Mead Art Museum Launches Reinventing Tokyo Exhibition with Japanese Dance Performance, 
Curator's Talk 

August 28, 2012, 413-542-2295

AMHERST, Mass. -- On Friday, Sept. 7, at 4:30 P.M. in Amherst College's Neuhoff Sculpture Court, directly in front of the Mead Art Museum, acclaimed New York-based dancer, actress and Butoh choreographer and performer Dawn Akemi Saito will present a Butoh piece, a Japanese form of performance, inspired by the works in the Mead's exhibition Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination.  Saito, whose roots lie in Japan, received the prestigious international Uchimura Prize for her overall contribution to creating theater related to Japanese culture. This unique performance includes choreographed parts, improvisation and music.

Bruce Baird, professor of Asian languages and literature at UMass Amherst, an expert in Japanese dance, theater and cinema, will introduce the performance with an explanation of the deep ties between Butoh, which appeared after World War II in Tokyo, and Japan's largest city.

Immediately after the performance, at 5:15 P.M., guest curator Samuel Morse, the Howard M. and Martha P. Mitchell Professor of Art History and Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College, will give a gallery talk about selected works in the exhibition. The author of numerous books and exhibition catalogues about Japanese art, Morse has taught Japanese and Chinese art at Amherst College since 1983.  

Both the performance and the gallery talk are free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception. These events are made possible with generous support from the Toshiba International Foundation and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.

"We're thrilled to be bringing the celebrated Butoh dance performer Dawn Saito to Amherst in conjunction with the Reinventing Tokyo exhibition," remarked Mead Director Elizabeth Barker. "Her performance, with Professor Morse's expert introduction to the exhibition, promises to make Sept. 7 an unforgettable, even magical, evening!" Morse will offer a lengthier gallery talk on the following afternoon, Saturday, Sept. 8, at 3 M.M. For a complete list of events accompanying the exhibition, please visit the museum's website: 

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, spanning 5,000 years and encompassing the creative achievements of many world cultures. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. The museum and its gift shop-café are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round, and until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the academic term.


For more information, including a complete schedule of all museum events, please visit or call 413/542-2335.