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TOKYO

Dance piece examines future without morals

by Mike Hamilton

Staff Writer

Arguably Japan’s foremost boundary-pushing dance group — Dance Hardcore — led by dancer and choreographer Kakuya Ohashi, will be putting on their latest performance, “Outflows,” in Tokyo this weekend.

The performance will take place at Tokyo’s Komaba Agora Theater, a stage that has become synonymous with producing edgy and unconventional art performances. “Outflows” is a follow up to 2007′s “Closure,” and examines what the future could look like without morals and values to underpin it.

Dance Hardcore goes beyond contemporary dance — which strictly follows rules like that of classical ballet — into the avant-garde. Like “Outflows,” the group’s previous performances usually touch on unorthodox topics and combine them with original music and works from visual artists such as Atsuhiro Ito. Ohashi’s successes have even taken him abroad in the past, allowing him to collaborate with established artists in New York.

Ohashi takes inspiration from the forerunners of modern dance in Japan, a style known as butoh. That genre became influential in the 1960s and ’70s and dealt with grotesque imagery and taboo topics. “Outflows” and Ohashi’s other work are similar in their approach, trying to find the “hidden darkness” within today’s society.

Dance Hardcore’s “Outflows” takes place at Komaba Agora Theater in Meguro-ku, Tokyo. The venue is a 3-minute walk from Komaba Todai Station on the Keio Inokashira Line. Performances will be held on Sept. 17 (8 p.m.), Sept. 18 (2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.), and Sept. 19 (2 p.m. and 5 p.m.). Admission is ¥3,500, ¥2,500 for those under 30 years old. For more details, visit www.dancehardcore.com.