‘Obsession’ eyes values through the lens of dance


Saburo Teshigawara’s first-ever duet dance program, titled “Obsession” — with his regular ensemble partner Rihoko Sato — is now being staged at Theatre Cocoon in Shibuya after an ecstatically received May 2009 premiere at the Art Rock Festival in St. Brieuc in Brittany, France.

Teshigawara, 56, began his stage career in 1981 after studying plastic arts and classical ballet. In 1985 he founded his Tokyo-based company Karas (Crow) with Kei Miyata, and in 1986 picked up a slew of awards at the Bagnolet International Choreography Competition in eastern Paris. Since then he has been in the vanguard of Japanese artists on the world’s dance scene, and often tours overseas with Karas. Works he has choreographed have also been staged by top-tier companies such as Ballet Frankfurt, Netherland Dance Theater and Paris Opera.

In a recent interview, Teshigawara said his inspiration for “Obsession” was seeing Spanish director Luis Bunuel’s surrealistic 1929 short silent film, “Un Chien Andalou,” at age 19.

“That opens with a man sharpening a razor and slicing across a person’s eye,” he said. “I took that to be asking viewers to question their conceptions of ‘seeing reality.’ So, with ‘Obsession,’ I want to ask them to open their eyes without defining.”

The program also features live music by young French violinist Fanny Clamagirand, winner of the 2007 Monte Carlo Violin Masters.

“Obsession” runs till May 23 at Theatre Cocoon, an 8-min. walk from JR Shibuya Station. Tickets are ¥4,000-¥7,000. For more details, call Theatre Cocoon at (03) 3477-3244 or visit www.bunkamura.co.jp or www.st-karas.com Nobuko Tanaka’s blog is at thestage.cocolog-nifty.com