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  •  REVIEW: KOTA YAMAZAKI: RAYS OF SPACE

    Kai Kleinbard, Mina Nishimura, Iidiko Tóth, Elena Demyanenko, and Ryoji Sasamoto in Kota Yamazaki: Rays of Space
    Photo by Cécile Pitois
    Kai Kleinbard, Mina Nishimura, Iidiko Tóth, Elena Demyanenko, and Ryoji Sasamoto

    Another Magical Place

    Kota Yamazaki/Fluid hug-hug with Cécile Pitois create Rays of Space at Danspace Project

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Kota Yamazaki is an amazing choreographer. In four different shows in four different venues, he has used the space perfectly, tailoring each piece to each theater. Rays of Space, set in St. Mark's Church, uses a minimal set design by Cécile Pitois to maximal effect in combination with simple but brilliant lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann and quiet but sublime dancing by Elena Demyanenko, Iidiko Tóth, Kai Kleinbard, Mina Nishimura and Ryoji Sasamoto and matching music by Masahiro Sugaya. In this Space Yamazaki explores concepts of light as invisible waves like the Chi energy that radiates from human bodies and creates a sort of invisible/metaphysical architecture that shapes our interpersonal space. Both light and Chi can vaporize, waver and shift quickly. On stage, in reality, this works.

      
    KOTA YAMAZAKI: RAYS OF SPACE
    Choreography by: Kota Yamazaki.
    Dancers: Elena Demyanenko, Iidiko Tóth, Kai Kleinbard, Mina Nishimura and Ryoji Sasamoto.
    Music by: Masahiro Sugaya.
    Lighting design by: Kathy Kaufmann.
     SCHEDULE
    Danspace Project
    December 17-19, 2009

    Red lines on the floor "radiating" from a pinpoint of red light on the platform at backstage and unexpectable blackouts that scramble the cast invisibly between scenes are two very effective, simple devices that carry much of the concept on their own. Music and sound that shifts slowly and quietly in the background and dancers that share soft and silky but fluid and quick movement do the rest.

    With other bodies onstage or not, Mina Nishimura starts the piece with a solo that is beautiful by itself. Blackout, rearrange. Ryoji Sasamoto does the same. Blackout, rearrange. Elena Demyanenko cutely flits between standing people, sneaking and spying on them unobserved. Movements of scraping and swooping mix with soft but swift falls to floor. Kai Kleinbard and Sasamoto do a duet of birdlike movement that looks quite different on each but still makes sense. Things become dimmer and super slow. And then, BAM. A big noise jolts the audience and somehow shifts the light to a much warmer place, a fascinating transition. This second "half" is even more ephemeral in feel and sound, beautiful but evanescent like shifting light and water in a leaf-shaded stream, lulling the viewer.

    The end, though, however it arrives, is quite clear. The five people have become two distinct couples, with Nishimura by herself between them. As they move, slowly, further from the light "source" and closer to the audience, their relative positions are set, for now.

    Rays of Space is a quiet, beautiful piece that relies, as usual, on the exquisite movers that Yamazaki finds to people his pieces, and it likewise leaves the viewer with the feeling of having inhabited a special place that contains both recognizable moments of humanity and moments of simple mystery.

    DECEMBER 23, 2009
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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