Just Try to Understand

Kazuo Ohno’s controversial statement is a good place to start understanding ODD. The fabulous Butoh demigod said “Form comes of itself, only insofar as there is a spiritual content to begin with.” Huh? Stay with us: ODD is a part-Butoh dance performance. It’s based on the paintings of a Norwegian weirdo, some of the dancers use wheelchairs, and accompaniment is courtesy a world-famous very experimental cellist. So you can see right away that you might need some abstract theoretical help with this one. Odd (pronounced Oood) Nerdrum is the painter, inkBoat and AXIS Dance Company are the performers, and Joan Jeanrenaud is the cellist, thus the project appears to be so perfect and weird it may have formed crystals. Nerdrum’s large, apocalyptic canvases show often-dusty worlds full of sex and death; human figures aren’t happy there, although they’re very beautiful and they sometimes laugh. So you can see right away that tense, angry Japanese movement traditions, dancers who smack your expectations, and trippy-ass music are the only possible ways to go at him. Form follows content. Maybe.
Nov. 5-7, 2010

 
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