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UMS Concert Program, October 25 & 26, 2019 - Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land

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Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land

Sankai Juku Ushio Amagatsu

Choreography, Concept, and Direction

Friday Evening, October 25, 2019 at 8:00 Saturday Evening, October 26, 2019 at 8:00 Power Center
Ann Arbor

15th and 16th Performances of the 141st Annual Season 29th Annual Dance Series

This weekend’s performances are supported by Level X Talent.

Special thanks to Amy Chavasse, Anita Gonzalez, Katie Gunning, Grace Lehman and the Ann Arbor Y, and the U-M Department of Dance for their participation in events surrounding this weekend’s performances.

Sankai Juku’s 2019 North American tour is supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council and Shiseido Co., Ltd.

Sankai Juku appears by arrangement with Pomegranate Arts.

In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.

The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.


Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land

  1. The Call from the Distance

  2. Transformation on the Sea Bottom

  3. Two Surfaces

  4. Premonition – Quietude – Tremblings

  5. Forest of fossils

  6. Weavings

  7. Return

This evening’s performance is approximately one hour and 30 minutes in duration and is performed without intermission.



Choreography, Concept, and Artistic Direction / Ushio Amagatsu Music / Takashi Kako, YAS-KAZ, Yoichiro Yoshikawa
Dancers / Semimaru, Toru Iwashita, Sho Takeuchi, Akihito Ichihara,

Dai Matsuoka, Norihito Ishii, Shunsuke Momoki, Taiki Iwamoto Realization of Sea Lilies (Décor) / Roshi
Costume Realization / Masayo Iizuka


Stage Manager / Kazuhiko Nakahara
Lighting Technician / Genta Iwamura
Sound Technician / Junko Miyazaki
Set Technician / Keisuke Watanabe
Administration / Midori Okuyama, Yasuko Takai
North American Production Supervision / Doug Witney Production Management / Corps Liminis

North American Company Manager / Pat Kirby PRODUCERS

Co-producers / Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France); Esplanade – Theatre on the Bay (Singapore); Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center (Fukuoka, Japan); Sankai Juku (Tokyo, Japan)

North American Tour Producer / Pomegranate Arts Executive Producer / Linda Brumbach
Associate Producer / Alisa E. Regas

World Premiere: Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center, March 2015



The word meguri is written with the Chinese character (pictograph) 回, which is read meguru as a verb and refers to phenomena like circulating water and all things that rotate. Meguri is thus used for things that move or circulate in accordance with some prescribed order or system, such as the passage of time, the cycle of the four seasons, and transitions the earth has been through.

The art on the upstage wall is created in the image of fossils of the Paleozoic marine creatures known as sea lily (crinoid).

—Ushio Amagatsu



All of Sankai Juku’s works have
been directed, choreographed, and designed by Ushio Amagatsu, founder of the company. Mr. Amagatsu defines Butoh as a “dialogue with gravity.” From there, he has developed his own method of pursuing internal nature that is universal to all human beings, such as “birth” and “death.” His work has been recognized internationally by his choreographic language, the universality of its subject, and his aesthetics.

“Each of the meetings with Sankai Juku is a promise of a vague
beauty. Meguri is no exception to this rule. Ushio Amagatsu now gives us one of his strongest creations... Deep blue sea sand, glowing ridges on the walls, the artwork also reveals its atmospheres to embody different emotions. Rounds, jumps, floor work — the movements seem like they’re being suspended in the space of the theater, making Meguri a long visual poem. In his way, and not so different to that of a painter, Ushio Amagatsu creates universes like interior worlds.”

—Philippe Noisette, dance critic, Théâtre de la Ville 2015–16 program

“I have a vision that always exists inside of me, that is, two plates searching for a balance on both ends of the scales by rotating and

moving up and down. One plate carries culture, each of which has its own unique characteristic that might often appear mysterious and difficult to understand to the others. However, the difference is the basis

of the culture, and thus, is important. The other plate carries universality that is common to all human beings. The difference and commonness are constantly moving for seeking a balance between two.”

—Ushio Amagatsu, “Dialogue avec la Gravité” in Actes Sud



Born in Yokosuka, Japan in 1949,
Ushio Amagatsu (director, choreographer, and designer) founded Sankai Juku in 1975. He created Amagatsu Sho (1977), Kinkan Shonen (1978), and Sholiba (1979) beforethe first world tour in 1980. In 1981, France and Théâtre de la Ville, Paris became
his places for creation and work, and he created Bakki for Festival d’Avignon. At Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, he has created successively Jomon Sho (1982), Netsu
no Katachi (1984), Unetsu (1986), Shijima (1988), Omote (1991), Yuragi (1993), Hiyomeki (1995), Hibiki (1998), Kagemi (2000), Utsuri (2003), Toki (2005),
Tobari (2008), Kara • Mi (2010), Umusuna (2012), Meguri (2015), and ARC (2019). ARC premiered in March at Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center and was presented at Théâtre de la Ville, Paris in April and May this year.

Mr. Amagatsu also works independently outside Sankai Juku. In 1988 he created Fushi on the invitation of Jacob’s Pillow Foundation, in the US, with music by
Philip Glass. In 1989, he was appointed as artistic director of the Spiral Hall where he directed Apocalypse (1989) and Fifth-V (1990). In February 1997, he directedBluebeard’s Castle by Bartók conducted by Peter Eötvös at Tokyo International Forum. In March 1998, at Opéra National de Lyon, France, he directed Peter Eötvös’s operaThree Sisters (world premiere), which received the Prix du Syndicat National de la Critique, France. Three Sisters was seen in the 2001–02 season at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, at Opéra National de Lyon, and

at Wiener Festwochen 2002 in Austria. In March 2008, he directed Lady Sarashina,

Peter Eötvös’s opera at Opéra National de Lyon (world premiere). Lady Sarashina again received the Prix du Syndicat National de la Critique, France and it was seen at Opéra Comique in February 2009 and in Teatr Wielki, Polish National Opera, in Warsaw in April 2013.

In 1992, Mr. Amagatsu presided over
the jury of the International Meeting of Dance of Bagnolet, and was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre de l’Art et des Lettres by the French cultural ministry. In February 2002, Hibiki won the 26th Laurence Olivier Award for “Best New Dance Production.” In 2004, the Japanese minister of education, culture, sports, science, and technology awarded the Geijyutsu Sensho Prize (art encouragement prize) to Mr. Amagatsu for his outstanding artistic achievement. In 2007, Toki won the Grand Prix of the sixth Asahi Performing Arts Awards and Sankai Juku received the KIRIN Special Grant for Dance. In July 2011, he presided over the jury of the 10th international choreographic competition of the National Academy of Dance Grand Theater, Italy. In 2011,
he received the Purple Ribbon Medal of the Japanese government. In October 2013, Sankai Juku received the Japan Foundation Award. In July 2014, he received the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the Ministry of Culture and Communication of France. In July 2016, he was given the Flying Mercury Prize by the 27th international Florence Dance Festival.

His latest book Des rivages d’enfance au buto de Sankai Juku was published in 2013 in France. It was published in 2015 in Japan as a special edition, combining another book Dialogue avec la gravité, and adding a chapter of essays and drawings.

Photo (next spread): Sankai Juku in Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land.


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Sankai Juku is a Butoh dance company, founded by Ushio Amagatsu in 1975. It has toured internationally since 1980, and it premieres a new piece approximately onceevery two years at Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, the center of the contemporary dance

of the world. It is one of the few dance companies that Théâtre de la Ville, Paris has commissioned continuously for more than 35 years.

Since its first world tour in 1980, it
has performed in over 700 cities and in
48 countries throughout Europe; North, Middle, and South Americas; Asia; and Oceania. It has been highly praised in different cultures for over 35 years, which itself shows the universal nature of its work. Crossing over several geographical borders as well as the generations, its work has reached to an original form of aesthetics that brings the audience to grasp their inner movement. By performing for audiences from different backgrounds, it has continuously been developing its theme, searching for and moving toward a new realm.

For the past 20 years, Pomegranate Arts
has worked in close collaboration with
a small group of contemporary artists
and arts institutions to bring bold and ambitious artistic ideas to fruition. Founder and director Linda Brumbach, along

with managing director Alisa E. Regas, produced the Olivier Award-winning revival of Einstein on the Beach, the multi-award-winning production of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and the Drama Desk Award-winning production of Charlie Victor Romeo. Since its inception, Pomegranate Arts has produced over 30 major new performing arts productions and tours for Philip

Glass, Laurie Anderson, Lucinda Childs, Dan Zanes, London’s Improbable, Sankai

Juku, Batsheva, and Bassem Youssef, and collaborated on new productions with the Kronos Quartet, Leonard Cohen, Robert Wilson, and Frank Gehry. Pomegranate Arts hopes to continue to build a community of institutions and individuals that are inspired by the artists that help bring beauty

and truth into the world, ask important questions, and take bold risks. Pomegranate Arts is the North American representation of Sankai Juku. For more information, please visit

Pomegranate Arts

Founder and Director / Linda Brumbach Managing Director, Creative / Alisa E. Regas General Manager / Rachel Katwan Production Manager / Jeremy Lydic Business Manager / Adam Thorburn

Office Manager / Brit Katke
Production Assistant / Willa Ellafair Folmar

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This weekend’s performances mark Sankai Juku’s eighth and ninth performances under UMS auspices since the company’s UMS debut in November 1996 in the Power Center in performances of Yuragi: In a Space of Perpetual Motion. The company most recently appeared at UMS in October in the Power Center in performances of Umusuna: Memories Before History.




Supporting Sponsor

Level X Talent


11/15–16 Teaċ Damsa: Loch na hEala (Swan Lake) 2/21–22 Dorrance Dance: Myelination
3/18–21 ANTHEM

Tickets available at


10/26 You Can Dance: Sankai Juku
(Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm) Registration opens 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.

11/1 Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series: John Cameron Mitchell (Bethlehem United Church, 423 S. Fourth Avenue, 7:00 pm)

  1. 11/15  Post-Performance Artist Q&A: Teaċ Damsa (Power Center)

    Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.

  2. 11/16  You Can Dance: Teaċ Damsa
    (Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm) Registration opens 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

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