Dancer Min Tanaka 田中泯 (The Twilight Samurai (’02), Hokusai (’21))
Min TANAKA, 76
This unique dancer and actor has reconstructed on film some of his notable performances in theaters and on streets around the world. The dancer's past and present mingle in the dance, with all he sees caught up in that groove.
Tokyo, Hiroshima, Ehime, France, Portugal, the film records dances in more than 30 locations.
Directing is Isshin Inudo, whose films include "La maison de Himiko" and "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish". This is a brand-new type of dance film bringing audiences into the heart of the search for the essence of dance that has consumed Tanaka all his life.
Most dance belongs to a genre of some kind: ballet, jazz dance, social dance, hip-hop, or contemporary. There is also a “dark” kind of butoh dance whose founder was the brilliant Tatsumi Hijikata, a style of dance now recognized all over the world.
Min Tanaka does not belong to any genre. His dance is often described as butoh, but he insists that it is not.
He says that what he does is “dance,” and that he is a “dancer.”
—The watchers are dancers as well—
Over the last 40 years Min Tanaka has favored what he calls his improvised Locus Focus (dances of place) performances over theatrical appearances. This he does not only in Japan, but all over the world. He hates that portable style of dance that makes minor alterations to the same pattern. What he wants is to go his own way, to draw inspiration from the place, and in that zone between dancer and audience create a dance that is unique to that time and place.
Min Tanaka says:
“The space gives birth to the dance. To the watchers and the dancer, too.”
I would like those who see this film to feel its “dance” as a fresh groove that only the dancer Min Tanaka could create. I would also like each and every person who sees this to become aware of their very own dance.
Min Tanaka says: “I want to be this unnameable dance itself.”