White Dark was an experimental one-man performance that is based on Robert Lewis’s research and practice into the synthesis of the body and the voice. It is an exploration of Butoh dance, its physical and psychological characteristics and its application to voice. Butoh was applied to the original text written by Lewis and Christopher Jackson. Butoh dance, created in the 1950’s by Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata, was a reaction against, and a revolt against conventional Western dance practice.
Essentially, Butoh is a silent art form, however, White Dark explores voice in its entirety and allows the abstract imagery, and the physical action to affect the vocal production. Hijikata used a technique called Butoh-Fu in his choreography. These are abstract images, words, texts and so on used to inspire the dancer, and the dancer embodies and expresses these images in the dance. Jackson created his own Butoh-Fu in response to the written text and the performance is a synthesis of the moving imagery, abstract imagery and the affect it has on the voice. Butoh-Fu would be the driving force of White Dark. The process and performance is multi layered. The image springing from the text, the performer moving the image, then moving and sounding the image, then speaking the text while maintaining all of the above elements.
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The DVD of White Dark is coupled with a voice training DVD, Voice and the Core, and can be purchased through Contemporary Arts Media [artfilms.com.au].
Authorised by the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts
4 October, 2012