Mahaney Arts Center Dance Theatre
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

Butoh is a postmodern approach to movement that originated primarily in the work of Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno in Japan in the 1950s. Synthesized in the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, butoh—also known as Ankoku Butoh or “the dance of utter darkness”—is now practiced around the globe and has developed through many strategies for generating movement. My approach to butoh cultivates shifting experiences of embodiment as a mode of becoming. Through a series of layered improvisations, the body passes into various states of awareness, duration, and deterritorialization as it is given over to a range of images and other modes of materiality. In this process, we surrender certainty of what a body means or what it might become; we experiment with the potential of the body in relation to others and task-based scores, opening possibilities for how else we might experience ourselves. In this sense, butoh provides a context in which to investigate the relationship of the body to the world; to explore what can emerge out of states of complexity, crisis, or impossibility; and to practice staying open to what might not be known.

Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Movement Matters and the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and Chellis House with support from Environmental Studies and the Writing Program.

Sponsored by:
Gender, Sexuality, & Fem Studies