Min Tanaka and Rin Ishihara to perform in Archa

After a longer pause, the Archa theatre will host again the Japanese dancer Min Tanaka, who will be joined by Rin Ishihara. Their duet Destination of the Stone will be shown in Archa on 18 and 19 December 2016. “Representing the world’s dance avant-garde, Min Tanaka is often a guest of leading artistic institutions. Recently, he has created a series of performances in collaboration with the jazz pianist Cecil Taylor, for the new building of the Whitney Museum, New York. The Prague audience has the unique opportunity to follow his work continually. Together with the musician John Cale he created a piece for the opening of the Archa Theatre, in which the 71-year old Tanaka performs regularly,” add Archa Theatre representatives. For the next year, Tanaka prepares a choreography with Czech dancers and performers (more info here).

Ondřej Hrab, who organised secret performances of Tanaka in the 1980’s, says: „His dance is based mainly on the extreme focus on space and time. It is important for him to see the dance as something happening ‘here and now’. His body is a seismograph, reacting to all tectonic impulses of our spiritual environment. Tanaka’s dance relativizes all physical principles and creates a poem of the body. It is dance without form, full of unexpected events and at the same time strongly rooted in the ground. Tanaka’s gestures stem from field work that he’s been attending to for several decades on his farm in the heart of Japanese mountains."
Min Tanaka performed in Prague for the first time in 1984. His performance then was seen by only a couple of insiders. Tanaka was the first one who presented the Czech audience with butoh, dance of Japanese avant-garde, arising from the need to re-discover the roots of Japanese culture and to reject Western formal models. Among his memorable performances, we can emphasise the one at Klub Na Chmelnici, series of pieces called The Rite of Spring at the National Theatre (1992), or the sharing of stage with John Cale at the opening of the Archa Theatre in 1994. In the late 1990’s, he choregraphed Grimm Grimm. Min Tanaka was also dancing in the waters of the Vltava during the re-opening of the Archa Theatre after the floods in October, 2003. In 2005, he contributed to the Andersen season with his choreography Standing On the Edge, in Archa he appeared again in 2012 with his solo piece Locus Focus and duet Step Into the Shadow. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Archa in 2014, he danced on the Rohan Island in The Happy Tree.
At present, he works on his farm located in the mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture. He grows organic vegetables, rice, soybeans and tea. The challenging training cycle that Tanaka calls Body Weather is something that many dancers try to practise and spread al over the world these days.
The dance journalist Jana Návratová adds: “Min Tanaka has been an influential personality for Czech dancers and performers – many of them visited him, or still visit him, on his farm. The complex, philosophical system that he offered in his Body Weather, made sense inside artistic intentions as well as life as such. He just connected these two lines. And he connected them as a task, a challenge. He expected hard work, humbleness, drill – and so the ever-polemising European intellectual character experienced new views of the world and the self. And also of art which cannot be seen as a project but rather as an immanent part of work and life, like a harvest of rice.”

Source: Archa Theatre


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