Dance: Journey Without Maps

Japan's Sankai Juku revels in primal movement

Against an insinuating stillness, eerie at first, then almost instantly recognizable and reassuring as a cradle, four shapes appear near the top of the high stage, spinning. They wind and slide slowly down thin umbilical ropes suggesting, as they unbend near the ground, unborn children tumbling through the birth canal.

A single man, solitary on stage, stands staring through a piece of rectangular plastic, a small, open circle rounded by red at its center. He falls backward, rigid, his body hitting the ground so hard it raises clouds of dust and makes a sound like a...

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