Natural Abstractions II
“Natural Abstractions Dance Performance II” (23min) – Keyes Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC (Jan. 2020)
The Ninja Ballet’s "Natural Abstractions II" was an immersive art experience inspired by Bill Claps's artworks presented at Keyes Gallery in Brooklyn, NY on January 22, 2020. The performance was an original choreography of movements and music inspired by traditional Japanese and Chinese martial arts and dance, fused with classical ballet, and accompanied by an original score performed live by composer William Catanzaro.
The storyline of the production outlines the historical conflict between China and Japan, through the story of an imagined conflict between the famous female Chinese General Fu Hao (played by Shoko Tamai), and the renowned Japanese Samurai warrior Hattori Hanzo (played by Tony Ortiz). Both warriors trained their entire lifetime to fight against the other, for the glories of their respective nations.
The warrior’s mission was to fight to the death, and bring an end to their clan’s ancient battle. Fu goes to Japan to confront Hattori, and the two meet for the first time in battle. The fight ends in a draw, and both sides are forced to retreat. When Hattori then travels to China to confront Fu, she flees into the forests and hides amongst the nature. Hattori finds her and they begin their battle again. At a certain point the orchestra of nature overwhelms them, and they gradually lay down their weapons, deciding to stop doing battle and to end their blood feud.
The warriors have come to understand that they both contain elements of both good and evil, but their similarities are much greater than their differences. Through mutual respect and understanding they agree to put aside their clan’s long lasting feud to decide their own path, which is one of peace. With this realization they elevate both themselves and their nations to a much higher level.
Ninja Ballet Dance Company believes that dance has the power to break down negative barriers and to build bridges between people and communities, allowing us to connect more completely with each other and with nature. Our performances can teach people to look past our differences and celebrate our commonalities so that we can erase generations of bitter memories of conflict and war. It is our dream to use this art form to connect all clans and races of people together into one large family.