The Venice Biennale and the director of the Dance sector Wayne McGregor awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 16th Festival to the Japanese choreographer and dancer, painter, sculptor, draftsman, Saburo Teshigawara, who will receive the award on Saturday 23 July at 12 at Piccolo Arsenale Theater, together with the Silver Lion, the choreographer and dancer Rocío Molina.
“Brave, singular, humane and thrilling, Saburo Teshigawara has inspired, challenged and agitated many generations of dance makers […] His pioneering spirit, his immense skill and his fluency of medium allows for work that crosses boundaries and slips between genres (Wayne McGregor)
The Sanskrit root of the word ‘dance’ – tan – emerges in its original meaning of ‘tension’ in Teshigawara’s interpretation, exemplified in Glass Tooth, where two dancers show how they lose their balance as they stand on a slippery slope disseminated with glass shards. Teshigawara is a professor at the Tana Art University and teaches scenography and dance in what has been hold the ‘Bauhaus of the East’. In all his shows, we can appreciate the exploration of the body as a ‘support for the void’, animated by continuous, rapidly changing external currents.
At a conference in 2013, one of the discussants referenced Teshigawara’s love for smoke and steam to compare him to Bob Wilson in his use of light. He answered thus: “to create with light and darkness means to contemplate different procedures… essentially, the essential state of expression, something appearing out of nothing, the concealment of what exists and the way we can reveal its apparition, reveal what we want to be revealed, much like a sculptor digging a shape out of solid matter.” We saw Teshigawara at the Dance Biennale in 2004 with Bones in Pages, and he will open this year’s Biennale at Malibran Theatre on July 22 with the premiere of Petrouchka, a reinterpretation of Michel Fokine’s piece.