Choreographed and performed by Michael Sakamoto
With the participation of Alex Kerr
Performed at the Tokyo International Butoh Festival 2019
Nikkei-Chan is a postmodern performative exploration of scholar-artist Sakamoto’s evolving identity as a Japanese-American practitioner of butoh, an early postmodern Japanese performance practice. Butoh’s origination as a philosophical-expressive mode of cultural resistance to post-WW2 Western/American hegemony, while also partially rooted in a mystified Japanese exceptionalism, makes Sakamoto’s “American butoh” practice, and that of other Nikkei (transnational Japanese) butoh artists, a socio-politically ambivalent gesture.
Alex Kerr, American-born Japanese cultural critic and best-selling author, collaborates dramaturgically with Sakamoto to unpack aspects of his identity in relation to the performance’s themes and appears in dialogue in the performance.