CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 19, 2001
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Dairakudakan is pronounced "dai-ra-koo-dah-kahn.")
Dairakudakan brings primitive edge of Japans butoh movement to UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dairakudakan will bring the raw extreme of Japans
butoh tradition to the University of Iowa in a performance of the landmark
work "Sea-Dappled Horse" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 in Hancher
Like the more famous ensemble Sankai Juku, which participated in Hanchers
Millennium Festival last season, the dance/theater company Dairakudakan is
part of Japans post-war, anti-establishment butoh tradition. But while
Sankai Juku is elegant and stylized, Dairakudakan is raw, primitive and shocking.
The work that Dairakudakan (which means "Great Camel Battleship")
will perform is founder Akaji Maros "Sea Dappled Horse," a
work of over-the-top theatricality and humor that transports its audience
from the creation of the world to an underworld of hellish spirits from Japanese
Created in 1982, "Sea-Dappled Horse" is considered not only one
of Maros masterpieces but also a landmark of modern dance, and it has
been revived for this rare, four-week American tour of Dairakudakan. Performed
by a cast of 20, this work juxtaposes symbols from Japanese traditions and
stylized Kabuki action with Christian icons and an ultramodern expressionist
A review in the New York Times called Dairakudakan "visionary theater
-- powerful, largely grotesque, as much a nightmare as a dream . . . Mr. Maro
expresses it all. Anger, vulgarity and sensitivity are pitted against one
another, controlled by his razor-sharp sense of timing."
Maro emerged on the Japanese performance scene in the mid-1960s, becoming
a protege of the butoh choreographer Tatsmi Hijikata. In 1972 Maro established
Dairakudakan, which performed for a decade in Japan before touring internationally,
including the Festival dAvignon and the American Dance Festival in 1982.
The large-scale ensemble has served as the training ground for butoh companies,
including Sankai Juku and Buto-Sha Tenkei, which have attracted devoted followings
in the West. Dairakudakan received the Japan Dance Critics Associations
Award in 1978, 1987, 1996 and 2000.
The performance of "Sea-Dappled Horse" includes some nudity.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen is the corporate sponsor of the Dairakudakan
performance, through the University of Iowa Foundation.
Tickets are $30, $27 and $22. UI students and senior citizens qualify for
a 20-percent discount, with zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students
for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.
Box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free,
1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard
or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university
bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.
Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should
dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and
seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with
TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
For UI arts information, visit this new address -- www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
-- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Learn about Dairakudakan at < http://www.geocities.co.jp/Hollywood-Stage/8138/rakudakan/top.html