Amid flashing strobe lights and fluorescent baths of color, members of the MIT Dance Theater Ensemble performed the work of professors Ian Condry and Thomas DeFrantz on Friday May 22, at a three-day anime convention in Boston.
The piece, called Live Action Anime 2009: Madness at Mokuba, focused on a mysterious, reality-altering illness called VIRTIGO that was felling students at the Mokuba Institute of Technology, where teams were preparing for a giant robot battle competition. As the sickness spread some students grew suspicious of a correlation between the disease and a spate of of undocumented Japanese gamer arrests. Hummer-sized robots, a Japanese schoolgirl, and a vengeful deathgod graced the stage throughout different parts of the story.
In this short video clip below, VIRTIGO sickens several people:
After the performance, the 15-member crew packed their bags and readied themselves for a pre-dawn flight to Japan the next morning. There they will perform at the Tokyo University of the Arts and continue to explore different facets of Japanese anime culture and the side of globalization that, as Condry notes, is not driven by large corporations and governments, but fan activities and grassroots digital media.
If you happen to be in Japan this week, check out the performances that will be held at the Kitasenju campus at 7pm on May 29 and 30th.