'Body Material’ workshop for Butoh UK
led by Dominique Bonarjee
21 February 2015
10am to 5pm
London Buddhist Arts Centre, Bullards Place, Bethnal Green, London E2 0PT
Cost: £60 or £50 concessions
Bookings and payment information: firstname.lastname@example.org (payment by bank transfer,cheque or paypal)
“The feeling somewhere in your body that your arm is not really your arm conceals an important secret. The roots of Butoh are hidden there.” Tatsumi Hijikata
In this workshop I will share aspects of the ideology and origins of Butoh in post-war Japan. My approach aims at developing methods of perception and response through the basics of moving between horizontal and vertical planes. With reference to Butoh founder, Tatsumi Hijikata's, concept of 'body material' I will introduce some of the fundamental practices of Butoh that form a springboard for developing dance: walking and falling. The conceptual basis of the work questions the qualities of the body as a material just like clay, metal, stone, having specific properties. Japanese Butoh referred to ‘the meat/flesh body’ (nikutai) and this aspect of the material is investigated in relation to weight, gravity/lightness, pliability, resistance, dynamic, sensitivity, texture/matter, rhythms.
The transformation of the body as base material is explored as a living entity that is in a state of constant flux within a variable landscape/space. From this state, dancing emerges as a ‘conscious sculpting’ from the objective perspective of the ‘philosophical body’ (shintai).
We will start with a warm up combining practices from Noh theatre, Noguchi Taiso and yoga, focusing on consciousness of breath, centre of gravity, and precise movement. This will lead into group and solo work. This workshop aims to involve participants in a dialogue with their bodies leading toward new perspectives on the body as ‘lived event’. Participants are encouraged to develop their responses through writing, drawing and discussion.
Dominique has been living and studying in Japan for the past three years. This is her first workshop for Butoh UK