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The Body Breaks: Butoh, Breakdancing, and Beyond

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There is something new under the sun: a combined festival of butoh and breakdancing, the brainchild of curator Nicole LeGette, who points out that both forms challenge social and physical boundaries. The monthlong fest includes four weekends of performance at Link's Hall, a free film screening and symposium, multiple workshops, and two international performers at the Chicago Cultural Center. Yumiko Yoshioka, originally from Japan but now living in Germany, was a member of the first all-women butoh group, which was also the first troupe to present butoh outside of Japan, in Paris in 1978. Interested in using visual art--she's collaborated with a sculptor in Germany--she tests the boundaries of the form, which is now nearly 50 years old. At the same performance LeGette and the B-Girl Stalls offer a butoh/break collaboration, as they do in the final performance at Link's. Diego Pinon, based in Mexico but trained in Japan, often explores gender boundaries; the work he's performing here, Ekua Itsi: Behind the Mirror, draws on traditional Mexican rituals. Every weekend at Link's features a different lineup; this week it's the Brickheadz, breaking to video and a live DJ, and recent Chicago transplant Ayako Kato in a piece called Fragile. DJs spin on Friday night of the first and last weekends, and there's open dancing. See www.linkshall.org for a full schedule of events. Through 3/26: Fri-Sun 8 PM, Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824, $12.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Giuseppe Frusteri.

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