Cine Dance: The Butoh of Tatsumi Hijikata - Anma (The Masseurs)+Rose Color Dance - screener

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Cine Dance: The Butoh of Tatsumi Hijikata - Anma (The Masseurs)+Rose Color Dance

Year: 1963-2007, 33 mins
Code: TI-Cinedance
ISBN: 978-4-901181-22-8

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"Anma (The Masseurs)" is a representative and historical work by the creator of Butoh dance, Tatsumi Hijikata in his early period in the 1960s. The film is realized not only as a dance document but also as a Cine-Dance, a term made by Iimura, that is meant to be a choreography of film. The filmmaker "performed" with a camera on the stage in front of the audience. With the main performers: Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno, the film has the highlights such as Butohs of a soldier by Hijikata & a mad woman by Ohno.
There is a story of the mad woman, first outcast and ignored, at the end joins to the community through her dance. Inserted descriptions of Anma (The Masseurs) are made for the film by the filmmaker, but were not in the original Butoh. The film, the only document taken of the performance, must be seen for the understanding of Hijikata Butoh and the foundation of Butoh.

Another Cine Dance, "Rose Color Dance" by Tatsumi Hijikata, the creator of Butoh dance, a modern dance of Japan, is a classic of Butoh. Choreographed and performed in 1965 by Hijikata with guest dancer, Kazuo Ohno among others, the film is the only document of this historical performance. Not only as a dance document but also as a Cine-Dance, a term made by Iimura, that meant a choreography of film. The highlight is the duet of Hijikata and Ohno, a rare appearance of two main characters of Butoh together, who performed a "gay" dance of two male figures with tenderness and wildness at the same time. Though titled "Rose Color Dance", the film (and the dance as well) is monochrome with strong emphasis on white, all the dancers wearing white clothing with thier bodies painted white, and has occasional washed out scenes which are almost invisible. The scenes are an another attempt of Cine-Dance.

Since the 1960s, Takahiko iimura’s explorations of the moving image have probed the relationship between media, time and language and have strived to redefine the exhibition of cinema as a mode of performance. He has worked closely with the giants of experimental film such as members of the Hi-Red Centre and Fluxus, Yoko Ono, Jonas Mekas, John Cage, Stan Brakhage and Stan Vanderbeek. His uncompromising work, here presented on DVD, bridges boundaries between film and performance art.

"Although Taka was and continues to be an active part of the New York avant-garde scene, he always remained an enigmatic, mysterious presence, pursuing his own unique route through the very center of the avant-garde cinema. While the intensity and the fire of the American avant-garde film movement inspired him and attracted him, his Japanese origins contributed decisively to his uncompromising explorations of cinema's minimalist and conceptualist possibilities. He has explored this direction of cinema in greater depth than anyone else." – Jonas Mekas

“From the early sixties, though Japanese, iimura was well known as one of the first generation of the New York Underground ... For many years, Japanese experimental film was Takahiko Iimura” - Malcolm Le Grice

"Two important early performances in the 1960s by the creator of Butoh Dance, Tatsumi Hijikata with Kazuo Ohno as main co-dancer. A must-see film to appreciate the foundation of Butoh." - Takahiko Iimura 

"The Black Butoh dance created by Tatsumi Hijikata is closer to the neo-dada movement taking over the provocative, cynical and absurd forms rather than the German expressionist dance usually connected."
- Nicolas Villodre, curator of Cinematheque Francaise, Paris

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