Ame to Ame

(Candy and Rain)

an inkBoat and cokaseki productionQuartet | 70 minutes

Winner of “Best Ensemble Performance” award from the Isadora Duncan Dance Committee, SF 2005

“Yuko Kaseki and Shinichi Iova-Koga, the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire of Butoh, come together in inkBoat\’s Ame to Ame (Candy and Rain)… under the direction of fellow choreographer and lighting designer Marc Ates.Time speeds up and then slows, the greed of sleep gives way to the gallantry of concern, and childlike play and sexual prowess whirl around fleeting contacts between bodies and personalities. Such contrasts and more are beautifully managed throughout, frequently with humor either wry or raucous. The couple waltz drunkenly to the end of time, a final song sending somber, wistful lyrics washing over them. Words become inarticulate notes, rising in pitch, expanding in power (opening up a yawning space between the lovers), and dissolving into an undulating wall of music built steadily upward, tsunami-like, only to be brought crashing down again – as now two fading points of light circumscribe two alien but remembering bodies – in a chilling, howling vortex of sound.”

-Robert Avila, SF BAY GUARDIAN

“…there’s a natural empathy here, as the pair’s movements acquire a mirror relationship. The piece stresses contrasts. Movement is either graduated or manic. Isolated extremities, like flexed feet, succeed the turbulent deployment of the entire hurtling body. Episodes of silence follow volleys of percussive music; throughout Ame to Ame, the choice of music (composer Sheila McCarthy intersperses bits by Nils Frykdahl, Dawn McCarthy, Carla Kilstedt and Matthias Bossi with her own compositions) is eminently apt; while Ates’ unerring lighting scheme keeps us dazzled.The choreography grows ever less studied and more physical. Koga and Kaseki mount each other’s back. He beetles across the stage in a squatty walk that Chaplin might have envied, and they end with that most socialized and stylized of dance forms, a waltz.”

-Allan Ulrich, VOICE OF DANCE

“\’Romance\’ isn\’t a word usually associated with the Japanese dance form butoh, but inkBoat\’s “Ame to Ame (Candy and Rain),” which opened Friday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and repeats this weekend, manages to pull heartstrings while posing profoundly philosophical questions . . .. . .the core of the work is the dance performances. The petite Kaseki, in her Carnaby Street Mod white minidress and knee socks, is like a wise child. Koga is an extraordinarily focused performer with a long face capable of resembling a gargoyle one moment and the visage in Edward Munch\’s “The Scream” the next. The unfailing intensity of their connection only underlines the tragedy of their psychic individuality.”

-Rachel Howard, SF CHRONICLE

“A couple, bound for the opera, wandered into the Forum by mistake, then dashed out minutes before inkBoat’s latest production, Ame to Ame (Candy and Rain) began. Had they stayed, they would have found the U.S. premiere of Shinichi Iova-Koga and Yuko Kaseki’s work operatic in its own way. While the only libretto was a panoply of keen gestures, extreme facial expressions, and Harpo-style physical maneuvers, the dancers’ bodies sang out the physical equivalent of songs—broken, dissonant, and often hilarious. Although there was no translation of these nonverbal arias, the dancers formed a portrait of mysterious yearning and frustration that was by turns comic, lyrical, ghoulish, and haunting.InkBoat’s performers and collaborators, who work in both San Francisco and Berlin, push butoh away from ankoku butoh (the post-World War II dance of darkness) toward the more intimate form of “one dancer, one school” and “cheerful apocalypse” that was developed by Akaji Maro of Dairakudakan. While death still lurks, Koga, Kaseki, and director/choreographer/lighting designer Marc Ates use it to wrestle the solitary angels and lonely demons of self and other rather than nuclear apocalypse.And wrestle they did. In white light ethereally littered with a white chair, table, and stool, the dancers, also in white, careered through space like sleepwalkers whose separate dreams repeatedly collided. Kaseki teetered across the stage, Koga caught and turned her, and eventually the pair moved on with affect-less drama. From beautifully crafted dreamy vignettes, accompanied by intriguing, edgy sound (by Sheila McCarthy, Dawn McCarthy, Carla Kihlstedt, and Nils Frykdahl), the couple exploded into grotesque play, bouncing belly to belly, high-stepping, flailing, and grimacing. From there they swung back into movement of refined sensitivity and timing, as when Kaseki sensuously laid her hands and head down on the tabletop and Koga pulled the table out from under her, leaving her poised exactly as she had been, now framing negative space. One of the most moving, tender moments of the evening arose when Koga used the three white props as stepping-stones for a somnolent Kaseki’s blind travel, the two like clowns in a wordless Beckett play.“On a good day, candy falls like rain,” a voice said. “Ame” means “candy” as well as “rain,” and both are often sweet and welcome. So was this performance.”



Created by inkBoat/cokaseki

Choreography and PerformanceYuko KasekiShinichi Iova-Koga

Direction, Choreography, LightMarc Ates

Music Composition Sheila Antonia Bosco with Nils FrykdahlDawn McCarthyCarla KihlstedtMatthias Bossi

TextSten Rudstrøm and Kasekiread by Frykdahl and Kaseki

Music Managermomo io