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Death from Overwork? Karoshi Dance Takes Out Rage On Stage

Death from Overwork? Karoshi Dance Takes Out Rage On Stage


The final show in this year’s dance series demonstrates how to blow off some workplace steam when the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents Karoshi Dance Series on Saturday April 12 starting at 8 pm.

"Kuebler steps into the clear box and proceeds to exorcise all of his daily rage with maniacal choreography; leaving the audience feeling oddly relieved and strangely satisfied."

Merging dance, multimedia and live Taiko drumming, Shay Kuebler's Karoshi physically and visually expresses extreme cases of conflict caused by the contrast between personal want and societal need. Kuebler, the creator and lead dancer, brings a unique vocabulary of contemporary and hip hop dance combined with extensive martial arts training and turns out a high kicking, karate chopping, back flipping sensational performance.

Karoshi is a Japanese term that translates literally to "death from overwork." Its definition includes death from illness, stroke, heart attack, and suicide brought on by extreme working conditions. Kuebler takes anger-management to the next level in this explosive and darkly funny program set to the tone of suffocating pressures of Japanese business in the early 90s.

Kuebler opens the show seated at his computer, the typed words illuminate across his face. All at once the computer takes over and the two go head to head in battle, complete with chop-socky sound effects.

Continuing the riff on Japanese culture, we see an anger-booth rolled onto stage. Kuebler steps into the clear box and proceeds to exorcise all of his daily rage with maniacal choreography; leaving the audience feeling oddly relieved and strangely satisfied when he emerges disheveled and out of breath.

With an all-male cast dressed in business suits, Kuebler puts to work his trademark of visually stimulating patterns. He takes risks that shatter expectations, with the cast of 6 men propelling each other to feats one never thought possible of the human body.

Video projection by Josh Hite creates vivid worlds for the dancers to take full advantage of; taking us away to subway scenes and scrolling stock market stats. Kuebler plays up the culture of the land of the rising sun by blending live Taiko drumming performed by Jason Overy, with an edgy mix of electronica. Catchy sound clips and superb lighting also give the show a cool multimedia feel.

Karoshi boasts a visceral cleverness that any member of the workforce might find familiar while being utterly impressed by daring drops, leaps, and punches delivered by an outstandingly athletic cast. Take a thrilling ride that provides a glimpse into a unique part of Japanese culture while giving us a chance to work out inner frustrations along the way.

Tickets for Karoshi are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for students and are on sale now through the Ticket Seller Box Office by calling 250-549-SHOW (7469) or on-line at

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