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Spiritflesh. Poppo - photo by Daniel Falgerho


Nocturnal Emissions
Poppo and the GoGo Boys

Live performance collaboration in La Ma Ma Theatre, New York.

The La Mama Annex is a cavernous altar, presided over by a gold plate sparkling like holy writ. The oxymoronic Spritiflesh is a post- Butoh religious ceremony, Poppo Shiriashi its high priest, the 11 GoGo Boys (mostly women) the dancing acolytes, disciples, congregation. It’s Poppo’s exegesis of the object, the flesh, that is his spirit, the piece’s many sections of dance and movement semblances of prayer, struggle, idolatry, clowning, purging, peace – all performed to Nocturnal Emissions’ arresting industrial soundtrack of drones, hisses, and smashings. Brooding, static stage pictures yield to bursts of sharp, circling and slicing dance, music rumbling on as Spriritflesh hypnotizes and silences the audience. Poppo soaking through his white body paint, the veins standing out on his shaved, powdered head. The work’s scenes and tableaux resist interpretation, sometimes frustratingly so – but the performers’ immense focus and the production design’s sculpted beauty were capable of stilling a crowd of 2000 into a quiet, churchly awe.

Brian Parks
Village Voice
March 26 1991



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