Kokoro Dance presents the world premiere of Embryotrophic Cavatina (Sep 20-23 & 26-29) from choreographers, and award-winning dance artists, Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi.

Set to the score of acclaimed Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner, four dancers will strip themselves bare, literally and figuratively, in a dance performance of breathless motion and stillness, exploring the rawness of humanity, and the transcendence of the superficial layers of persona and ego.

Here are five reasons you should see it:

A Philosophy of Movement

Kokoro Dance has been presenting acclaimed butoh in Vancouver and internationally since 1986. The company brings a contemporary approach to this Japanese philosophy of movement, which was founded by butoh masters Hijikata Tatsumi and Ohno Kazuo as a reaction to Western ballet and modern dance styles in the 1960s.

An Evolution

Embryotrophic Cavatina has been 20-years in the making and displays the growth of Hirabayashi and Bourget’s choreography. The 2017 premiere of Embryotrophic Cavatina offers audiences a chance to experience the choreography of the original 1999 version, together with new, reflecting the company’s growth through the years.

A Reunion of Collaborators

Embryotrophic Cavatina marks the a reunion of long-time collaborators Jay Hirabayashi, Barbara Bourget, designer and artist Tsuneko Kokubo (Koko), and lighting designer Gerald King.

An Exploration of Loss and Life

The first half of Embryotrophic Cavatina will remain largely as it was choreographed in 1999. The dancers dressed in butoh fundoshis (loin cloths) and white body makeup, will dance in unison to Requiem, by composer, Zbigniew Preisner. The audience will feel the power of heartache during this first section as the dancers display the anguish of loss. The second consists of four simultaneous, interconnected dance solos. The first part of the piece serves as a “farewell”, and the second is a “hello” call out to the life that continues for all of us.

No Age Limits

Dancers are often told they have a short career span due to age. According to a 2004 report from the Columbia University Teachers College, the average age of retirement of dancers in the United States was 34. However, butoh has no age limit. Barbara turns 67 in October, and Jay turned 70 last February. Neither are slowing slowing down, and continue to have flourishing dance careers.

Embrytrophic Cavatina plays at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver) on September 20-23 and 26-29. Visit http://kokoro.ca for tickets and information.