To allow the original artistry and tremendous genius of Akaji Maro's unparalleled butoh troupe Dairakudakan to be covered in a mere cursory and dismissive paragraph by dance reviewer Byron Woods ["Hungry Ghosts and Audiences," July 9] does great injustice to the awesome spectacle with which I and many other devoted viewers were confronted on Thursday and Saturday evenings.
In these bellicose times, the message of butoh, a form born of the pain and suffering of the post-World War II Japanese experience, speaks to us even more powerfully. Woods refers to the restaged performance of RyuBa as "less intense" than a version he viewed on video. I have not seen that version, but I can hardly imagine anything more intense or complete than the worldview we were presented. The maturity of Maro's embrace of ethereal beauty and savage violence spans the spectrum of human experience.
Akaji Maro's wise art, born of brilliant vision and 30 years of labor, is a world treasure that has been on display in the United States precious few times. Founded in the principle of surrender of the ego, Dairakudakan's fully realized movement system, gloriously delicate costuming and unerring musical choices evoke the passion of inescapable forces of nature. This was also the case in the group's 2001 restaging of Sea-Dappled Horse, which I was privileged to view.
This great art, like great art before it, does not beguile us with easy beauty, but creates its own entrancing universe which is an inexhaustible gift to those who open themselves to its rich attainment.
Discrimination is not funny
David Terry's article [Front Porch, "Taking the Thrill Out of Sodomy," July 2] was just plain silly. I understand that the paper tries to appear hip and sophisticated, but trivializing an historic event demeans the millions of people who will be significantly affected by this decision. It was a big deal and will have far-reaching impact. He misses the whole point of how this law (and similar ones in other states) was the basis of discrimination of an entire class of people simply because they were suspected of belonging to a group.
Correction In the July 23 article about local music stores, "Who Buys CDs Anymore?" we said that Millennium Music was owned by a small chain. They are not owned by Millennium Music of Charleson, S.C.; they are completely locally owned and operated.
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