2010-2011 Season

Kokoro Dance performed Essence, Music of Amber, and I Sing – The Body with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra March 18 and 19, 2011

March 18-19, 2011 @ 8 pm, Roundhouse Performance Centre
Presented in partnership with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Kokoro Dance fuses the aesthetics of East and West, creating deeply evocative and provocative performances. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is one of the premier orchestras in Canada. This was Kokoro Dance’s fourth interaction with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in a series of collaborations that fuse live music and dance. This concert featured the premiere of a collaborative work between Kokoro and Waterhole, a new Vancouver band (with VSO Composer in Residence, Scott Good) that defies traditional labelling. Working closely together, they presented a large scale new work inspired from Walt Whitman’s trenchant poem ‘I sing the body electric’ which explores the question: what is the soul, if not the body?

Kokoro Dance performed at the VAG – Offsite March 6 and 13, 2011

Kokoro Dance drew inspiration from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite space in a new site-specific piece where dance and movement met architecture. Choreographers Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi with musician Stefan Smulovitz and vocalist Viviane Houle responded to the stunning structural pavilion created by artists Heather and Ivan Morison, entitled Plaza in 35 minute work with seven dancers.

Rising nearly three stories high, the walls of the pavilion lean outwards towards the street as if they have been torqued in all directions by an extraordinary force. The roof of the interior platform is open to the sky. The walls are made of heavy timber beams, burnt to a dark charcoal using a Japanese technique for preserving and protecting wood. Dancers, musicians, and audience can enter the space, and in so doing, they become part of the artwork.

Artists Heather and Ivan Morison explore architecture as it relates to ideas of escape, shelter and refuge. For Offsite, they have created a pavilion which hovers between sculpture and architecture. More than 12,000 board metres of raw lumber were used to make the monumental structure. The enormous work (11.2 metres tall X 9.7 metres wide X 16.7 metres long) is built of heavy timber beams. Featuring huge blackened timber beams, Plaza mimics the basic form of the urban environment—the gridded box—and twists it to appear suspended between falling and flight.

Kokoro Dance performed ( ) at the Northwest Butoh WAVE / AGOGO Performances in Seattle, WA on November 5, 2010

DAIPANbutoh collective First performance

Date: Nov 5 and 6, 2010
Time: 7:30pm doors, 8:00 pm show
Location: Velocity Dance Center

Tickets: $15 – $35 sliding scale




Barbara Bourget performed at Brief Encounters

Sept. 30th-Oct 2nd: Brief Encounters #15, Performance Works, Granville Island.

Barbara Bourget– Butoh dancer
Alex Mackenzie– Experimental filmmaker

Jay Hirabayashi performed at IDS West Opening Night October 14, 2010

Produced by Cause+Effect Design, Ltd.

Kokoro Dance presented a Butoh Workshop with Katsura Kan

Dates: 2 pm to 7 pm on Saturday, October 2nd and 1 pm to 6 pm on Sunday, October 3rd

Time: 2 pm to 7 pm

Location: CBC – Studio 700: 700 Hamilton Street

Fee: $80 drop-in or $140 for both days; including HST.

Discount for Kokoro Dance members of 20% ($64/$112)

Discount for CADA or members of performer unions of 10% ($72/$126)

Register: By phone 604.662.7441 or email ckwon[at]kokoro.ca

Katsura Kan is a native of Kyoto, Japan, and is a Master Butoh artist from the ranks of Japan’s first generation of Butoh. He is a celebrated solo artist, collaborative performer and choreographer.

This workshop offered a unique opportunity to study closely with a performer/choreographer whose experience, vision and insight have an ongoing impact upon the development of contemporary dance. Among the themes investigated: natural walk, and butoh choreographic work.

15th Annual Wreck Beach Butoh Performances

July 10 and 11, 2010

The fourteen participants in the 2010 Wreck Beach Butoh Performance workshop included Nina Bialecki, Debbi Blair, Carolyn Chan, Noah Ferguson, Frank Godwin, Tuan Anh Luu, Irene McDermott, Dave McLeod, Patrik Sampler, Kristine Richmond, Robert Seaton, Henry Wong, Barbara Bourget, and Jay Hirabayashi. Several hundred people came each day to witness this annual pilgrimage to Wreck Beach that indelibly defines the character of Kokoro Dance.

Wreck Beach Butoh was first launched in 1996 by Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget – founders of the veteran butoh company, Kokoro Dance. Fifteen years later, it has become the signature piece for Kokoro Dance offering audiences and participants alike a dance experience specifically created for Wreck Beach, Canada’s first and largest clothing-optional beach.

This site-specific, sand and water experience makes full use of all of nature’s elements and is an important source of creative inspiration for Kokoro Dance and its participants. Hirabayashi says, “It continually reinvigorates us and puts us in touch with the earth, air and sea. We bury ourselves in the sand, immerse ourselves in the ocean, spin our bodies until the sky swirls in kaleidoscopic patterns of blue, white and green – sky, clouds and trees blending into a vertigo-inducing terror. Some years it rains. Other times the sun beats down in blinding rays… it is our annual pilgrimage, a ritual performance where we are humbled by our smallness and insignificance compared to the majesty that surrounds us.”

Kokoro Dance performed with the SSRIs at the 34th annual Powell Street Festival

Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 5:30pm

Kokoro Dance’s Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi performed with the SSRIs, the alt-emo-post-punk-avant-hardcore-jazz-rock-energy-noise band that includes their son Joseph Hirabayashi on keyboards, guitar, and vocals, Ronnie Swirl, bass, and Anthony Dallas, drums.

The performances this year took place at the renovated Oppenheimer Park after last year’s brief relocation to Woodland Park.
Jay Hirabayashi’s relationship with the Powell Street Festival predates Kokoro Dance’s formation in 1986 and the company always brings something new to this Japanese Canadian celebration of art, crafts, and food.