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Akira Kasai

Akira Kasai is one of the most highly acclaimed performers of butoh dance, one whose artistic development incorporates elements from both his native Japan and the West. He has been described as the "Nijinsky of Butoh," and praised as an "angel descended to earth." Akira Kasai has performed throughout the world and made his New York debut at the Japan Society in Spring 2002 with Pollen Revolution. This daring solo performance takes the audience on an almost surreal journey through time, cultures and states of being. Kasai begins the performance costumed as a woman in a kabuki drama. He appears to perform a traditional Japanese dance but is completely improvising. Gradually, the costume flies away, madness sets in and Kasai is transformed into a street dancer, a solitary actor, a contemporary traveler. Here, on the outer boundaries of un-self consciousness, change is the only constant as butoh meets and becomes hip-hop.


The Fall 2004 U.S. tour, produced by MAPP, introduced Akira Kasai's phenomenal and internationally acclaimed work to audiences in eight cities throughout the country. The tour was made possible with support from the National Dance Project and the Japan Foundation's Performing Arts Japan program.