Butoh Dance

AnemoneDanceButoh2Butoh dance came into existence in post-WWII Japan as an artistic reaction to the chaos of the country’s transition towards western democratic values. Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno are the founding masters of the form with influences coming from German expressionistic dances of Mary Wigman, western writers such as Genet, Artaud and de Sade, and the artistic movements of Surrealism and Dada. 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 instead the movements arise from a clear image or intention. Common themes in Butoh are transformation, metamorphosis, cycles of life and death, and human beings’ relationship to nature.