production dates

Berlin, Pariser Platz
26 August - 12 September 2010
Akademie der Künste (performance)12 September 2010


Robert Wilson homage for Suzushi Hanayagi shows his feeling for dignity and beauty of elderly people.

Two characteristics – amongst others - are making Robert Wilson an exceptional artist: he loves to explain every detail of his work – which still does not take away the magic and intensity of his work – and he can be faithful to other artists for good. He collaborated with choreogragher Suzushi Hanayagi for fifteen productions, amongst these were the legendary The Civil warS, Hamletmachine and Dr. Faustus Lights the Light.

Suzushi Hanayagi, born in 1928 in Osaka, was educated in classical japanese theatre. In the 60’s she went to New York to co-found the Judson-Church-Movement, a seed for modern dance. She personalizes what Wilson invented: the abstraction of avantgarde and the severity of asian aesthetics. They were made for each other.

Two years ago, he met her again, in Japan, at an institution for elderly people. She doesn’t speak any more and hardly moves. He spent four hours with her, danced for her, and told her about former times. Suddenly she moved her fingers and also her face responded. Robert Wilson took video portraits of her: Hanayagi's facial expressions, the fine movements of her hands. Hanayagi's tender fingers, her head like a white mask of the No-Theatre. She appears again. Dancing in my mind - a videoportrait is an electronic mosaique of fragments and sequences. Robert Wilsons feeling fort he dignity and beauty for elder people shows real magnitude. 

The videos and the dance performance KOOL form a unique project. Six dancers from New York and Jakarta will have Suzushi Hanayagi revived.


dancers Johan Bokaer, CC Chang, Illenk Gentille, Sally Gross, Meg Harper, Yuki Kawahisa
direction, set design and lighting concept by Robert Wilson
videodesign by Richard Rutkowski
choreography by Suzushi Hanayagi, Carla Blank, Johan Bokaer, Illenk Gentille
costumes by Carlos Soto
lighting design by Scott Bolman
collaborator to the direction Sue Jane Stoker
dramaturgy by Carla Blank
music by David Byrne, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ishmael Reed

concept and design by Robert Wilson
videodesign by Noah Khosbin (Secretary)
project coordination by Andrea Bianchi / Change Performing Arts