Friday, October 21, 2016

KAZUO OHNO, TAKAO KAWAGUCHI, AND THE ART OF BUTOH




This week's arts and culture piece begins like this:

Recently I caught a mesmerizing dance performance at the downtown REDCAT Theater: “Takao Kawaguchi: About Kazuo Ohno - Reliving the Butoh Diva’s Masterpieces.”

Ohno (1906-2010) was one of the founders of the revolutionary dance form known as Butoh, an avant-garde discipline, often done in white body makeup, that arose from the ashes of World War II.

As defined by Ohno himself: “Basically, ‘butoh’ means to meander, or to move, as it were, in twists and turns between the living and the dead.”

To watch a YouTube video of Ohno is to be transported to a world that is leagues apart from the aggressive, brute athleticism that characterizes so much of our contemporary skating, gymnastics, modern dance and even ballet.

“The best thing someone can say to me is that while watching my performance they began to cry,” he once said. “It is not important to understand what I am doing; perhaps it is better if they don’t understand, but just respond to the dance.”


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

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