The San Franciscans: Molly Barrons
As a dancer, Molly Barrons is active in the City's Butoh community. Butoh, a relatively new art form, was introduced in the late 1950s by Tatsumi Hijikata in response to the dominance of traditional European dance. Butoh, known as the dance of darkness, was also influenced by the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. during World War II. Often characterized by its inability to be characterized, Butoh remains largely misunderstood, even in the dance world. The San Francisco Butoh Festival, co-produced by Molly and festival founder Brechin Flournoy, is the largest and most influential annual Butoh Festival in the U.S. When the festival brought Vancouver's Kokoro Dance troupe to San Francisco on August 22, 1998, it was an extraordinary moment as a passing swarm of dragon flies landed in the center of a circle of dancers performing at Yerba Buena Gardens. When the swarm dispersed after several minutes, it seemed to the amazed audience that they had done so on the dancers' cue. "Now that," says Molly Barrons, "is Butoh."


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