Just Ahead is Darkness is an evening of episodic performance inspired by how time transforms the relationships between fact, story, and truth.
Inspired by the tradition of bon dances in Hawaii, the evening will feature dance company Sharp & Fine, composer Cory Wright, and author Ben Loory in an interactive theatrical experience: Just Ahead is Darkness uses dance, live music, spoken text, and audience participation to explore how family histories become ingrained in our imaginations and bodies through storytelling and over time.
This performance features excerpts of material being developed for Sharp & Fine’s new evening-length piece inspired by the childhood memories of Megan and Shannon Kurashige (sisters and co-artistic directors) of attending Bon dances with family in Hawaii. Bon dances are part of a Japanese celebration of the spirits of family ancestors and an important part of summer culture on the islands. The full piece will premiere at Z Space, February 7-9, 2020.
“In 2016, we attended a bon dance for the first time in about a decade at an assisted living facility in Maui for seniors with memory loss. Watching seniors do gestures from the dances with their hands, despite having lost so much of themselves and their history, ignited an interest in exploring how stories get passed on through families and how history persists in the body. We are purposefully excavating this cultural and familial material with collaborators from different backgrounds to see what themes and details cross cultures and personal histories.”
Guest curators: Megan and Shannon Kurashige (co-artistic directors, Sharp & Fine)
Sharp & Fine performers: Christian Burns, Sonja Dale, Megan Kurashige, Shannon Kurashige, Sarah Woods-LaDue
Composer: Cory Wright
Musicians: Steve Adams, Tim De Cillis, Cory Wright
Author: Ben Loory
Photo of Sharp & Fine by Benjamin Hersh