Sixty years after its birth, the spirit of butoh has continued into the present although its outward form has changed, in a similar way to the invisible Edo city flowing under Tokyo (whose present-day city planning is based on the waterways of the Edo era).In this event, we look at three sets of artists who continue to reflect upon the physical body in their respective ways while being inspired by butoh: Teita Iwabuchi, Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers and Ikuyo Kuroda. Based on the different concepts of each of the three artists, this project comprises a dance performance/ film of dance centering on the changing landscape of Tokyo’s history, with a nod to the garden design principle of shakkei (‘borrowed scenery’).The three roughly 20-minute long films will be streamed on the Tokyo Festival website. The creative team for all three “Undercurrents” films includes Hibiki Miyazawa (Alloposidae)as video director and Saori Azuma as researcher. The team’s previous involvement in site-specific work not limited to theater performances ensures an approach that will connect the “site” of Tokyo with the “body” of the dancers.
Direction: Kaku Nagashima, Chika Kawai (Director, Festival/Tokyo)
Video direction: Hibiki Miyazawa (Alloposidae)
Research: Saori Azuma
Online distribution: From March 25 2021 to the end of March 2022 (scheduled)
Teita Iwabuchi “A Water Vein” (Released: 2021 Runtime: 22 min.)
Tokyo was once a city of waterways.
Many of its rivers are canals excavated during the Edo period, which provided the original pattern for the layout of modern Tokyo.
However, most are now hidden away out of sight below the metropolis, gradually transformed by urban development and the ravages of war and disaster.
Traces of the rivers of yesteryear in Tokyo’s Higashi-nihonbashi district and views of its present-day rivers.
Dark forms lurking in our neighborhoods’ nooks and crannies——Choreographer and dancer Teita Iwabuchi has traced the “invisible rivers” that flow beneath the concrete of this constantly metamorphosing city.
Choreographer and performer
An iron foundry in northern Hachioji, one of the capital’s foremost industrial districts. The live-streamed Arrival saw the dancers sharing space with the plant’s machinery as it operated.
The streets of Hachioji, which flourished as a post town. The film Departure was shot in several locations, including the river terrace, the entertainment district, and the site of what was once the red light district.
Kakuya Ohashi himself took the camera to capture his body as he danced his memories.
Amid the cityscape of contemporary Hachioji and inspired by the beginning of the novel Neuromancer, which launched the cyberpunk genre of science fiction, Ohashi builds up two worlds between which we can travel at will: Departure⇄Arrival.
*A re-edited version of the film streamed live in January 2021 will be streamed.
Yu Goto, Yaeko Yokoyama, Yuka Takahashi, Kenji Hirato, Hanako Atake, Nozomi Matsuo, Haruka Tabana, Ako Imai, Kotomi Imai, Kakuya Ohashi(Arrival only)
Choreographer and director
La Danseuse Malade is a collection of texts by Tatsumi Hijikata, the founder of Butoh.
This surrealistic and enchanting world of language is also called Hijikata’s autobiography or the “language of Butoh.” It has been staged by many dancers since its publication in 1983, and has fascinated researchers and philosophers alike.
In 2018, Ikuyo Kuroda, founder of the dance company BATIK, presented a solo work based on Hijikata’s La Danseuse Malade. Adding autobiographical elements based on her experience of co-creating works with a variety of dancers, underpinned by a foundation of classical ballet, Kuroda has developed Hijikata’s words into a new work for the stage.
In this film, part of Ikuyo Kuroda’s original La Danseuse Malade is installed in a traditional Japanese house in the Meguro district of Tokyo.
The house has stood for 150 years, but is nearing the end of its time serving the purpose that it has fulfilled over the course of its life.
This film observes Kuroda’s body in a space that evokes fragments of Hijikata’s text.
Performer, choreographer, and deviser
Tatsumi Hijikata “La Danseuse Malade”
Artist interviews are available on the Official YouTube Channel
Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers “Tune To A Dead Channel: Departure / Arrival” *Finished
em>Tune To A Dead Channel
Break through the hustle and bustle of the city and tune in to the available channel.
The intersection of people and things across Western Tokyo
The thread connecting cyberbrains
Bodies of soft iron that can become anything.
Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers, which last year in 2019 marked its 20th anniversary, is coming to the town of Hachioji, a manufacturing center that had a flourishing textile industry in ancient times and has had a flourishing steel industry in modern times. Taking inspiration from the sci-fi novel “Neuromancer,” said to have launched the cyberpunk genre, this “industrial landscape” work comprises two parts: “Departure” (free of charge) in which people view performances around town, map in hand; and “Arrival” (admission fee applicable)in which attendees observe a feast of machines and people in a working metal processing plant.
Kakuya Ohashi, Yu Goto, Kenji Hirato, Yaeko Yokoyama, Yuka Takahashi, Hanako Atake, Nozomi Matsuo, Satomi Okuma, Rino Komoda, Haruka Tabana, Haruna Ueno, Ako Imai, Kotomi Imai, Kanako Sakai
Streaming schedule for Arrival
Monday, January 11 2021, 16:00
Shooting location: Morisaki Industry Daini Plant (Kitahachioji), around Hachioji Station, and other locations
Admission: Free *Reservation required.
Reservation period: Tuesday, December 22 2020 – Monday, January 11 2021, 17:00
Streaming period: Until Wednesday, January 13 2021, 17:30
How to reserve: Please fill out the reservation form below.
*After reservation accepted, you will receive a streaming link.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential, and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
Fantastic Site – Special Performances at Tokyo Festival 2020
“Undercurrents” administration office c/o NPO Arts Network Japan
TEL：03-5961-5200 (Weekdays, 10:00 – 17:00)
May – July 2020
January 2021 – March 2022
Around Hachioji Station, Morisaki Industry Daini Plant and other locations in Tokyo
Morisaki Industry Daini Plant (Kitahachioji), around Hachioji Station, and other locations *Online streaming