Vanessa’s solo in Irruptions: Ankoku Butoh Ritual & Sound at The Chapel

“Ankoku butoh,” the dance of darkness.

JqtQTBeyond that, Butoh is easy to talk about and almost impossible to define.

Butoh dance emerged from post war Japan in 1959, and because of being born from devastation, Butoh is at its root a dance that grows like a flower from rubble, malformed but hungry, alive, seeking light.

The essence of Butoh dance is crisis and growth.

But what is Butoh?

I can say this: I have not experienced a more relevant and immediate form of social expression than Butoh dance. To me butoh is the same as Jean Genet — an all seeing eye inside a gutter it refuses to leave. Butoh is always relevant because it is a dance that springs from its environment … it is the dance of the morning after, of existing with the consequences of others’ actions. Accept that you were born with radiation poisoning from the atomic bomb, or with fetal alcohol syndrome or with flippers for hands. You didn’t have any choice about that. That you were born and the conditions you were born in were the dances of others. But what will you do now? How will you choose to live your life? In a sense, that is your ankoku butoh dance. You look inside to find the reason to move.

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Butoh dance embraces paradox, nuance and moral complexity and eschews rigid definitions. It insists on rawness inside fragility, on primitivism inside complexity, on emotion and instinct as fine art.

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Butoh, by its nature, has always been challenging to present to larger audiences. It is rarified and subtle, acutely intimate, and often considered grotesque. Further, Butoh can be trying for Western audiences as it seems to slow down time, even as everything else in our lives is accelerating. This is by design. Butoh stops and breathes. Butoh asks for a greater level of concentration from its audience. This bond of concentration creates a performance environment of uncommon emotional depth, a shared passage, and hopefully, a small, lasting transformation.

Emil Alzamora

Fundamental concerns of the butoh dancer:

JokerFinding new ways to live and new bodies to live in

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Learning to understand the value of each life and each deathtumblr_lft3mybgOs1qa70eyo1_400

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tumblr_loq0mqDHp71qeae7ho1_500The interconnection of all things

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Coming to terms with the pasttumblr_ltkljymf0D1qz7lxdo1_500

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The manifestation of all things through the dancer’s body

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Butoh is a performance, but its preoccupation is with adaptation; each dance grows up out of the fault lines in human cultures that bring our societies again and again into conflict, devastation, and alienation from the natural world. Butoh challenges and attempts to transform preconceptions of the mind, of the body, of movement; to bring greater attention and sensitivity to how we perceive and interact with the world. How do we behave once we know we are connected to everything?

And what is Butoh dance?

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Billions and billions of lives and deaths happened for you to be here right now … the history of these lives and deaths is written inside you, in your DNA. Butoh dance is the story of all those lives and deaths emanating from the temporary body of the dancer. And soon, that dancer’s life and death will dance through someone else. Butoh dance is not a memorial, it is an eternal recognition, stepping forward.

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via:

http://danseperdue.org/about/WhatIsButoh.html

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