Choreographer Trajal Harrell has embarked on the long-term research and production of dance pieces related to the work of the late butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata. In The Return Of La Argentina, Harrell addressed Hijikata’s aesthetic and work with pioneering butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno.
With The Return Of La Argentina, Harrell ventures into a new realm of performativity in a solo performance that draws upon memory and invention. Harrell offers his interpretation of Ohno’s signature work, “Admiring La Argentina”. Ohno’s piece was directed by Hijikata and had been inspired by the famous Spanish dancer Antonia Mercé, whose stage name was La Argentina.
As much for those with no prior knowledge of Ohno’s original work, The Return Of La Argentina regards the viewer as essential in being both witness and admirer. It asks: What memories do we remember and archive? What do we forget? And what do we choose to invent in the here and now?
Specially designed in Singapore as a Bonus Track forIn The Mood For Frankie, Harrell invokes the ghosts of these two butoh giants in this startling work. Created earlier in 2015, The Return Of La Argentina contains some of the choreographic seeds of Harrell, particularly the notion of 'voguing butoh', which have been expanded in the latest work co-produced by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). Hence major contemporary trends, through a body of work by one artist, can be directly experienced by Singapore audiences.