Tulips

Concept & Choreography: Ivar Hagendoorn
Dancers: Avatâra Ayuso, Camille Revol
Music: John Zorn
Lighting design: Elsa Revol
Year: 2009

This is another of my meditative, butoh inspired pieces, combining hypnotic, ethereal music and punk noise. I originally planned to create a video with the dancers standing in a field of tulips, but I still need to find a good location and of course the timing has to be right.

It is a tentative exploration of the Japanese concept wabi sabi, a key notion in Japanese aesthetics, that can approximately be described as beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

As Andrew Juniper writes in Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence (2003): "Wabi sabi embodies the Zen nihilist cosmic view and seeks beauty in the imperfections found as all things, in a constant state of flux, evolve from nothing and devolve back to nothing. Within this perpetual movement nature leaves arbitrary tracks for us to contemplate and it is these random flaws and irregularities that offer a model for the modest and humble wabi sabi expression of beauty."

Or as Yoshida Kenko wrote in what has been translated as Essays in Idleness (1330-1333): "Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of the spring - these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with faded flowers are worthier of our admiration.... People commonly regret that the cherry blossoms scatter or that the moon sinks in the sky, and this is natural; but only an exceptionally insensitive man would say 'This branch and that branch have lost their blossoms. There is nothing worth seeing now.'"

Video temporarily unavailable.