Arts

The Moon and the Guardian (207K GIF file)

This image appears to be a costume from Jo Ha Kyu's Moon and the Guardian dance production. I found it in a print industry trade magazine (these mags are full of striking images reproduced on exceptionally high quality paper and ink). It caught my eye because in the 80s, I saw Arawana Hayasi's dance troup, Jo Ha Kyu, perform that piece at the Hatch Shell on Boston's Esplanade. The performance was so captivating that I found myself in a state of not perceiving any physical boundaries between the performers, the performance, and the observer (i.e. me). It was a beautful Summer night with a strong breeze that seemed to create a dance of its own, lifting the long scarves (part of which can be seen in the picture) across the stage.

Arawana Hayasi was mentioned in a Buddhism in the Arts edition of Spring Wind, a wonderful but defunct publication.

I saw her troup perform several other times in the Boston area. Another favorite was a performance in which dozens of (approximately) seven foot long two by four pieces of lumber were arranged during the course of the performance in a wide variety of structures. At one point Arawana and (Tim?) were standing them on end on the well trodden (and uneven) dance floor with significant risk of having them fall. The pieces of lumber became unpredictable performers in their own right, forcing the two dancers to continually look over their shoulders to see if any were about to fall and frequently run back to re-stabilize them.

In addition to modern dance, Arawana also performs very formal Japanese Court Dance. Seeing these two radically different styles of dance coming from the same artist always impressed me.

According to my web searches, they haven't been performing much since '96 or '98.


Home