CriticalDance Forum

Saburo Teshigawara: Glass - Fragments of Time
Page 1 of 1

Author:  David [ Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:35 am ]
Post subject:  Saburo Teshigawara: Glass - Fragments of Time

Saburo Teshigawara - "Glass - Fragments of Time"

Teshigawara's appearance in Birmingham is his only one in the UK in 2008. The work takes the form of an installation at the new Ikon Eastside gallery, and is performed by himself and his group of dancers on a massive square made of countless broken glass pieces, which apparently reflect fragment of time.

Oddly the work seems to have had a number of names since its premiere in 2006. In Birmingham it goes by "Glass - Fragments of Time."

Le Figaro in France said "This is an abstract piece of great visual beauty... Aestheticism triumphs at each step. Speed, fluidity, extreme rigor... each
gesture has overwhelming force.... It is this fluctuation between violence and delicateness, this constant transition from one
atmosphere to the next, that creates an impact, hypnotizes the audience amazed by the troop's virtuosity."

The Yomiuri (a Japanese newspaper) said, "Driven to an extreme situation, the body, through hesitation gives out the most powerful and beautiful movements. The audience was deeply moved by the dance which was, so to speak, life itself."

15 and 16 May. Duration: 70 min. (with intermission)

Book via

Author:  David [ Sat May 17, 2008 4:42 am ]
Post subject: 

Saburo Teshigawara & KARAS - ‘Glass: Fragments of Time’
Ikon Eastside, Birmingham, UK; May 15, 2008

When try to analyse “Glass: Fragments of Time”, I keep coming to the conclusion that I should rail against the whole piece. There seems to be no deep concept, theme or symbolism. It really is all about moving on broken glass. Yet it was strangely hypnotic and at times quite beautiful.

Ikon Eastside is a new gallery space and the work opens with Teshigawara and Rihoko Sato against two of the bare white walls. The setting is simple, yet visually and aesthetically stunning. The room is dominated by a huge square of broken glass that almost seems to shimmer a turquoise blue colour as the light plays on it, before reflecting on the surrounding walls. In fact, both Sergio Pessanha’s lighting and the electronic background score played live by Seven Leg Spider (Tim Wright and John Richards) add greatly to the scene throughout.

As Teshigawara begins to dance, his body contorts, often as sharply as the glass shards in front of us. Much of his movement is very angular and contorted, in contrast to the much smoother, often delicate shapes created by his partner. Once on the glass (and before you ask, yes they do wear shoes), they slide and glide, as if this sea has frozen over. Each step seems to set off what sounds like thousands of firecrackers. There seems to be no pattern, no form, and no rules as they dance, even occasionally jumping or laying down. Only briefly is there any contact, for the most part they are together, but apart. Then, gradually, they return to their walls and it is all over.

However, as engaging as it was, would want to see it again? And sadly, while I was pleased I went and would recommend anyone else to go experience it once, I think the answer is no, at least not unless it was in a different space. And therein lies the problem with the piece. As I suggested earlier, apart from Teshigawara’s self-expression, there really is very little in the dance itself. The feelings it engendered came rather more from the experience of being in that intimate space, a full house would only see an audience of around 100, and almost part of the performance, rather than the movement.

Author:  Sarah Chen [ Sat May 17, 2008 10:42 am ]
Post subject: 

I sort of know what David is getting at here. The setting, set and lighting all look stunning. But once you've got used to the idea that they are walking, sliding or whatever on the glass, is there really anything there? I'm sure it probably means lots to them, but it meant very little to me.

Personal expression (especially when the choreographer is dancing their own work) all to often makes for poor spectacle.

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group