Kokoro Dance celebrated ten years of dance making in the 1996-97 season!


  • June 23-27, 1997 Bones/Scorched Earth at
    the du Maurier International Jazz Festival Vancouver at the Firehall Arts
  • June 12-14, 1997 Moan at Robyn Allan’s
    Dance and Desire production at the Vogue Theatre
  • April 19, 1997 Kits Point Butoh at Kits Point Park
  • April 3, 1997 Canadian Crafts Museum benefit performance at Chocklit
  • March 12-22, 1997 Sunyata at the
    Vancouver East Cultural Centre
  • March 8, 1997 Stony Plain and John Wayne at 10th Anniversary
    Dancers for Life performances at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto
  • February 23, 1997 Sade at the Women in
    View Festival at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre
  • February 2, 1997 Groundhog Day Butoh
    at Subeez Cafe
  • December 21, 1996 Winter Solstice Butoh at Subeez Cafe

du Maurier International Jazz Festival Vancouver

Kokoro Dance presented Bones and Scorched Earth at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street) June 23 – 27, 1997 at 7 p.m. as part of the du Maurier International Jazz Festival Vancouver. Jazz Festival audiences were blown away by Kokoro Dance’s 1992 Bats collaboration with the Kane-Taylor Explosion and knocked out by the 1995 appearance with the 19 piece Hard Rubber Orchestra. This year’s offering featured commisioned scores by trumpeter John Korsrud and guitarist Tony Wilson with an ensemble of nine of Vancouver’s most inventive players including Jack Duncan (percussion), John Korsrud (trumpet), Peggy Lee (cello), Sheila McDonald (violin), Laurence Mollerup (bass), Ron Samworth (guitar), Dylan van der Schyff (drums), Joe Williamson (bass), and Tony Wilson (guitar). Bones and Scorched Earth were two thirty minute solo dance performances performed by Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi.

Dance and Desire

From June 12th to the 14th, 1997 at 8 p.m. at the Vogue Theatre (918 Granville Street), Kokoro Dance performed a new work called Moan in an evening program that also featured ballet, jazz, modern dance as well as butoh. Choreographers included Robyn Allan, Gioconda Barbuto, Barbara Bourget, Sarah Brewer, Sandi Croft, David Earle, Jay Hirabayashi, Daniel Lauzon, and Grant Strate. Dancers in the show included Robyn Allan, Scott Augustine, Ingmar Bergsma, Linda Bernath, Barbara Bourget, Sarah Brewer, Sandi Croft, Leigh Hilary, Jay Hirabayashi, Edmond Kilpatrick, Daniel Lauzon, Sean Marye, Kathleen Pritchard, Sylvain Senez, Ron Stewart, Stacey Tookey, Wen Wei Wang, and Laura West. Moan featured Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi and cellist Peggy Lee.


Kokoro Dance presented Sunyataat the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (1895 Venables Street) from March 12 – 22, 1997. The nine performances drew 1,830 patrons (82% capacity overall with five soldout shows) who awarded the production with standing ovations. Originally inspired by the etchings by Gustave Doré for Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Sunyata was developed over a six year period and was last produced in 1991 at the Waterfront Theatre in Vancouver. The three sections, Zero to the Power, Aeon, and Elysian Fields metaphorically depict states of hell, purgatory, and heaven following Dante’s journey. The title Sunyata, however, suggests that the three realms be viewed from a Buddhist perspective. Sunyata is a Buddhist Sanskrit word meaning emptiness. In one important school of Buddhist philosophy, all metaphysical arguments for the existence of states such as hell, purgatory, and heaven were thought to be empty of reality. We only understand things in terms of their relationship to other things. An understanding of some absolute reality could have no relationship to our ordinary understanding. It would transcend language. We thought dance, music, and visual art, being non-verbal experiential languages, were ideal vehicles for conveying this intangible concept.

Sunyata is a two and a half hour production featuring eight dancers and four musicians. The 1991 production was called one of the best dance productions of the 1990-91 season by local critics but was produced under severe financial restrictions. We had to scale down that production for economic reasons. In the new version, we had the full cast of twelve performers (the ’91 version had six). For this production, Robert J. Rosen rewrote his original score specifically for the talents of he Vancouver new music ensemble, Standing Wave (François Houle on soprano saxophone, clarinet and MIDI wind controller, Lauri Lyster on percussion, Peggy Lee on cello, and guest artist Adrienne Park on MIDI keyboard). The dancers were Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi, Ingmar Bergsma, Salome Diaz, Ziyian Kwan, Eve Lacabanne, Alvin Erasga Tolentino, and Michael Whitfield. Artists Thomas Anfield and Richard Tetrault painted the backdrop – a thirty foot canvas filled with tortured bodies. Set builder Duncan Wilson brought his amplified tables, mud pit, and platform designs to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre’s intimate stage (the VECC is a former church). Gerald King contributed his alchemical lighting designs. New costumes were created by Mara A. Gottler.

Production Credits
Choreography: Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi
Music: Robert J. Rosen
Set Design: Duncan Wilson
Lighting Design: Gerald King
Costumes: Mara A. Gottler and Tsuneko Kokubo
Visual Art: Richard Tetrault and Thomas Anfield
Dancers: Ingmar Bergsma, Barbara Bourget, Salome Diaz, Jay Hirabayashi, Ziyian Kwan, Eve Lacabanne, Alvin Erasga Tolentino, and Michael Whitfield
Musicians: François Houle (soprano saxophone, clarinet, MIDI Wind Controller), Peggy Lee (cello), Lauri Lyster (percussion), and Adrienne Park (keyboards)
Technical Director: Dusty Rhodes
Production Manager: Michel D. Bisson


On Sunday, February 20, 1997 at 4 p.m. at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (1895 Venables Street) at the Women in View Festival, we embarked on a journey into the mind of the Marquis de Sade. Writer Elizabeth Dancoes has extensively researched the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade as well as the period of history in which he lived. Her script is a score for three actors and three dancers. Elizabeth herself acted the role of a commentator who introduces the other characters and gives the context in which they appear. Tamsin Kelsey played three roles: Marie Eleanore de Maine de Carmen, Countess de Sade, mother of the Marquis; Renee Pelagie de Montreuil, his wife; and Justine, the unfortunate heroine of Sade’s novel of the same name. Singer Sheena Anderson played the role of Sade in combination with Jay Hirabayashi who danced the words she sang. The fictional characters of Justine and Juliette were danced by Barbara Bourget and Ziyian Kwan. Sade is a work in progress that will see development over the next year and a half with the final version anticipated in March of 1998. Following is an excerpt from an early scene in the play:


St. Florent comes to me in prison. My judge, Monsieur de Cardoville and he are childhood friends, both wealthy beyond belief. I will be called to a private interview. It is up to me to prove my innocence in a persuasive manner. Am I in a position to hesitate? I am locked into a windowless room. My torturers frolic joyfully. Their mouths inhale my pain. Upon my head frightful homages are made. My flanks are ripped asunder, my blood their lubricity. When I am returned to my cell the jailer warns that he will deny that on this night I ever left the prison. The next day my judge, Monsieur de Cardoville, orders that my silence is ample acknowledgement of my guilt and tantamount to a confession.


Virtue speaks but violence is silent. Imagination dominates the world. Virute speaks but is too feeble to resist criminal passion, too obedient to overcome the corruption of an age.


I am abused, outraged and my tormentors are overwhelmed with favors. That is what I have learned of the dangers of trafficking with men.


Where does the soul go when one is outraged and tormented? Where does the soul go when one is beaten and ripped asunder? When one does battle with the storm, the hail slashing down, the wind blowing wrathfully, heaven’s fire convulsing the clouds, where does the soul go?

Groundhog Day Fund Raiser at Subeez Cafe

On Sunday, February 2, 1997 (Groundhog Day), Kokoro Dance held its annual fund raising event at Subeez Cafe (corner of Homer and Smithe in Vancouver) at 7 p.m. A gourmet dinner/auction/performance party, the Groundhog Day fund raiser was a fun event where patrons supported Kokoro Dance while having a good time. Over seventy goods and services donated by local businesses were up for auction including a bed and breakfast weekend in Victoria with kayaking lessons, various combination dinner/entertainment packages, as well as the annual opportunity to buy tattooing and body piercing experiences. The event raised over $5,000.00 toward our future productions.