The mission of Theater X (Cai), according to its website, is to stand out from all other theaters in Tokyo, “though they are as numerous as stars in the sky.”

In its pursuit of that celestial goal, the Sumida Ward theater will present a two-day program titled “Butoh Institute 2011 at Theater X.”

When explaining what the often strange and spooky mime-dance that is butoh has to offer the world, Theater X say: “Butoh is an art-form technique that deeply connects with people’s minds and bodies, and it has long been hailed by, and influenced, French artists such as the poet and dramatist Antonin Artaud and the mime-actor Etienne Decroux, as well as the renowned English theater director Sir Peter Brook.”

Though created relatively recently, in the 1950s by Tatsumi Hijikata, butoh is a Japanese dance form that draws on and aims to evoke unconscious and ancient memories in both the performers and the audience.

“Today, amid the national crisis following the March 11 megaquake and tsunami, we Japanese should return to the basic concept of butoh and, from there, think over our potential again,” the theater company says.

On the first day of its two-day “Butoh Institute 2011,” Theater X will present the acclaimed France-based dancer Sumako Koseki, who will perform her own work, a solo show titled “Yukimushi” (“Snow Insect”). The following evening, Theater X will host a talk-cum-performance on the subject of “butoh today” by Koseki and literary critic Seigo Matsuoka. As part of this, films of performances by butoh founder Hijikata will be screened.

Hopefully, the combination of a performance and lecture will help Theater X stand out from the rest of the theatrical stars in the capital.

Butoh Institute 2011 at Theater X takes place May 31-June 1. “Yukimushi” (“Snow Insect”) will be performed May 31 at 7:30 p.m. “A Talk by Sumako Koseki and Seigo Matsuoka” takes place June 1 at 6:30 p.m. Theater X (Cai) is a three-minute walk from JR Ryogoku Station in Sumida Ward, Tokyo. Koseki will also hold a butoh workshop at Theater X on June 11 and 12. For more information, call (03) 5624-1181 or visit www.theaterx.jp.

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