The performance had already started when I opened the door of the large black box theater. I was ushered to a seat on the floor of the performance space. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but the vantage point was perfect for sneaking a couple of still shots and a video. Setsuko Yamada did some hybrid of butoh and modern dance, all spidery and angular in her movement.
In the background, Kobayashisan was reading French philosophy in French – Derrida and Foucault, or was it Augustine's Confessions all the way through? It was so endearingly affected and yet true to his metier as an academic in sea of avantgardists.
Kudosan, in contrast to the spatial challenges he faced at the Shinto shrine the night before, was performing in an ideal interior space – "theater in the square." He was at the top of his butohnic improv game, rising and falling, tension and release, crawling and skipping about like a demented child. He is a thing of beauty when it comes to encapsulating the human condition and doing it with complete grace and power.
Afterwards, there was a retirement party for Kobayashisan – the beloved TU philosophy professor – at the Shibuya Cultural Center. I tagged along with Kudo. We took a taxi with Kobayashi and arrived to find an ultra fancy place buzzing with his admirers and well-wishers. There were giant spreads of raw yellow tail, roast beef, vegetables, and lots of Italian food and wine. I located myself next to a table off to the side as Kobayashi seized the microphone and began working the crowd. I had no real idea what he was saying, but, like a seasoned standup comic, he had people laughing in an almost predictable cadence.
Shimizusan and his wife and Kudo soon joined me, followed by a parade of characters out of a Fellini movie. especially memorable was the hour-glass-shaped ballroom dancer who had recently performed in Vienna. The wine was flowing freely.
It soon became clear that Kobayashi had a fetish for things Italian, including a long list of Italian songs that the group was being exhorted to sing. Shimizusan's Italian wife from Padua was somewhat distressed about that prospect, but no doubt joined in at some point. By then, however, Kudo and I had left.