Stephen Barber is the author of the book Hijikata: Revolt of the Body (Chicago University Press/Solar Books, 2008). He has talked on Hijikata’s work at such venues as Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, the Japan Society in New York, the Tate Modern Art Museum in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Vienna, and the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. In Tokyo, he discussed Hijikata’s work with many of the figures who were vitally important to the development of ankoku butoh and to the work of Hijikata in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Hijikata’s widow, Motofuji Akiko, the choreographer Ohno Kazuo and his son Ohno Yoshito, the artist Yokoo Tadanori, the photographer Hosoe Eikoh, the architect Isozaki Arata, the theatre director and promoter Oikawa Hironobu, and the film-makers Iimura Takahiko and Donald Richie (Richie first introduced audiences in Europe and the USA to Hijikata’s work in the 1960s). Stephen has researched extensively in the Hijikata Archive at Keio University in Tokyo. He is the author of numerous books on international performance cultures,urban cultures in relation to performance, film, photography and digital art. His most recent, book, Performance Projections (2014) is on the filming of performance art and riots. Stephen Barber is currently Professor of Visual Culture at Kingston University in London and also Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at the Free University Berlin.  


Elena Polzer

Elena Polzer was born in 1978. She received her MA in Japanese studies, anthropology and cultural studies in Berlin – MA thesis: translation of texts by Hijikata Tatsumi. Her first contact with butoh was in Tokyo in 2000 studying with Hijikata’s widow Akiko Motofuji at the now-demolished Asbestos Hall. She has been professionally active in the performing arts since 2001 as an independent trilingual producer and translator for various artists, festivals and institutions, such as the Japanese political performance group Gekidan Kaitaisha, the “Nijinsky of Butoh” Akira Kasai, the contemporary Berlin choreographer Christoph Winkler and for various events and festival at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Tanzfabrik Berlin e.V., Podewil, Tanznacht Berlin, Tanz im August, Kampnagel and the Brazilian dance festival brasil move berlim. Polzer was an honorary member of the board of ztberlin e.V., the umbrella organization for contemporary dance in Berlin, from 2005-2009. In 2006, she co-founded ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture as a platform for independent performing arts projects in Berlin and beyond. ehrliche arbeit acts as a strategic partner for artists in the development of artistic concepts, project development in combination with project and production management, press and public relation work, dramaturgy, consultation on strategic and financial development in the arts, cultural policy analysis, as well as text production and translations.

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