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Matrix Poster
Matrix poster featuring Symbio-sis
with Ayala Kingsley & Flavia Coube
(Photo: Paul Freestone)
pdf of flyer

Oxford Times Matrix Photo
Ma-Trixie - Jeannie Donald McKim
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

Matrix 'Taster' (4 minutes)
(Video: Peter Glyn Jones)

Air Eater 2
Air Eater - Flavia Coube
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

Still Standing
Still Standing
Ensemble piece by Ana Barbour
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

Don' Worry
Don't Worry - Ana Barbour
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

On the Edge
On the Edge
Adam Murphy
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

Symbio-sis (12 minutes)
Ayala Kingsley and Flavia Coube
(Video: Peter Glyn Jones)

Out of the Box 2
Out of the Box
Fabrizia Verrecchia, Paola Esposito
(Photo: Hansje te Velde)

Flavia Coube
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

Adam Murphy and Paul Mackilligin
(Photo: Peter Jones)

And For Some Reason...
And For Some Reason
I Am Wearing My Father's Coat

Ayala Kingsley
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

To See a World - 1
To See a World
Ensemble piece by Jeannie Donald McKim
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

To See a World - 4
To See a World
Ensemble piece by Jeannie Donald McKim
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

To See a World (3 mins)
(Video: Peter Green)

To See a World - 5
Paola Esposito in the finale of
To See a World
(Photo: Paul Freestone)

MATRIX - June 2011

"Cafe Reason have managed to work the miracle of mixing the mystery and symbolism on which butoh feeds with lightness, energy, and humour."
(Paul Medley, Oxford Times)

Café Reason presents the gems of its popular Diamond Night experimental arts showcase, featuring work from individual members of the collective. Drama, mystery, humour and pathos are reflected in a sparkling array of solos, duets and ensemble pieces that offer the audience a glimpse into the distorting butoh mirror. The unique experiences, training, body form and inner life of each dancer make possible the diverse worlds and characters that emerge from the creative matrix. Specially commissioned music and video contribute to a rich fusion of art forms.

For this full-length show, Café Reason returns to the newly-refurbished Pegasus Theatre. Guided by the mistress of ceremonies 'Ma Trixie', the audience is invited to enter the butoh world and meet its strange and intriguing inhabitants. Onstage, a succession of varied short performances play out the logic of alternative realities, where the rules are not quite as we know them, while before the show and in the interval, in the foyer and other public spaces of the theatre - 'out of the box' - some of these diverse characters may also be encountered. Café Reason are allowing the enigmatic butoh experience to spill out of the confines of the stage and flow into everyday reality, while at the same time celebrating the new theatre space.

Each item has been devised and developed by a different member of the group, so both the outward style of performance and the inner world of the performers are richly varied. However, all the pieces have been shaped by the committed, rigorous approach of butoh practice, which seeks physical authenticity and emotional integrity, in order, through movement, to state something about what it is to be human.

The music for the show is a mix of recorded soundtrack and improvisation from Malcolm Atkins, Bruno Guastalla, and Pete McPhail. Lighting design is by Christopher Nairne and video projection by Dariusz Dziala.

Air Eater - Solo by Flavia Coube

I wake in a strange world, in an unaccustomed body. A primitive creature, all I know is what I need to survive; I am hungry for life and for pleasure.

Still Standing - Ensemble piece by Ana Barbour with video by Dariusz Dziala

Vertical and horizontal; stillness and motion; a group, an individual; shifting landscapes; a passing world of projected light, colour and form.

I want to explore the simple states of standing, walking, sitting and lying down. So simple, but so difficult. How to stand? What is in your head? What can we see in your eyes? What is keeping you from sinking or falling? How do your feet hold you? How to move? What is moving you? Why are you moving? What are you travelling through? Taking a step and walking seem to be ongoing themes for me and I guess this is another version of that.

Don't Worry - Solo by Ana Barbour with video by Dariusz Dziala

In a moonlit, watery world a lone traveller makes her way to a faraway place and back again.

‘Don’t worry’ is a new section for Ana’s work in development – ‘My Time’ – an exploration of the ageing body through dance and projected live camera work, and is a collaboration with VJ artist Dariusz Dziala. Its development has been supported by the lottery through Arts Council England.

On the Edge - Solo by Adam Murphy

Art is surrender; free fall.

This is not incompatible with learning technical skills. You have to go to the edge in order to jump off it. Past the edge, outside of the comfort zone where you can “guarantee” a good result. Out there, you are at risk, it could all come crashing down and everyone who ever put you down can all come out and say "See. I told you you’re no good'."

To play it safe is to let them win.

Your art deserves more, and you deserve more. You can’t live life without fear, but you can live without fear controlling you.

Go to the edge, and leap!

Symbio-sis - Duet by Ayala Kingsley and Flavia Coube

What are the threads that bind us to each other? Do they offer security or constraint? Two 'unlike organisms', grown together over a shared lifetime, reach for a half-remembered freedom. Knitting, tea, and tango.

After our mother died, my sister and I spent over a week in her house, sifting through the residue of her life, making some sort of decision about each and every one of her belongings, from her wedding ring to her collection of theatre programmes. We both felt strangely comfortable back in our childhood home, away from our families and friends, our work and usual concerns, with just this single, detailed, and sometimes emotional task to accomplish. I began to wonder how our relationship would develop if we continued in this obsessive, isolated existence, and also about the nature of the 'things' that were acquired during the course of a lifetime. The knitting, which both physically constrains and also symbolizes the passing of time, was Flavia's brainwave and magnum opus.


Out of the Box - Duet by Fabrizia Verrecchia and Paola Esposito

Is the divine a dimension of being human?

The acolyte walks across the stage to open a mysterious box. This ritual act creates a communication channel to the divine, gives form to the formless, and allows the luminous goddess to emerge from the dark, the eternal feminine from the old crone. The opposites of doubt and faith, of dark and light, of youth and maturity, are balanced.

Albatross - Solo by Flavia Coube

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

(Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner')   

I had this idea of a dance where I would be a bird – not a colorful, delicate, and light bird but a big, clumsy, and powerful one. After reading the Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Baudelaire's Albatross, I was intrigued and looked for information on the internet. Some photos - of birds caught in fishing lines - choked me, but I found what I wanted - the feeling of been trapped but not giving up.

Imminence - Duet by Paul Mackilligin and Adam Murphy

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and attend them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still,
treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


And For Some Reason I Am Wearing My Father's Coat - Solo by Ayala Kingsley

How will I know what to pack when the time comes for me to go?

After the hard rain, smells are tangible in their clarity:
the first particulate of smoke reaches my tongue
long before I hear the shaking of the rails.
The blackness has form; it curls about me;
it reeks of the past or of endings.
All colour has been left behind
and blue has permanently withdrawn its promise.
There remain uncertain reflections,
the platform lights a phosphorescent yellow.
My bag is curiously full of inessentials
and for some reason I am wearing my father’s coat,
but I don’t expect protection.
A thousand thousand souls have passed this way;
their fear has carved me hollow.

(Ayala Kingsley: 'Waiting for the Train')   

To See a World - Ensemble piece by Jeannie Donald-McKim

Everything that exists in space or time is contained in the NOW. The NOW is a post-disaster landscape where Silent Dictators are eroded by the rebellious dance of democracy, where the present becomes eternal, where every gesture becomes emblematic of archetypal cycles of emergence and decay.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

(William Blake: 'Auguries of Innocence')   

Sasakawa Foundation Logo
Café Reason gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in staging this performance.