Sankai Juku – Butoh

Butoh is a philosophy of movement, more than a specific style, that comes to us from Japan. Loosely translated as stomp or earth dance, Butoh is characterized by natural movement that may be found in any of life’s situations or environments. It sought to get away from “the beautiful” of the traditional Japanese and Western dance and move toward the organic. Performers may represent the twisted body of a woman working in the rice paddies, for example.

More theater than dance, Butoh’s emphasis is on the performers discovering their bodies and their bodies’ unique expressions. In Butoh every “body” is a worthy body no matter the type. There are no perfect bodies as such as we often seek in other forms of dance.

You will often recognize Butoh by the white faces and bodies, bald heads, and expressionless, eery-looking faces, and the slowness of their movements.

Butoh’s founders were Tatsumi Jijikata and his parther Kazuo Ohno.

Thanks to Sankai Juku, an internationally known butoh dance troupe, audiences have come to appreciate and enjoy the images and the less intense presentation of Butoh than was the case when it was first introduced in the 50s. I hope you do, too, and that you will like then share this video with others.


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