Butoh (舞踏) – Dance of Darkness

Posted: October 19, 2020 in Uncategorized

The seeds of Butoh were planted in the experimental atmosphere of the late 1950s, when Tatsumi Hijikata and co-founder Kazuo Ohno began to question the nature of dance itself. Butoh was born out the turmoil and chaos resulting in a loss of identity following WWII that propelled them to reexamine their own culture and to create an indigenous modern genre of dance. Referring to various styles of Western ballroom dance, “Butoh” was adopted by Hijikata and soon his dance was titled Ankoku Butoh or “dance of darkness.” Dance as a creative interaction between form and content conveying the spirit of the times was markedly different from the interpretation of existing forms as practiced in traditional dance/theater and classical ballet. For Hijikata the best body for a Butoh dancer is a corpse, a body that asks for and expresses nothing.

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