Sunday 25 March 2007


Earthquake this morning. I was trying to sleep longer and was in a state of semi-wakefulness, when the whole building started rocking. At first I thought the cleaning lady was in the room and shaking the bed, but then I saw the curtains swinging. Was I to get up and grab my things and leave the hotel?
I waited a few more seconds. This time, the quake lasted a good twenty seconds, which is very long.

Apparently, old parts of the suburbs were destroyed, especially old wooden houses that have crumbled down.
From the Sado Island, Pb told me that quake was much stronger. Good thing I didn’t decide to visit him this week end.
But I had already accepted to attend a private Butoh performance held in a traditional Japanese wooden house.
I met Jo and Sawa for a drink at Nelson before we set off to the house. It was a magnificent place, surrounded by a small but well groomed miniature garden. The plum trees were blooming. I could stop and watch everyone of them each time I’d see one.

Endurance art. This word from Sean and Bibbe will remain whenever I have to sit through a tough artistic experience.
The butoh dancer was the only lady who did that in Niigata, and according to Jo’s words, was recognized for being good at her art. She used to dance within companies for twenty years and now is working by herself, performing and teaching workshops.
We were all freezing as she did her dance during what seemed like centuries but actually lasted only one hour. According to my poor experience with Butoh I never got to see a dancer who managed to find this subtle line where the ego disappears and the body just exists as a being. At time, I seemed to seize that from that dancer, but as she admitted herself after, she forced it too much and her delivery took us to a very unpleasant place, filled with tension and bleakness. I was praying the ghastly dance would end the next minute. A musician was creating a background out of a flute, a thumb-piano and a didgeridoo while she would utter throaty sounds. It reminded me of some African religious rituals, minus the earthly energy.
No, no, no. However good she was - her command of her body was impressive, however interesting it could have been, I was not into endurance art. 
At some point my numbed mind recalled a quote from Joan Collins saying that the best work out exercise you can do when you have too much food on the table is to push it away. And now the lady was writhing on the floor. I just hope I’ll be clever enough to foresee it next time.
Maybe I should have visited Pb this week end after all...

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