• The Dancers Experience Butoh

    by  • April 3, 2012 • Dance Program, Student Life, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Physical Theatre, Undergraduate Programs • 0 Comments

    Liv Berger (Dance):

    Recently, the dancers had the opportunity to experience a weeklong Butoh intensive. Butoh is a realm of performance that none of us have previously studied which made this already unique field even more foreign. We began the week by learning how to stand, walk, and most importantly see. Standing and walking took a few corrections here and there, and lots of concentration, but seeing was much more of a challenge. Your back speaks just as much as your front, and it is important to know what your back is saying. The goal is to look so far into the distance that your line of vision loops around the earth so that you can see your own back. This was the beginning of a lot of new and unique lessons that led to a history of Butoh.

    Learning the history of Butoh helped us to connect further to the significance
    of the work we were doing. We practiced various exercises teaching us how to be
    free yet simultaneously in control of the body. Moving unbelievably slowly, forcing
    yourself to continue laughing while moving, and verbally relating life stories from
    the viewpoints of our 100 year old selves, were all included in our training
    throughout the week.

    By Friday, we had a performance prepared to share with our peers. The
    showing included many of the exercises that we had practiced, improvisations, and
    set choreography. The work tested our concentration, memory, and attention; it was
    physically and emotionally straining work. The work that we did throughout the
    intensive brought to light how significant our time is here, and we quickly realized
    how little time we have left. Of all of the things we learned from our Butoh intensive,
    one of the most important lessons was to take advantage of every minute we have
    here. Our 100 year old selves were adamant that their time in Tuscany was among
    the most important times of their lives- it’s up to our present day selves to fulfill
    those stories.


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