Lex Braes

Mariko Endo

A collaborative performing art between a painter and a dancer.

Performers : Lex Braes (brush drawing), Mariko Endo (choreography and dance)

Music "First Snow" composed by Dary John Mizelle, for Solo Marimba played by Rina Okubo

Mariko describes the creative process of Butoh dance choreography as “a hope to find the moments of progression made by humans and nature in the liminal states, and also the moments of peace found in community activities along with the unity represented in folk dance.” Her dances recall imagined pictures coming and going in one’s mind’s eye like a revolving lantern...motion and emotion from the past joined in a moment of grief, peace, community and aloneness. Through her movements she hopes to find a place to unify the audience with her internal dialogue.

Lex’s response offers “a structured composition made after thoughtful engagement with feelings to develop visual motifs.” His inspiration is drawn from many ancient sources where a symbolic presence transcends local significance into universal meaning. Through this process he approaches ritual with profound engagement in meditative practice, to connect and communicate visually.

The Butoh dance stage offers an imaginative field for time traveling. The horizontal line in front of the audience is set as the present, and there is a vertical line to the past, leading away from the audience. A dancer and a painter together in the present moment share actions with the audience, then slowly retrace their steps as the first sequence of LTT's choreography, a vital retreat to locate another point of origin from where a story can unfold.

With tentative and deliberate movements the piece flows into a second sequence before moving towards the third and final sequence, where the dancer returns to the front.

In our present time of uncertainty, when trust in free democracy and progress is threatened, the artists respond with a collaboration of artistic expression. Endo and Braes have structured an abstract performance in LTT that allows them to choose one line and then another, and as a motif or movement ends, they move on to the next.

Special thanks to Russel Currie for sound and Catherine Chang for video cam direction