The Man Who Set Manga In Motion

Laura Thompson reports: ‘A show based on the work of Japanese cartoon artist Osamu Tezuka – revered in his homeland as “the god of manga” – is a prospect apparently designed to raise the hackles of anybody wary of contemporary dance. It certainly raised mine. Despite the lofty reputation of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the half-Flemish, half-Moroccan choreographer whose new creation, “TeZuKa,” is currently in rehearsal in his native Antwerp, I was ready to be baffled by the sight of dancers “becoming” Japanese calligraphy, mimicking strokes of the pen with their bodies, and by the unfamiliar culture of an artist whose best-known character is a robot child named Astro Boy. Yet within a couple of minutes of entering the theatre in Antwerp, all scepticism was blown away.’

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