Last Sunday, The Toby overflowed with thirsty fans lapping up the sounds of edgy string quartet Osso and Bloomington-based songster DM Stith, with his sweet voice and dark ideas. They also couldn’t stop watching The BQE, the first film by musician Sufjan Stevens, who jammed the screen with a triptych of imagery in homage to a crazy traffic artery in New York called the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. I had to be the one to stand at the Toby doors and turn people away for this sold-out show – I hated doing so and was very bad at it.
But I hope we have that same problem Saturday night November 7 at The Toby for Caddy! Caddy! Caddy! What’s that, you say? Caddy is an elusive character in the novels of William Faulkner. We describe the performance as southern-gothic-meets-Japanese-avant-garde. Ill-fitting wigs, chalky white faces, and 4-point barbed wire are the visuals. Slow, grotesque movements are the path to the unconscious. Oguri (below) is the single name of the Los Angeles-based dancer who created Caddy!
Oguri is a master of butoh, a radical yet subtle style of Japanese dance. The first person to perform butoh was Tatsumi Hijikata, in 1950s Japan. Here’s how Oguri himself tells it: “In Japan, there was folkdance, ballet, and modern dance. Performers presented seven-minute pieces for a classy, sophisticated audience. Hijikata comes along half naked and shines the light in the audience’s eyes. He killed a chicken on stage, and the little girls fainted and he was kicked out. After he was expelled, people sought him out because he seemed so cool, and at the time, many people had the same antiestablishment sense.”
Hear ye, hear ye. If you are antiestablishment in Indy, I am summoning you to The Toby this Saturday for Caddy!, which invites you to consider your nightmares. To look into “the mirror which thaws fear.” To observe disconnection. To confront pain.
The Nutcracker it is not. And, anybody with a ticket stub from a recent Toby event gets in half-price; students of any age are free with ID. I dare you to be there…
Visit the IMA Blog tomorrow for a full interview with choreographer and dancer Oguri.