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Butoh Dance Love 2022

Dancing from the Heart

Led by Marie-Gabrielle Rotie 

Friday April 1st, Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd

2pm to 6pm each day. 

email for info:

Venue: Chisenhale Dance Space, 64-84 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ 


‘Which, you ask, is the prime mover? The soul? Or the body? Body and soul are inseparable; but unless we feel that your dance steps out of your heart, it won’t attract our attention.’  (Kazuo Ohno)

‘ A Birdsong can even,  for a moment, make the whole world into a sky within us, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between its heart and the world’s’. (Rainer Maria Rilke)


Within the bird there beats a heart,

And from the heart there flows a song,

And in the song there sings a word.


In the word there speaks a world,

A world of joy, a world of grief,


From joy and grief there springs my love. 


(Excerpt from Kathleen Raine, ‘A Spell for Creation’). 


Butoh invites a deep connection between our inner world, of sensations, dreams, images, memories and experiences and an ability to express this through movement. This workshop focuses on the writings and world of Kazuo Ohno, founder butoh dancer, celebrated for his ability to touch audiences worldwide with his love of dancing, and a dance that emitted love. Marie-Gabrielle studied in Japan with Kazuo Ohno in 1999 and then in Europe with Yoshito Ohno, and the workshop reflects upon her experiences of their methodologies, as well as drawing upon her own creation and training methods. 


This butoh workshop also draws upon experiential anatomy, drawing and writing from the body, to explore in depth, movement issuing from the heart. The heart gives rhythm, motion, flow, impulses and carries memories, as another brain. Memories and emotion in the heart are often deeply entwined with love, grief, loss, hope, celebration and wonderment.  In many ways, our heart also carries our ancestors, ghosts and memories of previous lives. We will spend time sensing, drawing, writing from the ‘messages’ sent from the heart in order to explore how to give form to our personal heart body stories.


 Butoh training and exercises allow time for a deep listening, a slowing down, and a space to connect with both solo and partner work into a place where your heart stories can come to life in movement. This workshop is suitable for anyone who loves to dance or those who want to find or develop or transform their dance in a supportive environment. The workshop is suitable for any level of experience or background and is particularly useful for artists seeking to develop movement skills, or actors or dancers seeking to balance the tension between body and image. All you need is a suitable level of fitness and a passion to move.  Rotie’s teaching draws upon her long engagement and study since 1993 with the lineages of both Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno, and her teaching brings together strong technical and physical training, balanced with a focus on creative and imaginative playfulness.   


Marie-Gabrielle Rotie has trained in Butoh since 1993 and has been active teaching nationally and internationally for over 20 years. She is a permanent member of staff at Goldsmiths University of London in Theatre and Performance. In the last year she has worked as choreographer for the film director Robert Eggers, creating movement for Anya Taylor Joy and Willem Dafoe and Alexander Skarsgaard (The Northman, release date April 2022) and featured in several forthcoming short films and music videos as a dancer.

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