Following videos of Butoh 舞踏 performance, the postwar avant-garde Japanese form of the movement expression of life/death, dark/light, inexpressible expression of angst and pain and hope, mystery and disorder, normal/abnormal, deep and disfigured–that I posted earlier, the most famous Butoh performer Kazuo Ohno 大野一雄, left legacies of expression that are unequaled.
Modern western forms of dance and movement almost always developed and focused on aspects and expressions of western interpretations of “beauty.” Butoh, on the other hand, is perhaps the expression of angst, death, darkness, disfigurement, complexity, subtly and the in-between places of life/death. It has its own “beauty” precisely because the “grotesque” and the “horrible” and “scary” are present, developed into form.
Butoh has expanded to a worldwide phenomenon. It speaks particularly to audiences connected to recent war, violence and the questioning of life. Below are further modern examples of present-day Butoh.
One of the most famous and well-known troupes from Japan that performs Butoh today, is the Sankai Juku group. I have included two performances by them below, followed by others.
Sankai Juku: excerpts from ‘TOBARI’
Sankai Juku: Excerpts from: ‘KAGEMI’
Hisako Horirkawa and Min Tanaka: Excerpt from a performance in 1988 in Czechoslovakia
Co-Production of Compañía Cuerpo Transitorio (Barcelona, Spain) and La Compañía Slurp (Buenos Aires, Argentina) performing: “Penélope.”