Many people may not comprehend the sound of one hand clapping, but 184 privileged persons were witness to a 45-minute mind-boggling performance by butoh master Oguri at Japan America Theater's George J. Doizaki Gallery on Saturday night.
His collaborators? Wadada Leo Smith, blowing the baddest trumpet and fluegelhorn this side of Miles Davis; Zen archer-artist Hirokazu Kosaka; and three tons of wet clay that not only functioned as a stage but served as a paradisiacal tableau.
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Barefoot and clad in a pair of French cotton ecru-colored drawstring pajamas, Oguri, digging his curled toes into the clay, was the artery through which Smith's music flowed. And wailed. And trilled.
Talk about profound: Oguri, responding to Smith's sonic vibrations, leaned back as if suspended by a wire, his body a pipeline to God. He pirouetted, he did a madcap tango, he was melody.