Photo courtesy of Alan Lucien Øyen

Talk about stepping outside one’s comfort zone. After Argentinian-born Daniel Proietto (a dancer with the Norway-based touring company winter guests) trained with the “Balanchine of the kabuki world,” Alan Lucien Øyen (the troupe’s choreographer/director) knew he wanted to incorporate those Japanese aesthetics into a new dance. The sparks really flew when Øyen discovered the 77-year-old Japanese-born flamenco dancer Shoji Kojima. “We fell in love with him as a person, as a dancer. When we started to dig deeper, we saw a lot of similarities [in the dances].” During CounterCurrent17, presented by the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Simulacrum makes its U.S. premiere, telling the tragic story of the adopted Kojima’s lifelong search for identity through music, shadow play and costume. Øyen says the first act has “elements of kabuki, flamenco and contemporary dance, and then the second act is kind of a purist kabuki piece. It’s quite sensational.”

7 p.m. Tuesday with an opening reception at 6. Continuing 7 p.m. April 19 and 20. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit countercurrentfestival.org. Free.

[Organizer's Description:]

This interdisciplinary performance incorporates the formality of kabuki, the prideful energy of flamenco, and the instinctive physicality of contemporary dance through the meeting between two multi-award-winning artists: the Argentinian-born Daniel Proietto, trained in kabuki, and the 76-year-old Sh?ji Kojima, who moved to Spain from Japan to become a master of flamenco.


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