Much of the blueprint for The Crying Light's elaborate emotional choreography comes from Hegarty's fascination with Japanese butoh, a cross-disciplinary æsthetic typified by grotesque and playful imagery, slow hyper-controlled motions, and an exploration of the transmutation of the human body into other (often animal) forms. One of the founding fathers of butoh, legendary Japanese dance master Kazuo Ohno, is featured in the album art for The Crying Light, and the album is in many ways dedicated to the man and the way he inspired a young Hegarty to draw as much as he could into his voice.
"Ohno has been my art hero since I was in my late teens! I became obsessed with him and the space he created, and I just started to research his dance style — he kind of traverses the line between light and dark and even life and death. You watch him do this on stage and it's the spirit of a child, and the spirit of his mother, and the past, and the present, and everything starts to sparkle like the stage is full of diamonds — it's just so beautiful."
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS | Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass Ave, Boston | February 22 at 7:30 pm | $28–$35 | 617.747.2261 or www.ticketmaster.com
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