Guggenheim Museum and Japan Society Present SANBASO, divine dance



North American Premiere March 28–29 Created for the Guggenheim Rotunda in Conjunction with the Exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground

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(NEW YORK, NY – March 13, 2013) –– Internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto and acclaimed kyogen actor Mansai Nomura create a site-specific version of Sanbaso, one of the oldest dance pieces in the highly stylized stage art traditions of noh and kyogen, which date back more than six hundred years. With its origins in an ancient ritual ceremony, Sanbaso is a prayer to the gods for a bountiful harvest and is traditionally performed by a kyogen actor.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Gutai: Splendid Playground, currently on view, this production of Sanbaso is a tribute to the stage performance Ultramodern Sanbaso (1957) by Shiraga Kazuo, one of the leading figures of Japan’s avant-garde Gutai movement. Drawing inspiration from traditional Sanbaso’s rituals and blessings, Shiraga’s historic Ultramodern Sanbaso was the opening act of Gutai Art on the Stage, ostensibly blessing the event that expanded Gutai’s creativity into the realm of performance art. Accompanied by traditional noh musicians, Mansai Nomura will perform SANBASO, divine dance in the Guggenheim's Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda with a contemporary stage set and costumes designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

SANBASO, divine dance is copresented by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Japan Society, with support from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and Pace Gallery.

Gutai: Splendid Playground is supported in part by the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Japan Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, Tokio Marine Holdings, the United States-Japan Foundation, and the Dedalus Foundation, Inc. The Leadership Committee for Gutai: Splendid Playground is gratefully acknowledged for its support: Hauser & Wirth, Yoko Ono Lennon, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Tina Kim and Jae Woong Chung, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Richard Roth, and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Performances are Thursday, March 28, 2 and 8 pm, and Friday, March 29, 8 pm. Seated tickets are $50, $45 members, $25 students; standing tickets are $30, $25 members, $15 students. The performance lasts 35–40 minutes. Tickets may be purchased at or through the Guggenheim Box Office at 212 423 3587. For more information about the performance or the artists, visit A video about the production is available on the Guggenheim’s YouTube channel at

For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at:

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March 13, 2013

Lauren Van Natten
Associate Director, Media and Public Relations
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
212 423 3840

Shannon Jowett
Communications Director
Japan Society
212 715 1205

Bridget Klapinski
Seven17 PR/Japan Society
347 246 6182

Photo © Shinji Masakawa, courtesy Odawara Art Foundation

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