Ushio Amagatsu / Sankai Juku
The singular glory of Sankai Juku is that it achieves almost pure metaphor.
Sankai Juku is a Butoh dance company founded by Ushio Amagatsu in 1975. The company has premiered a new piece approximately once every two years at Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, a center for contemporary dance. Sankai Juku is one of the few dance companies that Théâtre de la Ville, Paris has commissioned continuously for 35 years.
Ushio Amagatsu, artistic director, trained in both classical and modern dance before he became immersed in Butoh. For Amagatsu, Butoh expresses the language of the body. In the 1970s, Amagatsu drew mostly on his own individual experience for inspiration. During the 1980s he spent most of his time working in Europe and the inspiration for his work became more universal. In his works, Amagatsu presents an abstract vision of the infinite and explores evolutionary movement. Major themes that he examines are the relationship of the body to gravity and the relationship between gravity, the earth and the environment.
In 1980, Sankai Juku was invited to perform in Europe for the first time. The company went to the Nancy International Festival in France with the firm conviction that Butoh would be accepted. This engagement marked a major turning point and made a name for both Sankai Juku and the term Butoh throughout Europe. The company has toured internationally since 1980 and performed in over 700 cities in 45 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. They have been highly praised in different cultures for over 35 years which is atestament to the universal nature of Sankai Juku’s work. While crossing over geographic boarders and appealing to diverse audiences, the company has been developing the themes of their work while searching for and moving towards new realms. Sankai Juku received the Japan Foundation Award in 2013. Sankai Juku will return to North America in the Fall of 2019.
To learn more about the company, visit their artist website here.
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