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Beyond Borders Duet Research 

Funded by Arts Council of England and with support from Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan and Butoh Uk in London. 2003

Marie-Gabrielle first met Ko in 2001 when she invited him to the UK to teach workshops, funded with support from Japan 2001. She has previously seen him perform with Carlotta Ikeda and was aware of their creative partnership. 

 This then established a very long collaborative partnership between the two artists, with Marie-Gabrielle producing all his workshops (ten) in the Uk and also two major performances for KO - Edge 01 at The Place Theatre and Edge 02 with Dance Umbrella. For both these sold-out performances she acted as the main producer. She also travelled to assist Ko for his workshop at Inpulse Tanz in Vienna in 2003. 

Marie-Gabrielle and Ko created an open ended research project, funded by Arts Council of England, which took place at the Jerwood Gallery 2003  and culminated in a public sharing. They shared their respective creation and choreographic practices to find common grounds.


Ko was in particular heavily influenced by Rotie's original use of the inverted, upside down  sculptural body that she has begun to research and incorporate into choreography from 2000 in Human Zoo with Cosmin Manolescu (and again in Incarnate and in Cleaver). Ko went on to incorporate this motif and choreographic investigation heavily into his own work which in turn led to a veritable swift adoption of this 'motif' by 'Butohists; worldwide.  theorists tend to assume that Europeans just copy 'Japanese' Butoh but this is not always the case, and this is demonstrable  example of cross-cultural influence and dialogue. 


 In turn, Rotie was influenced and inspired by the surrender to notions of the inner violence of the body which Ko explored in his own solo work. It was not something she felt naturally drawn too and hence the duet never progressed. She felt that Ko's own work is ultimately rooted in a masculine pain and violence which sat at odds with her own feminist- informed dialogue with her own body. 

Picture of post-show discussion; Bristol 2003. 

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