Sankai Juku – Mercat de les Flors (The Center for the Arts)

Sankai Juki at Mercat de les Flors (The Center for the Arts)

At the beginning of the video we see four white-faced performers in very slow, highly controlled movement, so typical of Butoh. In another sequence a soloist does a mock Scottish dance to Scottish music. Is he interpreting other cultures’ performances as being superficial and insignificant? And of little consequence when compared to Butoh?

Then notice the intricate shapes made as two performers intertwine and entangle different parts of their bodies as though experimenting and discovering new movements and expressions. Certainly this emphasis on discovery is in the origin of Butoh.

And in still another sequence we gasp and hold our breaths while watching a performer held by a rope dangle upside down. Unfortunately, this is the act, Sholibe, that was performed outside, as it typically is, in Seattle, WA, in 1985. The act was disarming and very tragic, because one of the original members of the troupe was dropped to his death when the rope that supported him broke.

This video is a great example of Butoh not having any set style and, in some cases, having virtually no movement at all. Please like then share with others.


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