Download Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy by Sondra Fraleigh PDF

By Sondra Fraleigh


Both a refraction of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a protest opposed to Western values, butoh is a kind of jap dance theater that emerged within the aftermath of global battle II. Sondra Fraleigh chronicles the expansion of this provocative paintings shape from its mid-century founding lower than an indication of darkness to its assimilation within the twenty-first century as a poignant functionality medium with philosophical and political implications.
Through hugely descriptive, considerate, and emotional prose, Fraleigh strains the transformative alchemy of this metaphoric dance shape by way of learning the overseas circulate encouraged via its aesthetic combinations. whereas butoh has retained a unique identification on the topic of its eastern history, it additionally has blossomed right into a without borderlines artwork with a tolerant and inclusive morphology gaining prominence in a without boundary lines century.

Employing highbrow and aesthetic views to bare the origins, significant figures, and overseas improvement of the dance, Fraleigh files the diversity and diversity of butoh artists worldwide with first-hand wisdom of butoh performances from 1973 to 2008. Her definitions of butoh's morphology, alchemy, and philosophy set a theoretical framework for poetic and interesting articulations of twenty butoh performances in Japan, Europe, India, and the West. With a mix of scholarly examine and direct adventure, she additionally indicates the incomplete nature of butoh and emphasizes its capability to impression non secular transformation and bridge cultural differences.

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Additional resources for Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy

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25 The Judson dance movement in America provides a contrasting example of the postmodern as based on pedestrian movement and tasks. Butoh, more than postmodern dance in America, thrives on an overabundance of images and at the same time harks back to some of the first examples of appropriation in 1917–18 when the Berlin Dada artists began to make their surreal montages. Collage is not a marker of the American postmodern dance, but it does identify butoh—as from the beginning Hijikata based his choreography on his creative butoh-fu collages, selecting fragments and fusing them together, then sending them through the alchemical fire of his performances.

Hijikata and Ohno also took different attitudes toward the West. Hijikata was more directly critical of modernism as it derived from mainstream Western ideas of material progress. And he wasn’t alone in this view in Japan. His original butoh grew as part of the underground art scene in Tokyo, taking on aspects of Obsessional Art, an aesthetic expression in the 1960s that rebelled against the modernist movement sweeping Japan after the war. Ohno was friendly to the West but sometimes critical of Western dance and its objective orientation.

Its somatic means are many, and its present-day seekers don’t imitate past butoh. They take seriously the advice of Hijikata and Ohno that butoh is a discovery of the heart, as Yael Gaathon, an Israeli dancer, teaches in her butoh workshops. Ohno Yoshito continues to practice what his father teaches: that butoh comes from within and can be transferred from one person to another in the universal language of the heart. “Butoh doesn’t have to be Japanese,” Ohno would say in his teaching. We feel pain, we can love; these are fundamental and universal.

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