Truths of the Blood (1997)

Choreographed by Barbara Bourget

A continuation of Kokoro’s collaboration with writer Elizabeth Dancoes on a dance theatre work concerned with the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade. Elizabeth describes our focus as follows:

Sade spent over a third of his life in prison. Whether this imprisonment was deserved is debatable but what is certain is that the reasons were personal and familial- not the result of due process: this is Sade’s tragedy. As many great writers who’ve suffered imprisonment (Genet, Wilde) have attested, the isolation of prison forces the mind to collapse onto itself and the visions this alienation inspires reflect our psychic night. From western culture’s heritage of fairy and folk tales to the global atrocities which have marked this century we are forced into a confrontation with the darkest side of our nature- an area in which Sade specialized. Sade, with an often terrifying honesty, recorded his visions and to encounter him is to walk the path of total annihilation- of the body, the spirit and ultimately humanity.

Truths of the Blood is extracted movement reflections on this theme from Sade (which includes three actors and text by Elizabeth). The fictional characters of Juliet and Justine are portrayed by Barbara Bourget and Ziyian Kwan respectively. The character of Sade is danced by Jay Hirabayashi and rendered musically by cellist Peggy Lee playing a score by Robert J. Rosen written specifically for this piece. Truths of the Blood is a visceral response to the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade. It is a reflection on issues of pornography, censorship, eroticism, terror of the soul, power, violence against the human spirit, and survival. The movement incorporates the aesthetics of both ballet and butoh.