Softly buzzing, meditative music swells in the dance tent. On a back wall a milky projection of a disc. On a pedestal a naked woman-with nearly imperceptible progressing movement, as if in dream-time, as we only see in the dance of Japanese Butoh. We have sat through many futile western attempts at Butoh in many theaters. The American Maureen Fleming is the first non-Japanese who, in her "After Eros," has transformed this post-Hiroshima dance. How sad, that Munich's Tollwood festival is already at an end.
One doesn't feel the hardness of the tent's benches. One is already carried away with this woman, who invents illustrations for the myth of Eros and Psyche with her wonderfully flexible body in the mysterious nocturnal light. Brancusi sculpture, Henry Moore monumental sculpture, mythical antlered animal, and mystically scattered flowers. She seems to hover in the space, when she glides off her celestial ladder, seems fascinatingly, improbably, to double itself, as she lies at the edge of a small pond. Fleming transforms her body into ivory landscapes. She stretches time, so that the eye can rest in body-hills and -dunes. Perhaps one could have avoided her short veil-dance at the end. Perhaps also the beautiful scene in which she whirls a glass staff so artfully about, that it seems to bend and multiply incandescently.
But these two scenes remind one that Fleming, along with all the eastern spirituality, found her own way to the Japanese "Dance of Darkness." And so one accepts more easily the role of the red overhead light-writing on LED screens. Complementing the reflections on Butoh dance, Bosnia, Serbia, Palestine - her idealistically perfect body builds a monument to reverence and peace.