Hide Your Fires: Butoh Lady Macbeth

dance & physical theatre · ren gyo soh · Ages 16+ · Japan

one person show
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Review by ERIC WEBB

June 20, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

This is an immersive show from the moment you enter the theater. The sound of ethereal winds, thunder, and animal calls set the mood. Yokko is already on stage, bathed in blue light, moving at an almost imperceptible, but slowly accelerating rate, for a long period, as if being reanimated or summoned to our plane from some hell outside of normal time and space. Her physical embodiment of Lady Macbeth’s tortured, grief and regret-ridden soul is mesmerizing, haunting, and heartbreaking. Her immersion in this character is 100% and you are completely drawn in to this internal struggle, so skillfully externally manifested.

What I didn't like

This is a very minor complaint, but in a show that is so near perfect, small flaws stick out. Just after the opening movement piece there are some moments when sound elements (either wind or rain) cut out and in abruptly a few times. It’s very minor, but the sound design was so great otherwise that these moments caught my ear.

Less minor, but an easy fix: later in the show the dialogue got drowned out a couple of times by sound effects and music.

My overall impression

This extraordinary show features a transcendent physical and emotional performance from actress and Butoh performer, Yokko, as the tormented spirit of Lady Macbeth reflecting back on her life and crimes. The make-up, costuming, choreography, lighting, and sound design are all fantastic as well and perfectly complement the intense performance.

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