Lumberyard in the City Winter Festival: Kei Takei’s "Moving Earth Orient Sphere"
LIGHT, PART 8 (SOLO WORK)
Kei Takei brings a section of Light, which is recognized as one of the most extraordinary works in concert dance history. Light was created in 1969 as a form of “dance diary” stemming from Takei’s arrival in the U.S. from Japan to train at Juilliard. Frustrated by how challenging and disparate her studies at Juilliard were from her dance upbringing, Takei went for a walk in Riverside Park to contemplate the abyss between two cultures. She identified a metaphor in the crunching leaves under her feet, as a way of breaking through frustrations and reconciling Western and Japanese dance. Thus, the first iteration of Light uses dry leaves; as Craig Bromberg writes, “symbolizing a rejection of modern dance’s stylized repertory as well as Takei’s own rejuvenation as a choreographer concerned with natural cycles of life.” The impulse to continue creating Light even today is not just due to an artistic preoccupation or oeuvre, but because the forces at play in it are universal principles such as light and energy, spirituality, and resilience in the face of lived adversities.
BAMBOO FOREST (COMPANY WORK)
In it is depicted the archetypal cycle of life and death utilizing the image of the blossoming of the bamboo flowers, which occurs only once every 60 or 120 years. The bloom is immediately followed by the death of that generation of bamboo. The inherent themes are the endless sacrifice of tribe, community, and individual, so that there can be continuity of future generations. The company dances in the stark surreal set designed by Renta Kochi and is performed to the music of emerging visionary Japanese composer Seiichiro Sou.
Supported by Consulate General of Japan in New York
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