liminal /ˈlɪmɪn(ə)l/ (adj.)
Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold

At the winter solstice, as the earth tilts fractionally once more towards the sun, in the glimmering pre-dawn stillness, at the moment before waking when the dream dissolves, or just before sleep as the moorings of consciousness are let slip, or as the last breath leaves the body and the soul drifts away, or at the point when the old order is left behind and the new is all ahead – these liminal states and the possibilities they suggest are explored in Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre‘s new, part-improvised show Limina.

With this theme of beginnings and endings, transition, and duality, the company looks back to its past and forward to its future, with a ‘cabaret-style’ performance that offers an eclectic mix of reimagined early work and fresh choreography from newer members – a dreamlike series of short butoh-inspired pieces, combined with live music and video. Long-term collaborators Malcolm Atkins, Bruno Guastalla, and Pete McPhail will provide an exciting and original musical interpretation. (more…)

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Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre and voice artist Anne L Ryan join forces to create a highly original and eccentric piece of physical theatre, combining butoh dance with an extraordinary vocal landscape, for forthcoming performances at the Old Fire Station.  A woman is searching for meaning and balance in her life, moving between the sensory, material world of the Lion and the spiritual realm of the Unicorn to find her one, true desire.  Inspired by the intriguing medieval tapestries The Lady and The Unicorn, The Heart’s Desire uses both voice and movement to present a quirky and playful exploration of our five senses – taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight – and their rôle in our lives. (more…)

Café Reason returns this weekend with the 13th in their series of informal platform performances Diamond Nights.  At this Diamond Night, as the company will be trying out material for their upcoming new production The Heart’s Desire – created in collaboration with voice artist Anne L. Ryan – some of the evening will take the form of an open rehearsal. It will be a chance to see part of this work-in-progress and for audience to give some feedback to help the group develop the piece before its full performance at The Old Fire Station on June 13 and 14.  The occasion is also still open for artists who may have work they would like to present and share. (more…)

Experienced improviser and composer Malcolm Atkins shares his recent practice working with dancers, and raises intriguing questions about the relationship between dance and music…

Improvised music for improvised dance

As part of my practice of accompanying dance I regularly improvise for Café Reason Butoh Dance Theatre Classes. These improvisations which are solo responses to exercises and pieces developed in class, have evolved over the years I have been doing this. I was asked to record some by the class organisers and have started doing this and making them available as free downloads on a bandcamp site I set up in my name.

I have made them freely available so that anyone attending the class can develop their ideas between classes by being reminded of what they were working on but also to demonstrate that spontaneous musical improvisation in support of dance can create a very particular musical atmosphere which is often determined by the style of dance and the way the dancer stimulates and responds to a dynamically created musical accompaniment. (more…)