During the 1960s, controversial sociologist Laud Humphreys studied in meticulous detail the codes and choreographies of male-male sex in public restrooms. Touch of the Other explores the aesthetics, erotics, and politics of these places, known to their users as “tearooms.” Leading Tokyo-based chorographer and dancer Takao Kawaguchi explores the legacies of public sex mapped out by Humphreys’ own scripts (now collected at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles), while connecting these histories to contemporary practices, as well as to the policing and pleasuring of bodies today and queer sociality.
Dancehouse 2020 Keir Choreographic Award Public Program
Presented by Dancehouse in partnership with Abbotsford Convent, LGI/WYXZ, Temperance Hall, Chunky Move, The Commons/Fringe, University of Melbourne/Victorian College of the Arts, The Mill Adelaide
Dancehouse’s Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) Public Program accompanies the KCA competition and is an integral part of this initiative and of Dancehouse’s ongoing commitment to promote dialogue, reflection, accessibility and criticality for the art form, its makers and its audiences. It aims to cross-pollinate an array of outstanding thinkers and practitioners from the dance field and other communities of thought in order to provide a unique context in which to consider the deep, subtle ways that dance, with its multiplicity of choreographed and embodied manifestations, connects to the social, the ethical, the political and as importantly, to our most inner selves.
Asia TOPA Dancehouse 2020
Dancehouse’s Japan Focus includes Japanese National Treasure, Akira Kasai, heralded as the ‘Nijinsky of butoh,’ with his critically acclaimed work, Pollen Revolution; in addition to phenomenal enfant terrible Takao Kawaguchi and exceptional emerging choreographer Ruri Mito. The Japan Focus delves deeper into how Japanese traditional forms find expression within contemporary dance and, by implication, within contemporary society. This program opens up multiple invitations: to perceive time beyond the linearity of Western thought; to conceive of tradition as a continuum of contemporaneity; and to understand specific dance forms and lineages as trans-national and trans-historical.
Takao Kawaguchi (b. 1962) was a member of the Japanese multimedia performance company Dumb Type from 1996 to 2008, during which time he also worked independently with sound and visual artists to produce video works such as: DiQueNoVes (Say You Don’t See) in 2003, D.D.D.- How Many Times Will My Heart Beat Before It Stops? (2004), Good Luck (2008) and TABLEMIND (2011). From 2008 he began the solo performance series a perfect life, the 6th work of which, From Okinawa to Tokyo, was presented at the 5th Yebisu Eizo Festival at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2013. Recently he’s approached Butoh in The Sick Dancer (2012) based on the text of the Butoh founder Hijikata Tatsumi, and About Kazuo Ohno ― Reliving the Butoh Diva‘s Masterpieces (2013-). The latter was shown at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in 2016; nominated for the NYC Bessie Award for 2016-17; and was presented at Theatre de la ville a Paris (Festival d’automne a Paris) in October 2018. The piece has been performed 70 times at over 30 cities around the world including Berlin, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, and Bangkok among others, and still touring to date. Latest works include: TOUCH OF THE OTHER (Los Angeles 2015; Tokyo in 2016) which was based on the archive materials of sociological studies of male-to male impersonal sex at public places from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in LA; and solo dance BLACKOUT (2018, Tokyo).
Dancehouse's Japan Focus has been supported by Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne.
Dancehouse would like to warmly thank THE SAISON FOUNDATION JAPAN and in particular Atsuko Hisano and Taro Inamura, for the most generous support during Angela Conquet's fellowship in Japan in 2019 which inspired this ASIATOPA program. Most warm thanks are also extended to our Japanese colleagues Mr. Shinji Ono and Mrs Ritsuko Mizuno for their insightful curatorial advice and to Yumi Umiumare for her committed assistance with production and logistics.