9 Places to Practice Butoh in 2014
By Jordan Rosin // www.jordanrosin.com
In short, I think EVERYONE should practice butoh!
Therefore, I've taken a moment to compile a list of what I imagine to be 9 great opportunities to practice butoh in the coming year.
1. Weekly Classes with Yoshito Ohno (Hodogaya, Yokohama, Japan)
Ongoing Sundays, 1pm - 3:30pm & Tuesdays 8pm - 10pm
Though I have never had the opportunity to study at the Kazuo Ohno studio myself, everyone I know who has been there has adored it. Nowhere else can you find as close a direct connection to the origins of butoh than through these weekly workshops led by the founder's son, Yoshito Ohno.
2. Vangeline Theater's Community Classes (New York, NY)
Sundays, 6pm - 8pm ongoing
Vangeline was one of my first teachers in New York and has - in both her teaching and her choreography - truly captured the original essence and contemporary relevance of butoh dance. Her classes are full of opportunities for spiritual growth and transformation. www.vangeline.com
3. Embodying The Spirit: Butoh training with Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh) (Seattle, WA)
Fridays, 6pm - 8pm
Joan Laage, sometimes known as the "Mother of Butoh" in the Pacific Northwest was my very first butoh teacher ever. Her direct experiences with Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa, two acknowledged Japanese butoh masters allows her to draw on extensive heritaged choreography and image-work while still creating huge opportunities for internal and personal exploration.
4. The Ume Group's Open Training Sessions (New York, NY)
2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month
These sessions are not exclusively butoh and focus mostly on a variety of physical theatre tools for performers, but be prepared for an awesome and transformative experience, especially when Yokko is teaching. (June 24 & August 12) www.theumegroup.org
Workshops and Intensives
5. Butoh Intensive Workshop with Diego Pinon (New York, NY)
November 15 - 17
Diego Pinon is an amazing teacher of butoh who combines his understanding of its Japanese origins with traditional ritual Mexican dance and various shamanistic philosophies. His workshops are extraordinary and I hope to attend this one myself.
6. Intensive Butoh Workshop with Vangeline, Vangeline Theater (New York, NY)
June 19 - 22, 2014
Vangeline is - as a mentioned above - a masterful teacher of butoh and it's in an intensive workshop format where you can really see the fruits of her training blossom within yourself. To dance Butoh is a largely cumulative effort and Vangeline's workshops are arced beautifully to help you discover your personal dance and let it free.
7. Subbody Resonance Butoh Workshop with Rhizome Lee (Santa Margherita di Staffora, Italy)
July 21 - 25, 2014
The Subbody Butoh Method is a truly remarkable innovation combining contemporary understanding of psychology, biology, and neuroscience in an effort to re-discover our subconscious bodies (aka "Subbodies") and let them resonate.
8. Subbody Butoh School (Dharmasala, India) ongoing
Here is where the Subbody Butoh Method was developed and where you can actually go to study for years at a time in the Himalayan mountains! I've studied with a former student of the school and even tried to attend myself in 2012, but ran into visa issues. For anyone serious about pursuing butoh choreography, performance, or healing... this is one opportunity that should not be overlooked.
9. The Ume Group's Physical Theatre Intensive (New York, NY) August, 2014
The dates havent been set yet, but we at The Ume Group are planning to host another Physical Theatre Intensive concurrent with our production of Isis Variations at FringeNYC - the New York International Fringe Festival and it will definitely include some butoh. To be the first to know when dates are announced and registration is open, subscribe to our mailing list.