The 1st episode of "Sakura Dream" is the beginning of the story set in the pre-ancient Japan when spirits and human strived together in harmony, maintaining the fragile balance between the two worlds. The spirits were able to descend and dwell among humans to have experiences of the body/mind phenomenon, senses and emotions, and humans were able to enter the spirit realm seeking the experience beyond bodily sensations and the mind...but always only for the guidance and the strict rules and sacred laws to be obeyed. This is when the characters have met for the first time in the fatal circumstances, which end up in the premature tragic death of all the main characters, who are bound to meet time and time again in different constellations throughout different times and in different places to redeem themselves.
The sprit of Sakura (cherry blossom) was sent to the realm of humans as a beautiful female, who was to become the first geisha to advocate the law of impermanence through music and dance. Her mission was as well to find the other spirit - Typhoon (of chaos and destruction), who has arbitrary descended from the spirit realm and dwelled among the humans beings in order to convince him to return the real of spirits. They have met as Typhoon became a maiko, an apprentice to the geisha, and has fallen in love with her. The sacred law, which governs both worlds and maintains the balance, prohibits for the spirits to fall in love with humans and cause anything that is against the traditions and customs of the human realm and might upset the status quo. This (homosexual) love was impossible due the traditions at the times and Sakura obeyed the law. So in an attempt to maintain the balance she rejected Typhoon, which resulted in her fury. However when Sakura encountered the samurai, who rescued her from on the traps set by jealous and revenge seeking Typhoon, they both were unable to resist falling in love, only to discover soon the impossibility of this affair. Sakura cannot break the sacred law by falling in love with the mortal, while the samurai cannot break the code of honour by falling in love with the geisha, who’s danna is his master and being engaged to marry his daughter. Although they were trying to obey the laws at first, their feelings for each grew stronger and they have crossed the invisible line. Their happiness was short lived as they were betrayed by the jealous maiko and the furious warlord, danna of the geisha and the master of the samurai, ordered him to commit seppuku to atone dishonour. The situation further escalated due to the desperate attempt of the geisha to save her beloved one causing the outbreak of the war between two rivals warlords, which brought about destruction and suffering, resulting in the tragic premature death of all the main characters. The samurai and the geisha committed a double suicide in hope that they would meet again some place some day when their love could blossom.
Sakura was banished from the realm of spirits for breaking the sacred law and was punished to 1200 years of reincarnation as a human without a trace of memory of her origin bound to re-encounter her beloved samurai time and time again always experiencing viraha (the pain of unanswered love) until she would finally be able to transcend the human love altogether and develop loving kindness and compassion to all the living beings. Only then she would regain her honour and would be able to return home… Only then her wish would be granted to re-unite with her beloved samurai during the last reincarnation as a human to be able to experience a true love.
The first episode of "Sakura Dream" unfolds through poetic language of dance, gesture and movement telling the story of the beginning set in the pre-ancient times In Japan to be filmed on various locations in Tokyo and Kyoto. An (Inter)national team Re-United Now-Here gathers this April to create a site-specific performance in the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Kyoto) and shoot the material for the first episode of the film on various locations in Japan. A Tokyo based German film director and cameraman John Wate joins the forces with an Amsterdam based artist who is the artistic director of Re-United Now-Here Inga Cholmogorova (butoh stage name Sakurako) to bring the first episode of "Sakura Dream" to life. Further an incredible cast of (inter)national dancers and musicians will bring their talents together to create the piece, including Maya Murofushi, Noriko Omura, Yasuo Fukurozaka, Toru Fujimoto, Kae Ishimoto, Phil Von and others.
We part just to meet again some place some day… and when we do – our dance is the only chance to break the eternal recurrence curse. The encounter of bodies thrown into the unknown without a trace of memory as they just awaken from the oblivion of a dream. They interact to remember the past, to foresee the future, to remain present in the present, to find out who they are and why they are now-here.
The story of "Sakura dream" is a myth like saga unfolding throughout a series of performances and the dance-film and a publication as the end result. The idea that the group of 12 main characters are bound to re-encounter each other in different times in different places in different constellations throughout countless lives due to the mistakes they have once made, until they will be able to learn their lessons, to regain the honor and restore the balance.
This is the 12 Episode live performance "Re-Union" (set in the future the last remaining human city) at NDSM Amsterdam in July 2012