2009 CAVE ‘New York Butoh-Kan Masters’

Ko M.
Ko Murobushi’s latest solo, Quick Silver returns due to public demand and will be performed on November 12 and 13 at Dance New Amsterdam. Murobushi trained and performed with one of Butoh’s creators, Tatsumi Hijikata. Photo by Miro Ito.

“New York Butoh-Kan Masters,” performances by Ko Murobushi, Daisuke Yoshimoto, Mari Osanai and Yuko Kaseki, will be presented at Dance New Amsterdam from November 12 to 15, 2009 as part of the 2009 CAVE New York Butoh Festival–The Butoh-Kan Phase.

Ko Murobushi will perform “Quick Silver,” his latest solo, which was a highlight of the 2007 NY Butoh Festival and returns due to public demand. Murobushi exudes boundless energy from his silver-painted body, like exploding mercury. Using only his formidable physicality, Murobushi radiates the lasting life essence of mercury as it waves and rolls in all directions across the stage. Performances will be November 12 & 13 (Thursday and Friday) at 7:30 pm. There will be an After Performance Talk on November 13. Tickets are $20 for students and $24 for non-students.

Ko Murobushi trained and performed with Butoh’s creator Tatsumi Hijikata and was a founding member of Dairakudakan, the longest-running Butoh company. His influential group, Ariadone, introduced Europe to Butoh in 1978. Based in Japan, he leads the Edge Company and tours internationally throughout Europe and South America.

Daisuke Yoshimoto, photo by Tommy Bay

In the U.S. premiere of the deeply meditative piece “Ruined Body,” renowned solo dancer Daisuke Yoshimoto uses the metaphor of the naked body as a landscape in flux. He writes, “It is for the dignity of the body.” Performances will be November 14 (Sat) at 6:00 pm and November 15 (Sun) at 7:00 pm. There will be a Post-Performance Talk on Nov. 14 (Sat). Tickets are $18 for students $18 and $20 for non-students.

Daisuke Yoshimoto’s dance experience includes collaborations with Kazuo Ohno, Hisayo Iwaki, and Shoji Kojima. Primarily a solo artist, over the past 20 years he has carved out his own unique and theatrical style, working as creator and director of progressive plays for many years before he established his dance studio “Ultraego.”

Mari Osanai performs the world premiere of her piece, Seesaw on November 12 and 13 at Dance New Amsterdam. Photo courtesy of artist.

The series will also feature “Female Perspectives On Butoh” by Mari Osanai and Yuko Kaseki. Mari Osanai, a minimalist of dance, is new to this festival. She describes her piece, “Seesaw,” as “dancing from unbalance.” She trained in Classical Ballet, Noguchi Gymnastics, Yoga, Tai Chi and Hip Hop. Her unique movements are realized through interweaving these diverse techniques and the philosophy and practice of Noguchi Gymnastics. She writes, “This performance offers eloquent patience and balance while moving through the beauty and infinite hope of birth (individual or species), unspeakable loss and eventually a glowing control and humble optimism. There are many seesaws in my body. Moving is started by unbalance.” A captivating original score and choreography leaves one transfixed, healed across boundaries.

Yuko Kaseki’s piece, Unspelled will be performed on November 14 and 15 at Dance New Amsterdam. Yuko Kaseki is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Berlin and was the principal dancer of Dance Butter Tokio from 19892001. Photo by Piotr Redlinkski.

Yuko Kaseki has participated in each CAVE Butoh Festival to-date. The San Francisco Bay Guardian has called her “the Ginger Rogers of Butoh.” She describes “Unspelled” as “Order of language spilling/spelled and un-spelled voice, spine, fingernails, shadow/broken a part and puzzled landscape in body/breathing the air between/observer past and I and spelling.” It is a solo dance performance confronting the landscape of the body before its configurations of language or orientation. Playing in deconstruction and construction of self-image, territory of emotion, sexuality, and geometrical weight, the dance repeats death and birth, rhythmically piling up memory and cutting out moments of silence.

Ms. Kaseki is a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher in Berlin. She has developed her own rich choreographic vocabulary that is rhythmic and elegant, blending Butoh with modern dance techniques. She was the principal dancer in Anzu Furukawa’s company, Dance Butter Tokio, and Verwandlungsa from 1989-2001.

Performances of this double-bill will be November 14 (Sat) at 9:00 pm and November 15 (Sun) at 3:00 pm. There will be an After Performance Talk on Nov. 15 (Sat). Tickets are $18 for students and $20 for non-students.

Tickets to all events of “New York Butoh-Kan Masters” are available from the Dance New Amsterdam box office (212) 625-8369 or online at the festival’s website, http://nybf09.caveartspace.org. Dance New Amsterdam is located in Manhattan at 280 Broadway on the second floor. The entrance is located on Chambers Street.


Accompanying “New York Butoh-Kan Masters” will be a benefit exhibition that is touring to all locations of this year’s CAVE New York Butoh Festival. Titled “Body As A Medium: NY Butoh Festival & NY Butoh-Kan Retrospective,” it is a silent auction of photos and videos taking during the first three NY Butoh Festivals (2003, 2005 and 2007). It is being mounted to raise funds to pay travel fees for international artists of the festival and for its general operating costs.


“The CAVE New York Butoh Festival — Butoh-kan Phase” (http://nybf09.caveartspace.org) is the fourth biennial Butoh Festival organized by CAVE to celebrate and promote the origins and international evolution of Butoh Dance while strengthening the local community with performances, workshops, and conversations with the artists. Events of the festival are being presented at Dixon Place and Dance New Amsterdam in Manhattan and at CAVE in Brooklyn.

The festival also includes “Furnace,” a work of collective creation led by Ko Murobushi, Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya, November 5 to 8 at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street; an Emerging Artist Series November 20-22 at CAVE, 58 Grand Street, Brooklyn; and intensive and introductory workshops provided by masters who will perform throughout the festival from October 23 to November 25, also at CAVE.