Zackes Textedition 8:
When I dreamt to be a butoh dancer, I wrote this two scenarios in english. They are
dedicated to all I met at that time. Specially to mention Yumiko, Minako, Sumako & he, Delta
Ra'i, Sushi, Mikado, all Andrea's of the world, Henrie, Katrin, Karoline, Evthalia, Brigitte,
Birgit, Michael, Mr. One Choja and his sweet assistant. Not to forget Dudu and Johannes and all I
31.th of April 1990
Imagine a normal place, at a normal time. Normal people are walking the street,
shopping, hustling or doing other normal occupations. Nothing is irregular. What happens here can
happen at any place.
Suddenly an automobile disturbes this amount of normality. It nears with screaming
tires, stops half at the pavement. The doors fall open, very loud music emanates from inside. Some
of those rudeboys and ruder girls who think to own the world.
They laugh and joke. They drink whiskey and smoke cigars. Slowly they slip outside. Some
of the normal passers-by start to move very strange. It must be some kind of spasmodic attack or
religious trance. Looks like breakdance. Even the japanese tourists stop to photograph. They move
very strange too. They make strange faces and put off their clothes. It seems to be normal for
Some of the true normals yell:"Sofort aufhören, holt die Polizei!" Our normals join
in:"Police please, Police please!! Please some Police!!!" Only by chance, some policetransporters,
about six or nine and some smaller policevehicles come around. The police cordons off the whole
place, virtuously and generously. But some of this normal policemen do also move strange. Some of
them shout like kung fu fighters. It is worth to mention, that five of the police officials became
interested in butoh and regularily take part at our Körpertraining. Three of them quit their
job and developped to good dancers.
Meanwhile the normal traffic circulation breakes down. Thousands of spectators are
watching. Even a television team of the Vatikan's 1.th Programme is trying to catch all on video.
They move a little strange too, of course.
Just at the moment, when everybody thinks, now it is over, it get's boring, a funeral
procession enters the situation. A brass band is marching along with them, playing tunes from
china. The way how the procession marches is remarkable, even the carriers of the shocking neonred
coffin do so. They stretch the seat as backwards as possible and stomp very heavy with every
As they reach the center of the place, they set down the coffin. It is also remarkable,
how they do. The last twentyfive centimeters, they let the coffin fall. This sounds like a
explosion and with that sound, everybody, even most of the police, falls down. Everyone lays there
like being dead. There is a mighty silence. For a long time, nothing happens. People think again,
it is over definitly.
Then, some of the deads near the coffin awake. They loosen screws, open the coffin, take
a body out, close the coffin and lay the body on it. As the body is not stiff, as it is rather
flexible, they lay it cross. Then, everybody begins to weep. May be even the spectators outside the
barricades do. Some minutes later, everybody starts to laugh. Then everybody weeps again as loud as
possible. After that, it's laughing again. The intervalls become shorter and shorter. In the end,
there is a mixture of laughing and weeping.
And what happens to the body hanging across the coffin? It gets more and more alive!
With every laughter an with every cry it moves a little bit more, so everybody has to notice. When
all emotions are mixed up, this body moves as strange as we saw at the beginning.
Now there is music again, a feast is rising. Everbody is dancing and selfkissing. The
brassband plays old bavarian melodies. The rudegirls play the latest House and Hip Hop music using
their car stereo. Two parties of dancers form and fight with imposing movements. Time by time they
unite and listen, fascinated by the noise that results from the different music. Everybody is happy
and feels so good, except me.
This could be the open end of "The Place". A planed one might be as following: Suddenly,
just at the feast's highest point, sirens howl. Everybody is grabbling for whatever lost and
stumbles towards the transporters. Inbetween some few minutes the place is cleared. Even the
rudeboys and girls disappear by their car. Only some normal policemen are left. They put away the
barricades, iniciate the normal traffic, send all arrested spectators home. Normal people may fill
the place with normal life.
31.th of June 1990
Without any Music!
The backcurtain which marks the room for the scene is nearly halfround and very green.
The floor ist absolutely red. Five gravestones are located next to another as at an ordinary
cemetery. Each stone can hide a dancer. The spectators cannot see them. They might be able to read
the dates of birth and of today's performance. At the left, a door with the inscription "WMC" and a
pictogram for female. Similar door at right, with a male symbol.
First nothing happens, except the moaning and murmur of unpatient spectators. They
believe, it is their's. Suddenly a jellow spotlight illuminates the right door. Nevertheless the
left door opens and a male dancer in a white mourningdress enters slowly. He moves forward to the
right like a japanese farmer and says:"This is the melonplace." But we will see, he ist wrong.
After that he turns around and notices the gravestones for the first time. At once a lot of green
light changes the scene into cold white and the dancer steps deeper and deeper towards one of the
stones. He reaches on his knees. In front oft it he breakes down and begins to weep, very loud and
as intensive as he never did before in his life.
The right door opens and a female dancer enters first walking slowly, then dancing like
a ballerina sychronizing exactly to the weeping. She shouts at the weeping dancer and commands him
to weep more rhythmically. He does of course. Another female dancer appears to join the weeping.
She also pretends this place to be the melonplace, but she's wrong too. Now the male dancer moves
like a robbot.
More weepers and only dancers, male and female ones, come in. By time, in front of every
single melon gravestone, somebody weeps and someone is dancing to it. Harsh commands are jelled.
Finally, Mr. Death himself, played by Dudu, comes from somewhere and conducts virtuously all that
weeping and dancing by beating a drum. Occasionally the dancers and weepers are allowed to laugh
for a short interval to get some relaxation. But they have to continue.
When Dudu stops to beat the drum, everybody sings OM and moves like there was no
gravity. Just at the moment, when every spectator's heart is touched by the beautiful sounds and
movements, the light turns out. That's the signal for the singers to fall down instantly without
noise. Five now hide behind a melon gravestone. The light turns on again, all yellow.
Dudu knows the real melonplace. It is the place he has taken, ready to continue beating
the drum. After some moments of contemplation including everybody silently blowing the nose, he
does. The clean dancers are still laying at the floor and don't move. But behind each gravestone a
melon rises. When the melons rose to a specific degree, Dudu stops and some dancers jump up fetch
the melons and place them as close as possible near Dudu. This seems to be a little embarrassing.
They move rather neurotic when they near Dudu or when they roll the melons. All dancers roll like
melons when returning to the gravestones. New melons rise.
A good gravestone can give about three or five melons. After that, there are only the
hidden dancers heads to rise. That's good for Mr. Death. He is lays there at the melonplace, buried
by melons. He has some problems to reinstall himself and his reputation. But he manages to beat the
drum again. As Death never dies!
Meanwhile there is a danced fight between the hidden and the not hidden dancers. It is
because the neurotic melon dancers try to fetch the uprising heads. Arms and legs shooting from
behind the stones. The stone dancers even stand up, use the stones as shields. Some neurotic
dancers try to attack them with impulses from every part of their body. Others produce attacking
noises with simple percussion, perhaps shaking bundled stripes of tin.
Nobody notices one dancer leaving throug the left WMC. Everybody is busy to watch the
struggle. This dancer returns from behind the spectators, driving an overloaded stroller with
newborn watermelons. He passes right through. When most of the spectators turn back to see what
happens there, all dancers, Dudu too, leave the scene by the WMC's. They take the same way like the
melonfather, transporting different properties slowly and complicated right through the rows of the
audience. First they bring all kinds of worn out chairs. Someone carries an empty frame and tries
to show the picture to everybody. The frame is entirely damaged, when he reaches the scene. Then a
long, filthy but solemnly decorated table with burning candles is brought in. Time by time,
something falls down, a knife, a plate or a fork, a pair of tongs and much other traditional
japanese eating tools. Many spectators have to get up, others even must help. At last, a monstrous
cubboard comes in. Everybody is happy, when it's over.
Now most of the dancers sit at the table. Some fix plates with nails. The cupboard is
opend with a chisel. Dudu takes out a slaughters robe and a saw. Another handles out the bibs.
Every dancer and the first row of the audience gets one. Melons are thrown to the table, Dudu cuts
them with the saw. The first slices are for the first row. Then we can watch different styles of
eating. Someone is feed while headstanding. We also see interesting combinations of movements and
eating. A very real eating dance without any music. But much noise is celebrated.
There is a lot of jumping. We jump more and more, as much as we eat melons. The fist
dancer with a painted pale green face runs to the molonplace and spews at the melons there. Only
some few moments later (because we trained it intensivly) the second dancer spews at the table near
Dudu, who is still buisy with sliceing and salting melons. More and more dancers spew. May be some
of the first row too. We are still dancing and jumping. This is the improvised phase of our
performace. It is over, when the red floor completely is covered by spewed melons. - In case the
spectators do not recognize the end, a tape is to be played with "The End" by the Doors: "It is
hard to set you free, but you'll never follow me ..."
|Designed and made by Zacke. November 2001.