KENTARO KUJIRAI & BARABBAS OKUYAMA
Each body has a different origins, thoughts and body techniques.
When the two bodies crossover the extremes of heaven and earth, the magnetic field generated by their interaction is unprecedentedly intense.
They aim to inherit the bloodline of each Butoh and develp next-generation Butoh danceunbounded.
1980: Born in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
2002: Began studying under the leading Butoh dancer Akira Kasai
2006: Became a main dancer & eurythmist in Kasai’s famous Tenshikan (Sant’Angelo) company, that takes him to many festivals in Japan and abroad
2010: Founded the dance unit CORVUS with Tenshikan colleague Makoto Sadakata
2015: Founded his own company, KENTARO KUJIRAI Konpeito, and started to collaborate withartists from other genres including the expressive movement art of eurythmy
2016: A TV documentary followed Kujirai as he created his work “Doku to Tsurugi” (“Poison and Sword”)
2018: A HUM SAN SUI won the Newcomer Prize in the annual Dance Critics Awards
2019: Received the Miyagi Prefecture Art Encouragement Award Dance Section Newcomer Award.
And started a project with Butoh artist Barabbas Okuyama called KENTARO KUJIRAI &BARABBAS OKUYAMA, which staged their dance-duo work “Hi no shi du ku” in May
In addition, Kujirai has a successful career as a fashion model and was recently appointed to represent the world-famous HOMME PLISSE ISSEY MIYAKE brand.
He has also collaborated with many artists from outside the dance world, including the poet Shuri Kido, photographer Yuriko Takagi, musician Yosuke Fujita, fashion designers, painters and choral groups.
In 2001, Barabbas Okuyama joined the Butoh company Dairakudakan (meaning; GreatCamel Battleship) founded in 1972 by Akaji Maro, its leader to this day. Besides taking roles in all Dairakudakan’s productions, in its studio programs he choreographed and performed his own original works “ Sagram-Boy ” (2009), “ Crucifixion ” (2013) and the solo piece “ U TSU SHI MI ” (2016).
In 2016 he left Dairakudakan to start his own company, PROJECT BARABBAS, which has staged his original solo works “ TRIGGER POINT ” (2016), “ KA BA NE GA TA RI ”(2017) and “ SA SO HA RE TE ” (2018).
In April 2019, Barabbas and fellow butoh dancer Kentaro Kujirai started a project they called KENTARO KUJIRAI & BARABBAS OKUYAMA, staging their dance-duo work “Hi no shi du ku” in the following month.
Meanwhile, Barabbas has performed in butoh and contemporary dance programs, and at several international dance festivals, with renowned artists such as Josef Nadj, Akira Kasai, Naoko Ito, Motoko Hirayama, Mitsutake Kasai, Ikuyo Kuroda, Kentaro Kujirai.
He has also appeared as a butoh artist in theatre productions and films.
How intensely he stands on the stage is his major theme and he is keeping on challenging to find the persuasive way of keeping on the drawing stares as a performer.
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KENTARO KUJIRAI & BARABBAS OKUYAMA
Kentaro Kujirai studied Eurythmie under the founder of the Tenshikan (Sant’Angelo) company, Akira Kasai, while Barabbas Okuyama was a member of Akaji Maro’s globe-trotting Dairakudakan (Great Camel Ship) Butoh company.
Then in 2012 the pair first got to know each other when they were involved in “HA YA SA SU RA HI ME,” a collaboration work between Tenshikan and Dairakudakan that was performed at Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo.
After that the two dancers in their thirties decided to work together in search of new forms of expression through Butoh. The first fruit of that collaboration came in 2018 when Okuyama performed a dynamic, Kujirai-choreographed solo work titled “A HUM SAN SUI” that many hailed as breathing fresh life into Butoh.
Following that success, in April 2019 the pair launched KENTARO KUJIRAI & BARABBAS OKUYAMA, a project seeking new possibilities in Butoh. This led to them showcasing a new duo program, “HI NO SHI DU KU,” at the J-K (Japan-Korea) Duo Dance Festival in Saitama, Japan, in May, with further performances scheduled when the festival is staged in Seoul, South Korea, in November. In between those events, the artists were invited to stage “A HUM SAN SUI” in August at the prestigious ChangMu Performing Arts Festival in Seoul, where their stylish and energetic contemporary Butoh was enthusiastically received