IMPRESSIONS: LEIMAY's "Frantic Beauty" at BAM Fisher
I love all forms of dance, charmed by the divinity and absurdity that reside in each one. I must confess, though, that I feel a particular affinity for butoh (it developed in post-WWII Japan; the full name, ankoku butoh, roughly translates as dance of darkness). Maybe it's because I'm old-lady mom who's grimmest moments involve my two-year-old daughter who's supposed to be asleep shouting, "POO! I POO!" and then going into find that, indeed, she did poo — sans diaper. Maybe it's because the strange contortions and primal imagery make me think of the nightmarish subtext of both fairytales and ballet. Maybe it's because I've grown up, and I need my pretty to be gritty with plenty of commentary. Whichever the reason, I attended LEIMAY's Frantic Beauty at BAM Fisher. Was my love of butoh gratified?
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LEIMAY's Frantic Beauty at BAM Fisher. Photo by Jeremy Tressler.
It's been around since 300 BC, this idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's been repeated so many times that we accept it as gospel: taste is individual rather than universal. Yet worldwide standards of beauty such as the Golden ratio exist, are adhered to. Beauty is something for which many of us strive, confident that when we succeed others will notice. At first glance, those who find the grotesque beautiful could prove this maxim. Like beauty, the grotesque is recognizable and stimulating. Unlike beauty, the grotesque is neither a well-loved nor a well-understood attribute. Macabre, strange, chilling, it reveals, even revels, in the dark percentage of the soul. How would anyone find that beautiful? Yet, residing in the misty realm between myth and truth, the grotesque is the shadow side of beauty. LEIMAY's Frantic Beauty, which received its premiere at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Fisher, exposes the . . .
Please visit THE DANCE ENTHUSIAST for the balance of my review.