by Chris MaGee
As many of you know I have a pretty strong interest in butoh dance, enough that I've been working on a book on the history of this modern dance form in Japanese film; so it was with great interest that I read about a a once in a lifetime screening event for fans of butoh dance and experiemntal Japanese filmmaking that wil be taking place in New York City at the end of October.
On October 30th at the Alice Tully Hall, Starr Theater at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts UK band Antony and the Johnsons, backed up by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, will be performing a live soundtrack to Chiaki Nagano's 1973 film "Mr. O’s Book of the Dead" starring one of the founders of butoh dance, Kazuo Ohno. Butoh enthusiasts will know just how special this occasion is. Nagano made a trilogy of 16mm experimental films with Kazuo Ohno between 1969 and 1973, but besides the first film in the trilogy, "A Portrait of Mr. O" the remainder of the trilogy is rarely if ever screened.
Antony Hegarty has long been inspired by Kazuo Ohno's artistic legacy and has previously collaborated with Ohhno's song Yoshito, a dancer and choreographer in his own right. Most recently Hegarty took part in two Tokyo perfomances, February 11th and February 12th, with Yoshito Ohno and composer William Basinski and dancer Johanna Constantine. An image of Kazuo Ohno also graces the cover of Anthony and the Johnsons' latest album "The Crying Light".
You can get the full details on Antony and The Johnsons' "Mr. O’s Book of the Dead" performance at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts website here.