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“Butoh Archive Project”: Creation of a new dance archive

Arts Council Tokyo Grant Program: Activity Report of Long Term Grant-Session 15

Since 2013, Arts Council Tokyo has been running a Long Term Grant program providing up to three years of support for long-term artistic projects. For the 15th talk session with a past grant recipient, we introduce the activities of NPO Dance Archive Network, which received a three-year grant starting in 2017.

NPO Dance Archive Network organizes with the aim of creating archives to document and record dance that changes with the times, and to convey new values to the next generation. The group implemented its grant project in three core areas.

  • Developing and making available “Butoh Digital Archive” , a unique system shifting the mindset away from a physical archive to a virtual one.
  • Conducting “Butoh Research 2017 – 2019” to collect quantitative and qualitative data enabling an overview of Butoh-related activities around the world, then compiling the research in a booklet published under the title “Something Called Butoh” .
    Holding a related symposium in the third year of activities.
  • Presenting “Recreated Dance Pieces” to generate public awareness of the significance of the archives by showing actual examples of work creation and performance making use of archive materials.

The talk session will also feature guest choreographers involved in the making of “Recreated Dance Pieces” who will tell us about the outcomes and challenges from three years of efforts involved in the grant project. They will also talk about innovative archival initiatives, including archive-related projects that have subsequently been developed further.
The organization would also like to make this an opportunity to share information with session participants regarding the possibilities and the necessity of archives today, following the stagnation of stage activities due to the spread of coronavirus.

Grant recipient
NPO Dance Archive Network

Speakers comprise members of the recipient organization and artists involved in creative work on the “Recreated Dance Piece” projects.

Toshio Mizohata (Representative Director, NPO Dance Archive Network)
Naoto Iina (Director, NPO Dance Archive Network/Founder, Dance and Media Japan)
Toshiko Oka (Head of Ensemble Sonne, choreographer)
Takao Kawaguchi (Dancer/performer)
Tomomi Tanabe (Butoh artist)

Japanese Sign Language interpreters
Ichiro Hashimoto, Haruka Sato

Ritsuko Mizuno (Senior Program Officer, Grants Division, Planning Department, Arts Council Tokyo)

*Please note photographs and sound recordings of this session will be taken for the purpose of the organizer’s publicity and records and will be made available on the Arts Council Tokyo website at a later date.
*In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), event details may be changed, canceled or postponed depending on the situation going forward.
*Assistive technology support is available in the form of sign language interpreting and the speech-to-text app UD Talk.

Outline of activities under grant

Projects carried out over the three years
(1) The development and launch of “Butoh Digital Archive”
(2) Butoh-related research/survey

Diverse activities making use of the archives
(Year 1) Recreated Dance Piece
The creation and performance of “The Sick Dancer” based on Tatsumi Hijikata’s publication “Yameru Maihime”
Choreography/Performance: Takao Kawaguchi, Tomomi Tanabe

(Year 2) Recreated Dance Piece
The creation and staging of “The Green Table 2017”, inspired by the historic work of German Expressionism, the anti-war ballet “The Green Table” (1932) by Kurt Jooss
Choreography: Toshiko Oka
Stage design: Kaoru Hironaka
Performance: Ensemble Sonne, Masaru Kakio, Kentaro Sato, others
Special guest: Yoshito Ohno

(Year 3) An attempt to visualize the origins of Butoh through the introduction of activities and performances by early Butoh artists
Multimedia + lecture performance “All About Zero”
Performance: Hironobu Oikawa, Mamako Yoneyama, Yoshito Ohno
Composition/Direction: Naoto Iina

See the following link for information on projects:here

Program (Schedule)

18:45 Venue opens
19:00 (Part 1)
-Dance Archive Network’s mission
-The background and intention that led to the implementation of this grant project
-Introduction to project details
-Butoh research “Something Called Butoh”
-Recreated Dance Piece: Initiatives from 2017, 2018, 2019
20:10 Break
20:20 (Part 2)
-“Butoh Digital Archive”: Development process and outcomes
-The development of post-grant project initiatives that utilize the archive
-Post-coronavirus (COVID-19) possibilities for the archive
The challenges and prospects for the Butoh/dance archives going forward
20:45 Question-and-answer session
21:00 Close

Speakers profiles

NPO Dance Archive Network
An organization established with the aim of furthering the construction of a more comprehensive archive of dance, based on archive activities by the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio since the mid-1990s. Active as a voluntary organization since 2012, it was incorporated in 2016.

 Photo: Ryudai Takano
Toshio Mizohata
Representative Director of NPO Dance Archive Network. While working as a member of the technical and production staff at the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio from the 1980s, in the mid 1990s he launched the Kazuo Ohno Archives, the parent organization of the current corporation. He planned, produced and engaged in the practical operations of the overall project carried out under the Long Term Grant Program.

 Photo: Ryudai Takano
Naoto Iina
Director of NPO Dance Archive Network. He directed the performance “All About Zero” which took place in the third year of the group’s Long Term Grant Program activities. In addition, he served as curator for the Tokyo Tokyo FESTIVAL Special 13 project “TOKYO REAL UNDERGROUND”, a festival commissioned by Tokyo Metropolitan Government and planned and produced by Dance Archive Network.

Toshiko Oka
Choregraphed and appeared in the Long Term Grant program Year 2 performance of “The Green Table 2017” (first performed in 2017). In the 1990s she studied at The Folkwang University of the Arts under the tutelage of Kurt Jooss’s protégé, Jean Cébron. She leads Ensemble Sonne from her base in Kobe.

 Photo: Ryudai Takano
Takao Kawaguchi
Directed and appeared in the Long Term Grant program Year 1 performance of “The Sick Dancer” (first performed in 2012). Served as Artistic Director for the “TOKYO REAL UNDERGROUND” festival. “About Kazuo Ohno”, which Kawaguchi created using archive video footage of Ohno, has been performed around the world.

Tomomi Tanabe
Directed and appeared in the Long Term Grant program Year 1 performance of “The Sick Dancer” (first performed in 2012). In addition, Tanabe’s “Owan”, one of the performances in the Takao Kawaguchi-directed series “Takao Kawaguchi Selection” from “TOKYO REAL UNDERGROUND”, was streamed during the festival.


40 persons(Venue: Arts Council Tokyo, 5th floor, Meeting room)
500 persons(Venue: Online)

*Advance reservation required.
*first-come-first-served basis.



How to reserve

【Venue-based participation】
Please fill out the form in the following link.

【Online participation (Zoom Webinar) *livestream only】
Please apply by filling in the necessary information in the webinar registration form here.
Instructions on how to take part will automatically be sent to the e-mail address used for your application.

Reservation deadline
Monday, January 23, 2023, 12:00 noon *The reception is now closed.

*Reception will close as soon as capacity is reached.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
*Please note event details are subject to change.
*This event will be held with measures designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID 19) infection. When attending we ask for your cooperation including the wearing of masks. Please note that people with temperatures of over 37.5℃ or who are deemed to be unwell may be refused admission on the day.


Activity Report of Long Term Grants Session
Operation office (syuz’gen LLC)
E-mail: act_tj@syuzgen.com
FAX: 03-4333-0878


-Arts Council Tokyo, 5th floor, Meeting room (Kudan First Place 5F, 4-1-28, Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 〒102-0073)
-Online (Zoom Webinar)



Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Operation by
syuz'gen LLC