Performance Space presents

Unbearable Darkness - Choy Ka Fai

Website Slider Unbearable Darkness
Choy Ka Fai, 'Unbearable Darkness'. Image: Katja Illner.

Dates & Session Times

Thursday 17 Oct - 8:00pm
Friday 18 Oct - 8:30pm
Saturday 19 Oct - 8:30pm


Bay 20, Carriageworks
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh


Concept, Documentary and Direction
Choy Ka Fai

Choreographic Presence and Paranormal Performance
Tatsumi Hijikata

Tang Fu Kuen

Dance Engineering, Motion Capture, Performance
Neji Pijin

Shaman Understudy and Performance, Costume Design
Rie Usui

Research, Vocal and Translation
Tomoko Inoue

Visual Design and Technology
Brandon Tay

Raffael Seyfried

Lighting Design
Ray Tseng

Technical Manager

Lighting Engineer

Company Manager
Mara Nedelcu

Australian Premiere

Witness an uncanny cybernetic dance experiment conjuring Butoh master Tatsumi Hijikata from beyond the grave using a spirit medium, live dance, motion capture and a lively digital avatar. Unbearable Darkness explores the legacy of the expressive and historic dance form Butoh, questioning its appropriation in Western culture while searching for a new choreographic language for the Asian body. This paranormal performance stirs up long-gone spirits and investigates the choreographic process of a ghost.


A note on Tatasumi Hijikata

Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1986) was a Japanese choreographer and a founder of Butoh. Butoh arose in Japan at the end of the 1950s, encompassing a diverse range of techniques including dance, performance, theatre, and movement. Hijikata would often refer to his form of physical expression as ankoku butō (“dance of darkness”).


Duration: 60 minutes

Performed in Japanese (with English surtitles)

Recommended for audiences aged 16+


Dive deeper...

Take a peek behind the scenes as Choy Ka Fai poses the question, How does a ghost choreograph?a captivating keynote lecture in which he traces the unorthodox research process and intriguing methodologies deployed in the creation of this unique work.

Unbearable Darkness is co-produced by tanzhaus nrw and Kyoto Experiment. With support from Kunststiftung NRW Germany, NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. For tanzhaus nrw this commission is part of MOCCA – Motion Capturing Creative Area, a project by Hochschule Düsseldorf, Fachbereich Medien, LAVAlabs, Velamed GmbH and tanzhaus nrw, supported by EFRE. The research process is supported by TPAM - Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, The Saison Foundation, The Japan Foundation Asia Center and Hijikata Tatsumi Archive at Keio University Art Center. 

The presentation at Liveworks is supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore and The Japan Foundation.

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