Michael Sakamoto’s Project, The Empty Room, Seeks Your Support

Soil (work-in-progress) Section of The Empty Room
[Source: Michael Sakamoto]

Butoh dancer Michael Sakamoto is seeking funds for a group endeavor, The Empty Room, which involves multiple dancer/choreographers and dance styles:

“Michael Sakamoto joins forces with an international team of dance and music collaborators, including award-winning choreographer Rennie Harris (Rennie Harris Puremovement), new music composer Amy Knoles (California EAR unit), Japanese koto and guitar duo Reiko Imanishi and Shinichi Isohata, Thai dancer Waewdao Sirisook, and Japanese actor-dancers Tetsuro Koyano and Mao Arata (Pappa Tarahumara), to offer a vision of a sustainable future that starts with oneself.”

“Each work in The Empty Room combines a different dance form and commissioned music score and is directly inspired by a Zen koan or text as well as a specific theme of social engagement. For example, the latest segment in rehearsal, ‘Soil,’ uses classic butoh movement, a custom soundscore of koto, guitar, and rain, and a koan about farmers in existential struggle with the earth, all resulting in an implicit commentary on environmental crisis issues.”

The project is seeking $7000 and will receive a matching grant from the California Community Foundation. According to an email from Michael Sakamoto, there are also gifts for donors “including CDs, limited edition photo prints, and even koans and dances personalized by the artists just for you!”

He also states:

“Because we believe strongly in this performance as a form of social engagement, we’ve set our production budget at a fraction of what it would normally cost. For only $7000, we can complete ‘The Empty Room‘ for its premiere next Summer in Los Angeles. With only $10,000 to $15,000, the work can travel for up to seven presentations booked or in negotiation in five countries, including the US, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan.”

Sounds like a bargain! You can find out more on the fundraising site which includes more information about the various sections of The Empty Room as well as a video overview of the project.