Mirror and Music

Israel Festival, Karas-Saburo Teshigawara, Mirror and Music, Jerusalem Theater, June 7.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company311 (photo credit: courtesy)
Merce Cunningham Dance Company311
(photo credit: courtesy)
Avisit by prominent Japanese artist Saburo Teshigawara is by far the only important dance event in the current edition of the Israel Festival. Teshigawara, choreographer and established visual artist, brought his latest creation, Mirror and Music, a dazzling, enigmatic piece flooded with visual images, sounds and flashing lights with mind-boggling, hypnotic effects.
The strongest impression that got etched on memory is the way a sequence of images and sounds versus movements forms in spite of juxtaposing stands, a cohesive artistic statement that bring the dance itself into new awareness level, stretching its function borders and bringing about an overwhelming experience usually found in new media art.
The complex structure reflects a process of reconstructing a puzzle made of previously fragmented elements.
Teshigawara strings a line of very short scenes of well-defined movement with chaotic, obtrusive strobelike lighting effects.
All eight dancers, but particularly Teshigawara himself and his leading dancer Rihoko Sato, stand out. Teshigawara seems to move simultaneously in several directions, his movement qualities range from sensitive lyricism to stormy wind, yet there is always a poetic, somewhat spiritual touch to his presence that seems to stem from a solid inner core. In his solo section, based on constant shifting of body center and weight, he wrote himself in space with his expressive hands and supple torso.
Rihoko Sato leaves the impression that her thin frame and ethereal look is fit for a spirit, but this nymph is some strong dancing machine. Her relentless dancing conveys exceptional strength of the feet and unusual looseness, free-dangling upper body and arms. In one of many scenes of touching beauty, she and the other dancers simply jump together forever, until the mundane act becomes poetic as the physical actions turns metaphysical. Bravo.