Sunday, April 29, 2012


EnTrance, created and performed by Yumi Umiumare, presented by Performance Space at Carriageworks.

Yumi Umiumare is a Japanese-Australian performing artist and is "the only Japanese Butoh Dancer in Australia and (is) the creator of provocative Butoh Cabaret and visceral dance works."

EnTrance consists of five scenes: Maze Cityscape; Cracked Mirror; Punk Medusa; Tears and Shiro Hebi (White Snake).
…each section is interconnected through a chained world' in which a new world opens up, one to the other. The logic of this chain world is surreal, abstract and internal, and sometimes very personal. The chain is about how things are unexpectedly linked on a deep emotional and mythical level.Like a moment when a person is in the kitchen doing something mundane and an anticipation or memory of horror or deep grief opens up before them, taking them from the kitchen into another world…
This reasoning, then, gives space for the five scenes to move easily from one to the other. The logic of the above explanation gives pause for the acceptance of the diversity of the pieces to make a relatively coherent whole. The physical styles cross from deceptively simple movement of walking along passages of light whilst vocalising fascinating and weird poetic/prose of disconcerting adventures with a cat and broken glasss – to a full-on punk karaoke performance – to a full on white-faced, (white-bodied) Butoh dance.

Integral to the performance is an elaborate, well conceived and executed use of Digital Media by Bambang Nurcahyadi (A.K.A BB), startling Costume Design by David Anderson, an immersive Sound Design by Ian Kitney, who is also the AV coordinator, and Lighting Design by Neil Simpson. The main collaborator on this work is Moira Finucane with assistance by Installation Artist, Naomi Ota.

In a very generous solo performance (maybe, a trifle too long) Ms Umiumare draws one to attend, through the sheer skill of her body control and a clear sense of her exactitude of focus on every element of what she has selected to show us. This includes the necessary costume and make up changes during the work - it invites us to be complicit in the creative construct of the work and induces a kind of hypnotic empathy, and for those of us new to this form of dance training (relatively), and to the 'exotic' prism of Ms Umiumare's world view, a secure breathing space to absorb and resolve what we have seen and are about to see further. Her unique EnTrance into the world about her is made available and engrossing for us 'strangers'. I was full of admiration and a kind of exhilaration.

The initial creative development began in 2007-08 and the sense of maturity and security of the work and the artistic support about Ms Umiumare is tangible with this outstanding performance with Performance Space at Carriageworks.

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