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Tatsumi Hijikata: Summer Storm (2005)

Cast: Tatsumi Hijikata
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Microcinema
Genre: Documentary, Music Videos/Performance, Art
Running Time: 71 min.

Ankoku Butoh (Dance of Darkness) is the avant-garde dance form born out of the devastation of post WWII Japan but also influenced by Dadaism, Surrealism and Antonin Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty. It's legendary founder, Hijikata Tatsumi, is the supreme figure in the last half-century of Japan's experimental culture, a seminal and inspirational presence there for artists, choreographers, filmmakers, musicians and writers. His final performance with his dancers, Summer Storm, took place in 1973 at the Westside Auditorium of Kyoto University. Three cameramen with small 8mm cameras filmed the entire performance in color, one close-up to the dancers' faces and bodies, the second from the middle of the auditorium, and the third from the back of the hall. As with the other performances, the ghostly images of Hijikata and his dancers were outlined against a deep, engulfing darkness. The following year, Hijikata would choose to live in seclusion until his death in 1986. The celluloid images were restored in 2003 and are presented on this DVD--a first for American audiences. Performances by Hijikata Tatsumi, Yoko Ashikawa, Kobayashi Saga and Waguri Yukio. Music by YAS-KAZ. Directed by Misao Arai Bonus Features: Video interview with film scholar Donald Richie and Still gallery.

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