As Sankai Juku begins their recent piece, TOBARI, everything melts into darkness and a lone human form materializes — bald, half-naked, monochrome; the dust looks like it’s marble or bone, maybe a thin layer of atomic ash, and it covers the body, which, for a while, is motionless; a quiet, lunar presence in a dark room.
Then a shiver snaps through the fingers and up the arm. It sends dust cover into cloud, and the stone form becomes a kind of clay-faced everyman man, who blinks and moves and does not speak.
He is delicate, slight. A body all sinew and muscles taut with control. Short gestures ripple across his fingers, along his arms, and out through the rest of him. It’s like he is being moved by something, he’s not a marionette, though, it’s something darker than that. Then he disappears and another, identical figure, appears across the stage.
As the performance continues for an unbroken 90 minutes, the motions don’t get any easier to predict or decode. It’s as abstract and unyielding as a canvas that flickers back and forth between an Italian fresco and a Roswell alien. With so many identically dusted bodies moving in a kind of cockeyed synchronicity, individuality becomes impossible on stage.
Butoh is a strain of Japanese dance with its origins inseparably rooted in the Emperor’s revocation of his divinity and is equally intertwined with Japan’s history as the only population to have experienced what it is to be a victim of atomic weapons, and a Butoh performance is like watching humans shift from being stone statuary to becoming bone-snapping, otherworldly creatures; a discontinuous mix of beauty and the baldfaced moral horror of weapons that can vaporize bone.
Lebanese art dealer Georges Lotfi, who once helped authorities seize looted antiquities, is now accused of doing his own share of trafficking too.
An exhibition depicts how people have reimagined the medieval period in the centuries since, and how they have revealed their own interests and ideals with each new interpretation.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
During his 84-year life, Liu Shiming helped shape a new Chinese cultural image rooted in the contributions and sacrifices of everyday people.
Playing at several film festivals this late summer, Ana Vaz’s It Is Night in America asks the viewer to take on unusual perspectives.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The sealant used for gem-crusted ancient Maya teeth had medicinal properties that prevent tooth infections and decay, according to a new study.
Patrons can listen to a collection of 400 titles at the library and borrow them for up to three weeks.
The Los Angeles-based photographer offers an updated version of the mythologized American cowboy, calling rodeos “the traditional drag of America.”
At its core Line Berg’s Fra Far manifests the anguish of a family whose loved one is convicted of a serious crime.
At first, simply watching people read In Search of Lost Time might seem dull; by the end, you’ll be itching to read or reread it yourself.