Japan Dance Now

When: Feb. 5-7 2009

Expect the unexpected from this program by three Japanese dance companies, consisting of excerpts from evening-length works. For one thing, judging from the DVDs I watched, these folks are really out there. For another, Dance Center executive director Phil Reynolds says even he isn't quite sure which excerpts they'll do. The common denominators for the troupes seem to be bold, inventive use of media and movement that's not about technique but about gut responses to music or a subject. In Baby-Q's E/G—Ego Geometria, dancer-choreographer Yoko Higashino responds, sometimes lyrically, to the musical stylings of Toshio Kajiwara, whom Reynolds describes as playing "scritchy, very loud" electronic music while wearing a bag over his head. Sennichimae Blue Sky Dance Club offers parts of The End of Water, a series of off-the-wall feminist vignettes--one of which has them acting like idiots to the tune of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" while wearing big blond wigs--by choreographer Akadama. And the Nibroll ensemble performs sections from Mikuni Hinaihara's Coffee, an all-out media blitz that includes a projected, three-dimensional video environment and occasional blasts of blazing white light that put the dancers' collisions--some apparently accidental, others angry and intentional--under a microscope. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $24-$28

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