Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Akaji Maro, dancer

Akaji Maro is a Butoh dancer and the leader of the Dai Rakuda Kan (Great Camel Battleship) dance troupe. He is also a well-known movie actor in Japan. Internationally, he has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies. I met him on the 15th of November, 2001 after a Butoh performance. We talked, with the assistance of an interpreter, for around an hour at a coffee shop in Kichijoji, Tokyo. When involved in these kind of interviews, you have two feedback loops to keep an eye on, the actual interviewee and how he responds to questions, but also the translator and how comfortable he looks. Sometimes you notice that the translator is (a) clearly out of his depth, (b) bluffing it, or (c) asking his own questions instead of yours.