March 2016 archive

Festivals call for Butoh dancers


En chair et en son#2, France
International meetings butoh dance and acousmatic music

Call of participation for butoh dancer
Call of participation for acousmatic composer

Organised by par AEA (Aventures Electro Acoustiques),
Motus compagnie musicale, Le Cube, Centre de création numérique.
Issy les Moulineaux (near Paris), from 6th to 8th of October 2016.
Deadline for propositions : 1st of May 2016

The project of butoh-acousmatic festival/meeting “En chair et en son” allow to investigate new situations of creation up to then very little explored.
Place the dancer body at the heart of the apparatus of numeric sound projection “acousmonium”, to confront him with this music of imaginary, to the primitive pleasure of the sound perception, open new way of creation: the butoh dancer perceive, for the most part the exterior environment with his skin (he can be, even sometimes cover his eyes to be concentrated on this skin perception). From then on, the richness of the acousmatic sound environment interact with his body to open new ways of work and expression.
Butoh and acousmatic proceed from a same poïétic (the setting in motion of the bodies in space) from a same will of genre transgression, from a same desire of return to the essence of things (the flesh, the sound).
The first edition of the festival in 2015 showed the creative richness and the potential that such meeting contain. Read more


Performers, Butoh, Visual Artists and Researchers
Deadline 1st of April 2016
2016 “Difference – Own your Difference”

The festival is dedicated – an homage – to the sudden death of Simone Sandretti, President and founder of Mad Pride Torino and artist. Sandretti devoted his life and art to the concept of self-expression deeming that a fundamental state of being and the purest of all possibilities of existence. He encouraged all those that crossed his path to become a listening and seeing body uncompromised by normality, which he understood a veil in need of ripping. He created the Union of Mad, defending the right of citizenship for those that are categorised as MAD. Simone Sandretti’s art was in name of the principle of be you – own your difference. For this purpose, the festival’s theme ‘difference’ fits purpose.
For us, Ambra G. Bergamasco and Edegar Starke, curators of Moving Bodies Festival, “Difference” stems also from the work undertook throughout 2015 and 2016: gender, identity, racism, borders, conflict and collaboration. Read more…


3-22 July 2016, Moving Bodies Festival Turin, Italy

For performers, Butoh, visual artists and researchers

The fesitival’s theme is Difference. It offers three Residencies in Espace Torino, Italy for those interested in looking and research Difference. The residency is open to researchers and artists. We offer three weeks of training in Butoh and own studio space with wifi + food (accomodation can be arranged but very primitive).
In Dublin, 24th-25th of June 2016 we are looking for submissions for a paper presentation or performative presentation. Read more…




BUTOH: dance and photography. Notes from the symposium.

Rare opportunity to see a unique collection of BUTOH PHOTOGRAPHY at the exhibition in Dusseldorf thanks to the Hans Peter Zimmer Stiftung and its child, art center Weltkunstzimmer. Tatsumi Hijikata, Kazuo Ohno, Min Tanaka, Dairakudakan, Natsu Nakajima, Akira Kasai, Byakko-sha and many more exposed in the light and shadows by passionate Japanese and European Butoh photographers: Mitsutoshi Hanaga, Eikoh Hosoe, Naoya Ikegami, Teijirou Kamiyama, Nourit Masson-Sékiné and Helmut Steinhauser

The exhibition tells the story of the intimate relationship between Butoh dance and Butoh photography and even more than that.. Butoh Spirit is tangible there.

nourit 2

Photo by Nourit Masson-Sékiné

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Photo by Nourit Masson-Sékiné

Symposium „Butoh today“ with Norbert Mauk (ch oreographer, theater director), Nourit Masson-Sékiné (photographer, author, painter), Sabine Seume (dancer, choreographer, coach), Tadashi Endo (Butoh dancer, choreographer, director of the Butoh-Center MAMU), Helmut Steinhauser (photographer) und Wolfgang Schäfer (artist, director of Weltkunstzimmer), was held in the frames of the exhibition and revealed the whole world, another dimension, as the photography reflects the dance… Here are some notes for your inspiration…

Sabine Seume worked for 6 years in Carlotta Ikeda’s Butoh company “Ariadone” in Japan: “During rehearsals Carlotta used to tell me “Don’t dance! Don’t dance, be inside. Feel…”

As Sabine lived in Butoh community of Ariadone, photographer Helmut Steinhauser had experienced communal life with Butoh group Byakko-sha. Both bear testimony that Butoh and life were indivisible. They were living, cooking, cleaning, training, performing – always together, all the time working. No private space, nor private life, neither free time. But extremely intensive work. Sabine Seume: “We have being working on one step for days. Carlotta gave nor corrections, neither explanations, mererly: “No. Search further.” Dancers didn’t have a clue what to do. “Open your eyes, open your ears… search yourself”, told us Carlotta”. That was a challenge to research. Before each rehearsal and performance the dancer was forced to search for what she could do in a new way. That was the way always to stay awake.

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Tadashi Endo. Photo N. Schlupp – 2016 – Weltkunstzimmer

For both dancers Sabine Seume and Tadashi Endo meeting Butoh was a life change.
“After meeting Kazuo Ohno I have another view of the world. Butoh changed my life.“ says Tadashi Endo. As Kazuo Ohno said: “Everybody can dance butoh, but may be not the Japanese butoh. Everybody can find his/her own movement in the sense of butoh.” , so when Tadashi Endo is teaching he always tries to let the students search for their own butoh. “I don’t want to imply the old-school Butoh. We live in Germany, speak German, have other life experiences and culture as Japanese people in Japan and I cannot teach Butoh as it was 50 years ago”.
„If you really start to dance butoh then you have to dance untill you die. This is the difference between butoh dancer and butoh-ist. The butoh dancer calls himself to be a butoh dancer, but the butoh-ist, is not only dancing butoh but also lives his life in the sense of butoh“.

Martha Martens, Norbert Mauk Photo: N. Schlupp - 2016 - Weltkunstzimmer

Martha Martens, Norbert Mauk
Photo: N. Schlupp – 2016 – Weltkunstzimmer

Helmut Steinhauser, Nourit Masson-Sékiné, Martha Martens. Photo: N. Schlupp - 2016 - Weltkunstzimmer

Helmut Steinhauser, Nourit Masson-Sékiné, Martha Martens. Photo: N. Schlupp – 2016

Norbert Mauk has made a splendid excurse to the history of Butoh and pointed at polar difference of dance approaches of Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata, who though collaborated for many years. Whereas Ohno relies on individual expression, freedom and improvisation, Hijikata searched to obliterate dancers’ personalities and for that purpose used to overwhelm the dancers through hundreds of images.

Nourit Masson-Sékiné, as a painter and photographer has shared unique moments she lived in the studio of Kazuo Ohno in Yokohama.
“I see, they (students) are suffering… why are they suffering? Kazuo Ohno said: “Be a flower. Be the ray of sun the flower sucks for its growth” – they were convulsing trying to get it. But witnessing their training Ohno was whispering into their ears: “Be free!” and yet no one knew what to do, how to dance a flower, how to be free…”
“As a photographer, you try to catch something in the invisible, catch something you do not know about.”
“It’s not a matter of space, but border – you touch another dimension and you realize then that you know nothing… Retirement of the ego – being nothing is very important in Butoh. One can then be everything, when one puts the ego behind, goes beyond own limits. If there is no judgment, suffering and no suffering are indistinct – you meet there “someone” else and you don’t know what you produce, but all the body is caught into an essential dynamic, not only the eye and the camera, but the whole being is involved in the process of photographing. Like a dance.
The dancer’s ego retires, the photographer’s ego retires and it creates an invisible space for the unknown: isn’t it the meaning of love? Retirement of the self to leave place to the other. Isn’t Butoh initiation a path of love?”
Nourit remembers how Kazuo Ohno could call “Butoh” anything that he considered true.