Promo copy for performances of butoh, the ever-evolving, highly experimental Japanese dance form, can be notoriously vague. The human body, like a flower, sprouts to maximum splendor, to then decay into serene melancholy, leaving a purple trace, the sky at dawn or the beginning of dusk. So reads the summary for Butoh Dance: The Trace of Purple Sadness, a movement installation by New York butoh celebrities Shige Moriya and Ximena Garnica. But if admirers of the alternately strange and lovely body-based genre are left short on details for this rare S.F. appearance, Moriya and Garnicas reputations should bring them out. Curators of the New York Butoh Festival and founders of CAVE, Brooklyns longest running experimental art space, they are known internationally for their absorbing installations fusing video, dance, and improvised music. The Japanese-born Moriya is said to be a master at manipulating projected patterns of color, light, and landscape imagery. At 27, Garnica, originally from Colombia, has already nabbed the prestigious Van Lier Fellowship for young Hispanic directors working in the Big Apple. With credentials like these, the pair is bound to leave a lasting impression, decaying flowers or no.
Thu., Jan. 15, 7 p.m., 2009