In NINA Kanamori sets up a postapocalyptic landscape with women as expressionless mannequins to be fair, the men in dark suits also lack color and emotion and minimal decor. If you're thinking Butoh, you're on the right track, but his is a post-Butoh sensibility fusing East and West, ballet and modern dance.
Early in the piece, a precise, balletic solo in a square of white light suggests a stylized gymnastics floor routine; a second dancer joins in and they lean into each other like a couple of sumo wrestlers on a mat. Later, two men enact a loopy, snaky mirrored duet, leading to some kind of confrontation. At different times, the group circumnavigates the stage in a slow-motion shuffle, as if ice skating.
Kanamori also samples ballet history with refreshing irreverence. At one point I detected a whiff of pagan sacrifice, Á la The Rite of Spring; at another the perfume of a Romantic ballet pas de quatre, complete with Giselle-like long tutus. Throughout the piece, dancers enter and exit dramatically by picking up the backdrop.
I'd love to see a European or American ballet company stage NINA, or anything else by Kanamori. He gives globalism a good turn.
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