am trying to find in my heart or under my eyelids, something I am not able to name myself.
The relationship between Beksiński?s paintings and music will be yet another subject of our artistic discovery: the tangent points in the architectonic of a music piece and the architectonic of a painting. ?What is already painted has no meaning to me. What I find important is how it functions in the sense of the sound, the form and the sound of the colour in that particular place and not the other. So I use the shape for the sake of, I would call it, music purposes.? And that was the inspiration for our idea to choose the language of modern music and forms of videoscores created by Robert Jędrzejewski.
Sylwia Hanff and Joan Laage met in Warsaw at a butoh event in 2006. At that time, Joan lived in Cracow. In 2015, they reconnected and decided to begin an ongoing artist exchange. Joan visited Warsaw in March 2015, and Sylwia organized a workshop for her to teach plus an evening performance where they each did a solo. Then Joan invited Sylwia to perform in Seattle in October 2015 on a program including her solo and Joan?s group piece produced by DAIPANbutoh Collective, of which she is a founding member. Both their works were inspired by research on Tadeusz Kantor and his work.
They decided that the next stage should involve a collaborative choreographic effort resulting in an artist exchange in March 2016 in Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław, in which they will present their new butoh work inspired by the art/paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński. Their hope is that in the fall 2016, Sylwia will travel to Seattle where DAIPAN will organize an evening for Joan and Sylwia to perform their Beksiński-inspired pieces.
Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh) & Sylwia Hanff (Limen Butoh)
Music and videoscore: Robert Jędrzejewski
Costumes: Sylwia Hanff, Joan Laage, Małgorzata Chrust
Installation: Joanna Pielat-Rusinkiewicz
Joan Laage (Kogut) studied under butoh masters Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa and performed with Ashikawa?s group Gnome in Japan in the late 1980s. After settling in Seattle in 1990, she formed Dappin? Butoh, a company known for its appearances in Seattle?s fringe theater and dance festivals. Joan has performed and taught at national and international butoh and dance festivals, and was a featured artist at the UCLA Butoh Symposium in May 2011. She has been an adjunct faculty at Cornish College of The Arts (Seattle). She is featured in Dancing Into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, And Japan and Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy by Sondra Horton Fraleigh. She performs frequently at the Seattle Japanese Garden where she is a docent. Joan is known as an NW butoh pioneer, and is a founding member of DAIPANbutoh Collective which produces an annual butoh festival in Seattle. www.seattlebutoh-laage.com www.daipanbutoh.com
Sylwia Hanff is a butoh pioneer in Poland and one of the most widely recognized Polish butoh dancers who has studied under the greatest masters. She has an M.A. in philosophy, with a theoretical background in theatre anthropology. Sylvia is a choreographer, director, dance therapist, kundalini yoga teacher, labyrinth facilitator and cultural manager. She has also studied Western and Eastern, contemporary and ancient techniques of body control. The practice of meditation is a crucial element of her training. She was an actress in the Warsaw Mime Theatre, and worked with the National Theatre and National Opera. The founder of Limen Butoh Theatre, she currently works with independent street and physical theatres. She is featured in The Body Revolving Stage. New Dance in New Poland, by Jadwiga Majewska and in Present with the Body. The technique of Polish Butoh dancers by Magdalena Zamorska. She was a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Robert Jędrzejewski is a cello player, composer, intuitive musician, and creative improviser who studied cello under Prof. Zdzisław Łapiński at the Cracow Music Academy, and composition under Prof. Bogusław Schaeffer. He took courses in contemporary music performance and composition in Cracow, Stuttgart, Avignon (IRCAM), and Gdańsk (under the supervision of Prof. A. Kaczyński). Robert was a scholarship holder of the Płock Foundation, cooperates with the Performer Theatre and is an organiser of the Festival of Intuitive Arts and co-founder of SALULUEKIP, a duet of improvising composers. He acts on the border of intuitive, computer, electronic music and audio-art with concerts accompanied by performances or video-art. He draws from contemporary music, building his own structures resulting in a peculiar musical language. Teetering between artistic concept and intuition is the essence of his performances. Currently, he is involved in the Video Partytura (videoscore) project ? an intuitive inspiration for the composer and a new point of view for the audience.www.soundcloud.com/aquacello