Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe Outline and Scrapbook

Shusaku Takeuchi -- Early Dormu Dance Theater


Click HERE to see De Melkweg's program from February 1977.

Personal Notes: I first met Shusaku when he was with Graciella Martinez and her White Dreams dance company. He also worked in the kitchen of De Melweg, along with many other fine artists who had bills to pay. He was a friend of mine, and I enjoyed seeing him dance.
I first saw him performing his own show in late 1976 -- these photos are from a weekly program of De Melkweg in February of 1977. His girlfriend Toshiko had a small, but poigniant, role as the victim of a spider-like dancer. In the February production. The spider's role, and others, were danced by another friend, Janis Pearson, which was fun to see. She was well-trained, with a style which suited Shusaku's precise choreography. When I saw Dormu Dance Theater later that summer, others danced Janis' parts, less fun for me, but Shusaku's work was still magnificent -- amongst the best in Amsterdam.
Shusaku's dance concerts were some of my favorite memories from those long-ago days in Holland, and I did a double-take at my computer screen when I saw his name on Mir Caravan 2010's website -- presenting a piece called Butterflies outdoors in Moscow, Russia, during the first weekend of September 2010. Watch a portion of it on YouTube, from another year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5s6pwZ6TXw
When I contacted another White Dreams alumnus later, she told me that Shusaku's performance in Moscow had been on Dutch TV!

Here's a sample of what Nederlands Dans Theater says about his career:
Shusaku Takeuchi, born in 1948, studied painting from 1968 to 1971 at the Osaka Art University, and sculpting, graphic art and interior design at the Yoyogi Design School in Tokyo ... In 1972 he traveled to Europe to establish himself in the Netherlands. He began by working with such performers as Japanese Butho dancers Eiko & Koma, Argentinian choreographer Graziella Martines, Jango Edwards, and many others ... His own company, founded in 1974 ... performed mainly in the Netherlands, but also traveled to Italy and Germany. In between tours, he worked on a project at the Centre Culturel de Marais in Paris. Eventually the company evolved into the Shusaku & Dormu Dance Theater.
... In the 1980s the company extended its tours to Eastern Europe, with performances in Hungary, Poland and the Soviet Union. In fact, Shusaku & Dormu Dance Theater was the first western company to perform officially in Moscow's Red Square.
... Takeuchi started experimenting with different art disciplines. In order to explore the possibilities of the human body, he combined physical expression with the use of computers, sound effects and virtual reality ... Architectonaal (1990) kicked off a long series of mass site-specific projects, first with the Dormu Dance Company, and later with a second company, Shusaku Bodytorium, founded in 1994 ... Floating Silhouettes (1994), which was performed in an old Amsterdam harbor, involved no less than one hundred and fifty people. This was followed by two productions in industrial mausoleums: Reservoir, performed on the ruins of an old industrial site on a small island near Dordrecht in the south of Holland (1995) and Bolt (1997), performed in a former shipyard in Amsterdam. What about Man? (1998) was the first of his theater productions in which text played an important role ... In 2003, Shusaku Takeuchi's movie Shelter, inspired on the NDT III ballet Land ... won two prizes. The jury felt that the aesthetics of yellow on black and white were exquisite ... This was more than just a dance. It was art - in its most complete form.

Images from my own personal collection. Quotations from Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) used under international fair-use laws in the conext of this article ONLY.
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