Hirokazu Kosaka’s Pacific Standard Time’s Performance “Kalpa” at the Getty Center

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Hirokazu Kosaka’s Pacific Standard Time’s Performance “Kalpa” at the Getty Center

PHOTOS and ARTICLE by Estée Ochoa
When a performance is presented by James Cuno, president of The J. Paul  Getty Trust and the venue is The Getty Museum’s Central Plaza, you know your in for something great. In most cases, the venue is as much a part of the process in performance art as the artist performing.  Hirokazu Kosaka’s site-specific sculptural and performative installation was the official kick off to the Pacific Standard Time’s Performance and Public Art Festival, which will feature more than 30 events in 11 days.
In Sanskrit, kalpa means eon – a long period of time.  With an enormous spotlight, white-clad Butoh dancers, and hundreds of spools of colorful thread (set on a sculptural wall designed by architect Michael Rotondi), Kosaka created a symbolic parallel between Kalpa and the imminent passage of time that transforms our lives, histories, and memories.  The small company of dancers led by Butoh master Oguri, spun “kalpa” to life while harmonica player Tetsuya Nakamura, and musician /composer Yuval Ron accompanied the performance with a bone chilling soundtrack of live and recorded music and sounds.

Under the vast darkness of the wide sky, 1300 onlookers were entwined into the piece as the dancers performed in and throughout a sea of people. Using movement and outerwordly soundscapes, patrons were captivated. Bustling around one another, pressed up against each other, trying to get as close as they could to the tumbling dancers, the physical unity of the audience elevated the arcane energy to reach the heavens.

The final phase of the dance performance cultivated into a hyper-slow meditative walk. As the troupe made their way towards the giant spotlight, Ogura moved in the opposite direction towards the plaza steps.  The dancers heads slowly began to strain back the closer they got to the light, as thread from hundreds of spools was pulled by the dancers’ mouths. The multi-colors formed an immense sculptural rainbow that left an optimistic impression upon all who witnessed this grand performance. The metaphors of every single detail of Kalpa are endless and although the meaning of the performance is relative, it is certain that this experience is an ever lasting memory.

PHOTOS and ARTICLE by Estée Ochoa

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