Articles from the Boston Compass, Arts & Culture



Be prepared for an experience like no other. Coming up this month, the Boston Butoh Festival has a Butoh Solos performance. Seven acts, eight emerging Butoh artists, all at Green Street Studios in Central Square in Cambridge. Think of it as a silent performance where the dancers are painted white and use imagery or sets to communicate through their bodies. This style emerged from Japan after World War II and pushed against Western ideas of beauty. Butoh rejects the normative, conditioned movements of traditional dance and motion. Performances explore taboo topics, from death to eroticism. The first performance in 1959 arose from its founders, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno and has been on the rise since. Though it took hold in the ‘70s, this community now spans the globe. This medium isn’t meant to comfort you or your senses; it’s actually the opposite. Performers twist, turn and embrace the grotesque. Each artist is different and aims to reach the audience in some way. The festival is presented by Mobius, a nonprofit with a mission to “generate, shape and test experimental art.” Feeling intrigued? You’ll be able to hit up Green Street Studios the next day for a Butoh workshop with director, choreographer, teacher and Butoh dancer Yuko Kaseki. You do have to register in advance, so be ready to explore body awareness and hidden energy. There’s no wrong way to do it, so why not?


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