Newspaper Article Previews TeZuKa Dance Piece at Sadler's Wells (Updated)

posted on 2011-08-30 18:45 EDT by Andrew Osmond
Telegraph newspaper profiles TeZuKa choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

The website of the Telegraph newspaper has published a preview article on the upcoming TeZuKa dance performance at Sadler's Wells, inspired by the life and work of Osamu Tezuka. There will be five evening performances of TeZuKa from Tuesday September 6 to Saturday September 10 (tickets) .

The article profiles the half-Flemish half-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (pictured), who choreographed TeZuKa. From the piece:

With the help of some top-drawer collaborators – Nitin Sawhney with a sinewy and melancholic score, a set of beautiful simplicity by Willy Cessa, on-stage musicians and a cast of 10 drawn from both Japan and Europe – it is clear, even at the rehearsal stage, that Cherkaoui is giving us an entire world in TeZuKa, one that is both alien and resonant.

Amid long white blinds – like scrolls of paper – on to which are projected shifting squares representing frames in an animation, the dancers perform moves that do, indeed, resemble the strokes of a pen. But what they also conjure, far more tellingly, is the very act of artistic creation. (...)

(Osman Tezuka's) stories are like little myths. At times, they are also incredibly dark and daring – “One story can take on four taboos,” as Cherkaoui says – and deal with issues such as homosexuality, incest and religion.

For example, a passage in TeZuKa depicts the relationship between a priest and a boy whom he has raped. Their twisted connection makes for an intensely powerful duet, while above the dancers' heads, extraordinary images from the original cartoon are projected.(...)

Now 35, Cherkaoui grew up watching Tezuka on French television, drinking in a morality that "shows consequences, but does not make judgments." A character such as Astro Boy could be seen as merely a child's superhero; in fact, as Cherkaoui convincingly asserts: “Comic books are not just for children – there's real authorship in them, and because you also have to be able to draw, they are really just like theatre.”

Update - There is another article on the TeZuKa performance in today's Guardian newspaper (August 31).

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