Saturday, January 28, 2006


The music that was used by Butoh during their slide show was a sample. Within it was the music of Sheila Chandra. She is Anglo-Indian and began with a band called Monsoon. The music used is from ABoneCroneDrone. I have the CD. Sheila does not approve of sampling. She calls it theft.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Touching the moon

Peter Brook once said of Yoshi Oida, " Many actors try and get you to see the moon. With Yoshi he takes you there.' Yesterday, I did not go to the moon with Takuya Butoh sensei. But maybe, just maybe for a second or two I felt the space between my fingers more than my fingers. I knew that it was about finding that moment of blankness when you: cut your finger, fall off the chair or walk into the glass door. Or go down a step that is not there. I was suprised at the gothic, the dead, the near dead or the livind dead. However, when all that is beyond me I just enjoy the images of Butoh and wonder which ones I can borrow to make my own moon.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Camel Battleship - the first door.

I searched for some meaning to the meaningless in Butoh. The following words help me. The founder of Dairakudakan, Akaji Maro says this : " If we pick up a stone our action is limited to throwing or banging. It is the same with more complex instruments like a typewriter. In developing our functional movements we have discarded and forgotten other movements. " 'If someone tries to prepare food and cuts her finger, or makes a mistake writing kanji, this moment of surprise is the first door of Butoh. Time is stopped by the event and in this moment she enters the black world. In such moments humans can find forgotten moments." From Tokyo Journal Winter/Spring 2002

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Russians are coming

I wonder if the Russian Embassy next door to the American Club in Tokyo will listen into TIP'S production of Chekhov's 'The Cherry Orchard'? Or are they listening to more political things? Mind you, the play is all about change. If the orchard is chopped down in a modern production you would hear the new gazprom pipe-line to the EU being dug. The TIP production is being directed by Malcolm Duff. Malcolm and I were at Trent Park College in N.London; at the same time, same year and same drama course. Between there and here we had never met. We last acted together at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. Take a look at the webcam of this stunning outdoor theatre: We were in a play by Barrie which was unfinished. "Shall we join the Ladies?" The owner of the Minack, Rowena Cade had wished it to be done. So we did it. One night a dog walked across the stage, Mike's dress-shirt lost buttons and we glued Jim's cup to the saucer. What larks. Anyway. Back to the play in Tokyo. Let's all go to the Saturday matinee on the 29th. Malcom will be on stage fielding questions. Perhaps after querying the mood created in the play you can ask about the dog on the stage at the Minack. Or my dubious student life.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Butoh coming

The Dairakudakan company are coming. On Wednesday 25th January Takuya MuraMatsu will be working with us. Their sites are : &

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Letter: Dear Daisy, Thank you for agreeing to help me with the play, in particular the costumes and masks/makeup. The play, At the Hawks Well is an Irish play however it lends itself very clearly to the Japanese theatre tradition of Noh. However I don’t know very much about this tradition, hence contacting you as you are conveniently based in Japan. Having seen pictures of traditional Japanese dress I would very much like to incorporate that aspect and the use of masks into my production. However I know very little about the significance of specific styles of Japanese dress. In terms of the masks I would like them to be less intrusive than some of the traditional masks, perhaps even taking the design from the masks and turning it into a makeup design. After designing the make up and costume I will also need help with other aspects regarding Noh theatre, for example movement of characters, stage structure and song. Thank you for your help. Yours sincerely, i havent decided on a name yet but i will think of something clever envenshually, more to the point - is this good enough or should it be longer - cus its not in the wordcount ne, so it could be more informative. also i cant find much about the play at the hawks well itself but i have found loads on it being like noh and naturally lots on Noh and blah blah blah is this due tomorow>? i feel like it is.. but im not sure. oh ib is so confusing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

After the death of my daughter

Throughout the IB course I am telling students to make connections. Here is one mother's journey. I look at it from time to time. "After the death of my daughter I thought clean lines would repel me forever: the crisp triangulations of hospital sheets, the white oblong of her bed. Instead it was emotional incoherence of clutter that I found unbearable: cups and glasses, pieces of paper. I cleaned out her drawers,unmade her bed, painted over the bumps and grinds of wheelchair marks in the hall. Outside it snowed. Through the terrifying white I went to the Donald Judd Exhibition at the Tate. Here space and light lifted me. I could look up for the first time, feel free to feel nothing. The works are not clinical. The coloured perspex is warm, the shadows they cast are subtle and changing. The polished metal shines, the granite is flecked with light, the copper mirrored sides reflect back and forth until everything and nothing is caught there. I am caught there. A flicker of movement. A shadow. Someone coming out of shadows. Someone who walks in the world." Jenny Vuglar. The Observer. 26th December 2004. London

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Brooks Brothers Sale

I had a great day today. Lunch with an ex student. Then I asked her to accompany me to Brooks Brothers at Motomachi. Little did we know that it was SALE time. 30% reductions. Very tempting. So I tried on a Corduroy suit reduced from 75 to 50K. Still expensive. But after all, it is Brooks Bros. We did get time to talk about last year's gossip and the effect of yesterday upon today. When I asked her to forward one piece of advice for present students she offered this: IF YOU HAVE WORK DUE TOMORROW DO IT YESTERDAY. She wishes NOW that she could do IB again. Properly. Ah, the wisdom of hindsight. And on that positive note: Happy New Year to all readers. And please let me know of any other SALES. With a transition into the obvious play : Miller's 'Death of a Salesman.'