GO – Game for Two, choreography by Teet Kask, Music by Lepo Sumera. Inspired by ancient Chinese board game.
Hayley Blackburn, Yukako Horita, Maria Engel, Amy Bowring, Jacob Hoover, Colin Maggs, Brandon Alexander, Samuel Lawman, Benjamin Kyprianos, Alain Divoux.
GO (common meaning: “encircling game”) is a board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. Strategy is significant to the game despite its relatively simple rules.
The two players alternately place black and white playing pieces, called “stones”, on the vacant intersections (called “points”) of a grid. The objective of the game is to use one’s stones to surround a larger total area of the board than the opponent. Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones can be removed from the board if captured; this is done by surrounding an opposing stone or group of stones by occupying all orthogonally-adjacent points. Players continue in this fashion until neither player wishes to make another move; the game has no set ending conditions. When a game concludes, the territory is counted along with captured stones and komi to determine the winner. Games may also be won by resignation.
Go originated in ancient China. Archaeological evidence shows that the early game was played on a board with a 17×17 grid, but by the time the game had spread to Korea and Japan, in about the 5th and 7th centuries AD respectively, boards with a 19×19 grid had become standard.
Photos by Jack Devant © with kind permission of the Vanemuine Ballet, special thanks Teet Kask, Mare Tommingas and Kai Rohejärv.