The Echo, the Arrow and the Chain

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The Echo, the Arrow and the Chain is a dance play by the Japanese choreographer Ikuyo Kuroda. As of 2008, it is regularly shown on at the Helsinki City Theatre in Helsinki, Finland.


The Echo, the Arrow and the Chain is performed by six dancer/actors, two men and four women. The play begins with one woman dancing in solitude. She then falls down and lies motionless. A man, who was playing the piano in background, comes forward and puts his chair over her. He presses a button on the chair, which causes it to light up in blue lights, at which point the woman stars shaking convulsively, and sobbing "Give it back to me, please". The man, oblivious to her pleas, performs a dance on top of the chair.

The man then takes the chair away, and the other dancers come on stage, dancing around and throwing flowers. One of the women is wearing a hood over her head. When the dancers run out of flowers, the hooded woman takes off her hood, and starts walking towards the man, introducing herself repeatedly and shaking increasingly as she nears the man. Once they meet, they embrace, the woman still shaking.

After this, all dancers run around, shouting at each other. One woman tells the story of a small, beautiful girl, who envied her big brother who used to play exciting hide-and-seek games in the woods with other boys. Then the dancers run around and shout at each other again. One woman falls down, and one man and another woman drag her around on her back. She is later picked up by them and another woman, who carry her off the stage following the other man.

One of the women comes on stage, wearing flashing lights underneath her dress. She kneels down, and one of the men sits on top of her, reading a children's picture book aloud to her. In the middle of the reading, the woman falls down, knocking the man over. They then leave.

One of the men comes back on stage, holding pieces of wood. He tells the audience not to worry, as "it's only..." He then drops the pieces of wood and begins dancing. The other dancers join him. All together, they perform a cheerful dance routine with happy music playing, during which they take off all their clothes except for flowers covering their intimate parts. After they have finished dancing, all the women and one man dress the other man in black clothes, covering his face in a black hood. They then leave.

All the dancers put their clothes back on and come back on stage, dressed all in black. They dance around, and after this, only one man remains. He then shouts in solitude. After he has left, the play ends, and the dancers come on stage together to receive applause.

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