This past Saturday, I photographed a dress rehearsal for “Sprout,” a three-piece Butoh dance performance choreographed by Keren Shani-Lifrak as part of the Ringling International Arts Festival’s Family Funfest.
Here’s some of what Keren says about “Sprout”: “My exploration with the ‘Sprout’ series is about expressing current social, political issues about the world we live in as well as personal circumstances. The work is abstract. It maintains the aesthetics of Butoh and leaves the experience to the audience’s direct interpretation without ‘sweetening’ or mediation. The intention is to allow us to witness and embrace our imperfections but also celebrate our core, our purity of heart and our ability to emerge from dark moments… All of this through stillness, controlled, contorted and isolated movement.”
And as for the dance style… Butoh is a contemporary dance form which originated in Japan in the late 1950s. Butoh typically involves grotesque or playful imagery, taboo topics and extreme or absurd environments. It is traditionally “performed” in white-body makeup with slow, hyper-controlled, often distorted movement.
Now for some imagery…
A couple of group stills (choreographer Keren is the one sporting that amazing baby bump, top right):
Don’t they just belong in this setting?
Each of the dancers looking beautifully statuesque:
Collection of photos from the first piece:
Some shots from the second part:
And lastly, some images from the final piece:
Congratulations to Keren and the team of amazing women!
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