Swedish Butoh Dance Company SU-EN to Bring SOOT to TNC, 10/25-26
On October 25 and 26, Theater for the New City will present prize-winning Swedish choreographer and butoh artist SU-EN, the leading representative of butoh dance in Sweden, in "SOOT," a new solo butoh performance on the theme of blackness. In the piece, a solo dancer enters a world of leftover particles, depicting how civilization and cultural human behavior relinquish remnants that cannot be controlled or discarded.
The work of SU-EN is strongly influenced by processes in nature, the struggle and the friction of inevitable changes in life. She explains this philosophy in the context of this dance, writing "Powdery soot makes its own dance in chimneys in cottages and industries, threatening the existence of living beings. The process of organic material is an ever-changing process. The wood is chopped in the spring from logs, burnt in the fireplace in winter, leaving heat to warm our bodies, leaving ash that we throw on the ash pile, and leaving soot--a material disintegrating, dissolving, transforming, changing."
The piece is further explained in a poem:
In a space of incompleteness
She senses her way
Following the fragrance of powdery black
Softly licking a barely visible wound
Listening through fingertips
Skin ripped, healing with an itch
What remains when pain leaves?
When civilization falls asleep?
Embracing the world
The blackness of the dance is a dark symphony in its own. Black drinks in all other color and devours light. In "SOOT," the theatrical space is a space between all colors and the blackness of the room is shifted only through soft color shades.
Prior to this dark-hued performance, the SU-EN Butoh Company (www.suenbutohcompany.net) earned its reputation with large, colorful ensemble works of cruel beauty. It was launched in Japan in 1992 and relocated to Haglund Skola, north of Uppsala (Sweden), in 1994. It just celebrated its 20th Anniversary. The troupe tours domestically and internationally; this piece has been performed in Seattle, Stockholm and Malmö.