I just got back from seeing the Butoh company Sankai Juku, and was very impressed. I have seen a fair amount of Butoh, and was expecting slow moments where I would lose interest or doze off (not necessarily disrespectful; I am reminded of a famous quotation in a New York Times review their show: “It was marvelous. I fell asleep.”), but was happily surprised by how quickly the 90 minutes flew by and how I was engaged throughout.
It was the first time I had ever seen them live, and was struck by how similar it was in pacing and structure to a modern circus show. The stage design was superior in many ways, and the narrative arc was somehow more visceral. Modern circus can learn a lot from its strange second cousin once removed. And vice versa; I think that Butoh is very comfortable in the niche market it has gouged out for itself, but I would love to see its influence spread in wider circles.
I know; I sound like I want to kill the goose to get its golden eggs.
But, come on, goose.