Butoh Dance

AnemoneDanceButoh2Anemone Dance Theater is influenced by Japanese Butoh dance. Butoh came into existence in post-WWII Japan as an artistic reaction to the chaos of the country’s transition towards western democratic values. Butoh’s founders are Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. Butoh was formed by an amalgamation of influences including the German expressionistic dances of Mary Wigman and Harald Krautzberg, western writers such as Genet, Artaud and de Sade, and the artistic movements of Surrealism and Dada. Butoh dancers are often painted with white clay to represent the ash of Hiroshima and to strip away the ego of the performer. The essence of Butoh is found in the moments when the dancer stops identifying with him/herself and becomes someone or something else. Butoh avoids formal definition and does not adhere to a codified technique. The improvised or choreographed movements arise from a clear image or intention. Common themes in Butoh are metamorphosis, the cycles of life and death, and human beings’ relationship to nature.