Thursday, September 01, 2011
Noe Tanigawa gave me the birthday present of a Butoh class, of all things. If I expected anything, it was a sort of free-form contact improv but with lots of angst and darkness. Instead, the teacher led us through endless exercises that were incredibly physically demanding, kind of like a Graham technique but with the most charming visualizations. For example we were told to smell a flower growing out of our chest, which was a more poetic way of saying "Chest out, breathe!". The teacher was a tiny woman of indeterminate age, with the most expressive face and gestures imaginable. Completely charming and delightful. At one point we were turning from tiny baby monkeys into giant Buddhas, and to watch her movements was to completely believe in the transformation.
I joined Mark Brown for a painting session at Waimea Valley. He was painting the lower two panels of an enormous vertical triptych, in a free lyrical style very evocative of Gauguin.