Contemporary dance/Kabuki artist Yasuko Yokoshi has excellent timing. She comes to Chicago fast on the white-painted heels of revered Butoh company Sankai Juku; fortunate dance audiences have had their attentions freshly honed to the restrained and minute. Not to compare the two performances; Yokoshi is very much a Japanese American—Hiroshima born, in New York since 1981—with the attendant consciousness of displacement, complications of identity and the mutability of culture. Yokoshi, classically trained with postmodern predilections, collaborates with Masumi Seyama, a revered master of Kabuki Su-Odori—a less ostentatious, makeup-free form of Kabuki. Their last collaboration, an interpretation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” won Yokoshi a Bessie.
This newest work, entitled “Tyler Tyler,” uses a twelfth-century Japanese tale of warring clans to explore ideas of impermanence and power. The six-person cast—half of them American, half of them Japanese, and one American singer-songwriter playing Cat Power and Carpenters tunes, engage in a referential shuffle of cultural imagery quiet and powerful: the American man holding a fan, moving ever so slowly with elegance and grace still has a pistol on his hip. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 South Michigan, (312)369-8330. October 28-30, 8pm. $26-30.