Yesterday I tried on the kuroko costume, an incredibly bizarre set of arcane layers of black cloth. It's an official kabuki costume designed for professionals and ordered specially from Japan (cost about $150; the fancier ones are hand-stitched and more expensive). I sense I'm going to get very hot, working inside that thing for hours. It also picks up the dust from the gallery floor, so we didn't just rehearse yesterday, we spent a while sweeping the floor -- something, I remarked to Aki, takarazuka theatre students also spend a lot of time doing; for them floor-sweeping is considered a kind of spiritual discipline. I've decided to incorporate the act of sweeping in front of Aki as she walks during the performance. It's not something I've seen kuroko doing, but something I've witnessed when important yakuza are at the sento, and lackeys mop water ahead of their steps.
The kuroko -- as I'm playing him -- is a stooped, apologetic and deferential character, but also has something of the ninja about him, and something of the stalker. The gallery is darkened, and he carries his light with him, picking out Aki's actions and adding his own commentaries, which are halfway between an art critic from Artforum (and appropriately enough one of the things I'll be doing while I'm here this month is getting interviewed to possibly become a real art critic for Artforum) and Vito Acconci's performance in Theme Song (1973).
Just a word if you do come: photography and video is fine (in fact we're looking forward to seeing bits of this on YouTube), but no flash, please. And remember that we're in role, and can't speak to you until we finish at 6pm. Even if you're our long-lost half-brother from Tibet, we'll act as if you just aren't there. Don't take it personally!