How does the cameraman compare with the painter?
Hijikata Tatsumi’s vision of an anatomised corporeal existence fostered in his ankoku butoh was also dramatically explored in the medium of experimental film. At a crucial time for butoh—developing contemporaneously with rapid urbanisation, social and political unrest, and widespread artistic experimentation in Japan—these films give unique temporal perspectives on butoh that are otherwise unavailable through the ephemeral record of live performance. Iimura Takahiko’s ‘cine dance’ films of butoh performances aim to blend the sensory experiences of film and live performance. His films The Masseur (Anma, 1963) and Rose Colour Dance (Bara Iro Dansu, 1965) are based on seminal performance works by Hijikata. The resulting images are wildly unstable, ecstatic, ceaselessly moving, and expressive. Using original writings by Iimura and Hijikata and analysis of cine dance art works, this paper explores cine dance as an intermedia performance art addressing militant experiences of the body in 1960s Japan.
Peter Eckersall is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. Peter’s research interests include contemporary Japanese theatre, experimental performance and dramaturgy. His major publications include Theorizing the Angura Space: avant-garde performance and politics in Japan 1960-2000 (Brill Academic, 2006) and forthcoming Kawamura Takeshi’s Nippon Wars and Other Plays (Seagull Books, 2011). He is dramaturg for Not Yet It’s Difficult whose performance and media works are well known in Australia, Asia and Europe. Peter is presently a visiting fellow at the International Centre, Interweaving Performance Cultures at Freie Universität Berlin.