Butoh & Live Art Festival – 27th – 30st May 2015


Fancy seeing something a bit different? How about a festival of Butoh (Japanese Dance Theatre) combined with performance art? It really doesn’t come much more different than that. This festival takes place in the Mart Gallery Rathmines and also the Dance House, Foley Street, so even the venues are oddball. It takes place in just over a months time, and you can check out the full details below and their facebook page here.

BUTOH in DUBLIN – MOVING BODIES – Butoh & Live Art Festival

Performances 27th – 30st May 2015, MART Gallery & Dance House

Dublin’s fourth annual Butoh festival, the Moving Bodies Butoh & Live Art Festival, is delighted to be bringing globally renowned Butoh masters to the city this May, who will be appearing alongside performance artists who reside in Ireland. Festival performances will take place 27th-30st May at the MART Gallery, Rathmines, with workshops taking place 24th May-2nd June in Dance House, Dublin 1.

Butoh, which loosely translates as “earth” or “stomp” dance, grew from the desire of its founder Hijikata’s to bring to life a dance art that could strip out conventions, and that would be uniquely Japanese. At the core of the art form is the contemplation and representation of the cycle of life and death, with Butoh dancers, like poets and visual artists, examining all possible states of being. Kazuo Ohno, who co-founded Butoh with Hijikata, obtained global success and danced until the age of 104, influencing artists including renowned choreographer Pina Bausch.

Japanese Butoh artists Natsuko Kono, Yumiko Yoshioka & Ken Mai are coming to Dublin for this year’s festival, drawing on traditions and inspirations as diverse as yoga, Chinese martial arts and Zen Buddhism, and for Natsuko Kono, her experience of living through the Kobe earthquake. ‘When I was young I experienced a major earthquake. How come the one fixed base in your life (the solid earth under your feet) can betray you like that?” she says. “Is there nothing stable in life, not even the ground on which you walk?”

The festival will also feature artists who reside in Ireland, including multidisciplinary artist Fergus Byrne and dancer & choreographer Dr Rachel Sweeney, and will present a work in progress by Choko Butoh, the first Butoh research group formed in Ireland.

This year’s Moving Bodies Festival is curated with the aims of bringing visibility to Butoh as a dance & artform, and to seek connections & relations with Performance Art. Festival director and curator Ambra G. Bergamasco, says, “Butoh as a dance form, as a performative art, overcomes the “You Are Not” approach often imposed on individuals by society with an approach of “You are unique and this is your dance”, and shares similarities of approach with Performance Art. Moving Bodies Festival 2015 has been designed to create a platform where these two approaches could meet.”

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