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Butoh Dance By Paul Ibey Presented Nov. 10

Nov. 6, 2012. International guest artist Paul Ibey presents his original butoh choreography “Korrat” Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Valborg Theatre. Butoh, or Dance of Darkness, is an avant-garde dance theatre form that originated in Japan in the 1960s and is one of the major developments in contemporary dance.

Tickets are $8 for students and children and $15 for adults. Tickets are available in person at the Valborg Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., by phone at 828-262-3063, toll-free at 800-841-ARTS (2787) and at http://theatre.appstate.edu.

The performance culminates Ibey’s weeklong residency with students in the Department of Theatre and Dance teaching classes in ballet and butoh. His performance is hosted by the Department of Theatre and Dance and made possible with support from Appalachian’s College of fine and Applied Arts and Office of Arts and Cultural Programs.

Ibey’s training includes ballet, mime and movement but his prime focus in recent years has been butoh. Ibey is one of the few non-Japanese butoh artists whose work is recognized and approved of by masters in the dance form.

“Korrat” is a duet performed by Ibey and Blowing Rock-based dancer G. Alex Smith. It is accompanied by the voices of Bulgarian women singing ancient songs of renewal and regrowth as passed down by generations.

These primal sounds inject a strong female energy into the dance, which explores themes of fertility, and the life cycle of birth/life/death/rebirth as evidenced not only in the natural world, but also within each individual human experience. “Korrat” speaks as an affirmation of people’s efforts to respect and honor the natural world amid so much reliance on technology. Ibey draws on the ancient culture of his Irish heritage that holds belief in the goddess, as opposed to god being a man, and respect for the planet. 

Butoh has revolutionized how people define dance by creating new forms of movement and expression. Its powerful imagery takes its strength from interior movement: the body twists, contracts, extends. Softness, violence, slowness, sensuality and immobility are all part of butoh.

The Valborg Theatre is located on the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street. The door faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty lots and in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educations for the B.S. degree in teaching theatre arts and the B.A. degrees in dance studies or theatre arts. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship and service.