1997-1998 Season

  • June 27, 1998 Tony Wilson / Bugs Inside at “underground jazz club”
  • June 10, 1998 Canada Dance Festival in
    Ottawa
  • May 31, 1998 Toronto Workshop Performance
  • May 30, 1998 Walls of Change street
    performance at Hastings and Carrall
  • May 7,8, 1998 Jazz Jam Nights at the Vancouver East Cultural
    Centre
  • May 2, 1998 Dancers for Life at the Vancouver Playhouse
  • March 19, 21, 1998 Jazz Jam Nights at the Firehall Arts Centre
  • March 17-22, 1998 Sade II at the Firehall
    Arts Centre
  • November 25, 1997 Truths of the Blood at
    the Norman Rothstein Theatre
  • October 23-26, 1997 The Believer at
    the Arts Northwest Booking Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • October 8-11, 14-18, 1997 The River at the Firehall
    Art Centre
  • September 14, 1997 Siya:ye– the Stoltmann
    Eco-Fest in Fort Langley, BC
  • August 17-22, 1997 Workshops with Akira Kasai and
    Yumiko Yoshioka in San Francisco
  • August 16, 1997 Popping the Quiff– Arts
    Mundi
    at the Roundhouse
  • August 10, 1997 Under the Volcano Festival at
    Cates Park
  • August 3, 1997 Powell Street Festival at
    Oppenheimer Park
  • August 2-3, 1997 Wreck Beach Butoh at
    Wreck Beach
  • July 18-20, 1997 Vancouver Folk Music Festival at
    Jericho Park
  • July 9, 12, 1997 Dancing on the Edge Festival at
    the Firehall Arts Centre

Canada Dance Festival


June 6-13, 1998

Kokoro performed at the University of Ottawa as well as a site-specific performance throughout downtown Ottawa.


Walls of Change


May 30, 1998

Kokoro performed to celebrate a series of murals recently created for Vancouver’s east side. The event included live music, drumming, sidewalk drawings, and lots of people.


SADE- Part II



March 7, 1998

Kokoro Dance performed SADE- Part II at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova St.) March 17 – 22, 1998 at 8 p.m. with matinees on March 21 and 22 at 3 p.m. SADE- Part II was the second instalment of a trilogy of works investigating the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade. Writer Elizabeth Dancoes provided the poetic text for actors Ruth McIntosh* and Guillermo Verdecchia* performing with dancers Kevin Bergsma*, Barbara Bourget and Jay Hirabayashi and singer Sheena Anderson in this provocative exploration of the darker side of the human spirit. Composer Robert J. Rosen’s music was performed by pianist Adrienne Claire Park and percussionist David Carlisle; costumes were by Mara A. Gottler; lighting design was by Gerald King and props by Duncan Wilson.

The Marquis de Sade

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.


The 6th Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis 1998

From a field of 400 choreographic entries from around the world, Kokoro Dance Artistic Director Barbara Bourget was one of five Vancouver choreographic entries to be selected to compete for a Prix d’auteur award. Every other year, the Centre international de Bagnolet pour les oeuvres choréographiques de Seine-Saint-Denis organises the Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis – an award event for choreographers. By setting in motion a process that brings together choreographers from around the world, the Rencontres highlight the place of dance in contemporary art history and furthers the development of the international choreographic community. They give out choreographic awards – the Prix d’auteur – and encourage the circulation of choreographic works on an international scale.

The Vancouver Platform took place November 24-25, 1997 at the Norman Rothstein Theatre (located in the Jewish Community Centre at 41st and Oak Street). Kokoro Dance performed Truths of the Blood.

Production Credits

Choreography: Barbara Bourget
Music: Robert J. Rosen
Lighting: Gerald King
Costumes: Eleanor Hannan
Dancers: Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi, Ziyian Kwan
Musician: Adrienne Claire Park

Barbara Bourget’s Notes

For the past year and a half, I have been collaborating 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.

In Truths of the Blood, I have extracted the movement reflections of this theme from the larger work (which includes three actors and text by Elizabeth). The fictional characters of Juliet and Justine are portrayed by myself 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.


Arts Northwest Booking Conference at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

From October 23-26, 1997 Kokoro Dance attended the Arts Northwest Booking Conference at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We showcased The Believer on Saturday, October 25th at 8:35 P.M.


The River

Wreck Beach © Vincent Wong
October 9-11 and 14-18 at 8 P.M.., Kokoro Dance performed The River at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street). The River is a flowing stream of sometimes gentle, sometimes turbulent movement charting a journey of the human spirit through the surreal dimensions of butoh dance.

A river is a potent metaphor. Kokoro Dance’s investigation of this metaphor began almost two years ago with the inception of a new ensemble of dancers. For this group, streams of influence from a variety of world cultures have fed their river of dance. The port de bras of the flamenco dancer found its way into the movement vocabulary. The warrior movements of the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé dancer joined into the flow. A shy little girl carrying a secret package arrived on the scene from Japan. The rhythmic drumming of the Burundi fed their energy. These dancers plunged into this river of experience. They baptized themselves in performances around the city. They danced naked on Wreck Beach, they shared an alley with homeless people on the Downtown Eastside, they defended portable toilets at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Now, they are bringing this new knowledge, this new language, this fresh flow of movement to the stage. No, The Riveris not a Celtic butoh Riverdance but it shares its zest for passionate movement, abundant energy, and a rich river of imagery of the human spirit.

On September 14, 1997, Kokoro Dance performed at the STOLTMANN SIYÁ:YE ECOFEST ’97 on McMillan Island in Fort Langley, B.C.

ECOFEST ’97 took place on September 13th and 14th. September 13th was “Commercial Hemp Day” and featured Cozy Bones, 10 Ft. Henry, Dick ‘n’ Jane, Green Room, Cheryl Schuh, Sweaty Cheddar, Pancho & Sal, Beleuga, Adrenalin Head, Zero Gravity & Spiral Kiss. September 14th was “Old Growth Day” and featured Kokoro Dance, People Playing Music, Noah’s Great Rainbow, G.W. Downe, Brickhouse, Funkus, Trenchant, Zoulful, Dust, some People’s Kids, and Group of Seven. Unfortunately for the Festival, the weather wasn’t the best and attendance wasn’t great. Still, the good will of the presenters and of all the volunteers was wonderful and we hope the Festival returns next year.


San Francisco Butoh Festival

From August 17th to the 25th, we were in San Francisco attending the 3rd annual Butoh Festival with workshops led by Akira Kasai and Yumiko Yoshioka.


Popping the Quiff Ars Mundi – 4th International Conference for the Visual Arts

On August 16th, 1997 at 7 p.m., Kokoro Dance performed at the opening ceremonies to Ars Mundi – the 4th International Conference for the Visual Arts at the Roundhouse. The piece will featured eleven dancers, eleven musicians, and twenty visual artists.


Under the Volcano Festival


Under the Volcano image

On August 10th, 1997, Kokoro Dance performed at Cates Park in North Vancouver for the 8th annual Under the Volcano Festival.


Wreck Beach Butoh


Kokoro at Wreck Beach © Colleen Heslin
On August 2nd and 3rd, 1997 at noon, Kokoro Dance shed its fundoshi’s for its annual pilgrimage to the sand and water of Vancouver’s famous nude beach. The site, just west of Tower Beach at the foot of the Number 4 Trail which descends just west of the UBC Museum of Anthropology, looks out towards the North Shore. Sky, water, and sand merge with the human spirit.


Powell Street Festival

On August 3rd, 1997 at 5 p.m., Kokoro Dance performed in Oppenheimer Park (Powell Street between Dunlevy and Jackson Streets) at the annual Japanese Canadian celebration called the Powell Street Festival.


Vancouver Folk Music Festival


Folk Music Festival logo

From July 18-20, 1997, Kokoro Dance appeared with twelve dancers at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival which takes place annually at Jericho Beach Park. We performed throughout the site for several hours each day. It was a brilliantly bright sunny weekend with a multitude of world talent singing and dancing on seven stages. We plan to return next year with a spectacular collaborative piece with Uzume Taiko.


Firehall logo
Dancing on the Edge logo

Kokoro Dance presented Sade-Justine/Childhood at the Firehall Arts Centre at 7 p.m. on July 9th and at 9 p.m. on July 12th, 1997. Critically acclaimed at its premiere in February at the Women in View Festival, Sade is 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 Marie Eleanore de Maine de Carmen, the Countess de Sade, mother of the Marquis and that of a commentator who introduces the other characters and gives the context in which they appear. Laara Sadiq played two roles: Renée 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 Miroslaw Zydowicz. 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.


du Maurier International Jazz Festival Vancouver

Jazz Festival logo

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.


Sunyata


Jay Hirabayashi and Sioux Hartle in "Zero to the Power"

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


Sade

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:

Justine:

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.

Sade:

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.

Justine:

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

Sade:

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.