Master Kazuo Ohno
I was planning to write about butoh dance for a while. However, my thoughts were immature.
Yesterday I watched a documentary about the Tohoku earthquke and tsunami.
I saw the never ending 6 minutes of despair.
I saw the dark waters came to sweep the lives of thousands as if they never existed.
I heard the screams. I witnessed the hopeless tears dropped and mixed with the flood in streets.
The last attempt of the cosmos to depose adorable Japanese nation was cruel indeed. Nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagazaki were cruel either.
The Japanese people always succeeded to stand up and move forward after all those artificial and natural disasters they faced through the centuries. Beside their calm and mature reactions to their bad luck, some sort of a dark energy started to develop in the artistic track of Japan. And the butoh dance was born: The dance of darkness. Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno were the leaders of the movement.
In butoh dance, there is no scene, no aesthetic worries, no nice dresses or fancy scenery. There is even no need for audience. No tickets. No need for music. The butoh performers prefer caves, desolated terrains, lonely beaches, huge rugged stones etc. as their stages. They are naked most of the times. They use white body paintings and odd accessories.
Butoh style is very interesting, as well. Seized movements are done in a very slow motion. Performers usually move haltingly or stand still in a form for extremely long times. Mimics may be considered as grotty by conservative persons: Tongue is usually placed out of the mouth, eyes are drawn so that you can hardly extract any warm feelings out of them. So still, dark and cold. You can see a mother, who is looking for her kid in the ruins after an earthquake, in a butoh performer. Maybe she is another mother, who is giving birth to her disabled baby affected badly by the high levels radiation leakage. The dancer may be a deprived son whose father was a kamikaze pilot. It is very likely to see the solid form of sadness and desperation in butoh dance. I can say that I feel how it is to get lost under the giant waves of a tsunami, how hard it is to move and breathe, during some butoh performances.
Butoh performers always try to touch the taboos. The earth is their scene. They are not looking for fame or comfort. They integrate their suffered souls with the universe they are fighting with for hundreds of years. In my opinion, they fire back the negative vibrations to cosmos. Most people may find butoh boring or disturbing but I can say that I love it as it is so real and natural. I wish I could dance in this way but it seems it's too late for my inelastic body of 33 years old :)