A kind of transcendent, spiritual healing took place over the weekend when Paris-based Sankai Juku, an eight-member troupe founded by Ushio Amagatsu in 1975—the master is still dancing at 66—wove a spell over those audience members who allowed themselves to be enveloped by a work about time, memory, the body and ritual. Visceral as well as highly cerebral, the 80-minute intermissionless “Umusuna” (it premiered in 2012 in Lyon, France), is a testament to humankind in all of its iterations.
Sankai Juku performs “Umusana: Memories Before History.” Photograph by Laurent Philippe
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading