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International Master Teachers Will Lead Butoh Workshops in NYC

Yuko Kaseki. Photo by Piotr Redlinkski.

CAVE, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is known “on the street” for offering the best training in New York for Butoh dance. It provides rigorous physical training and enriches students with first person contact with international masters. This makes it a unique platform for the development of local dancers.

Registration began July 20 for the upcoming series of workshops, which are intended for dancers, actors and interdisciplinary performers. Workshops will take place October 23 through November 25, 2009 at CAVE, 58 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Many of the noted Butoh masters who are teaching will also be performing throughout the Festival, which also has coinciding performance events at Dixon Place and Dance New Amsterdam, which are both in Manhattan.

Disciplines taught will include fundamentals of Butoh dance, breathing techniques and the transformation of the body into an expression of emotions, incorporating other meditative and dance styles including tai chi and Noguchi gymnastics. Each instructor brings his or her own experience and multidisciplinary approach to the craft.

Ko Murobushi. Photo by Dola Baroni.

Yuko Kaseki, who will teach both an intensive and an introductory workshop, is a freelance dancer and choreographer living in Berlin. She was the principal dancer in Anzu Furukawa’s company, Dance Butter Tokio, and Verwandlungsa from 1989-2001. The intensive workshop is a one week course from October 23-October 31 and his introductory course will occur on November 6, 7, and 8.

Ko Murobushi trained and performed with one of the creators and greatest performers of Butoh, Tatsumi Hijikata, and was a founding member of Dairakudakan, the largest and longest-running Butoh company in Japan. His influential group, Ariadone,introduced Europe to Butoh in 1978. Based in Japan, he tours internationally throughout Europe and South America.. In his workshops, he strongly emphasizes the connection of the breath and body. Murobushi will teach a pair of two-day introductory workshops on November 8 and 9 and November 10 and 11.

Mari Osanai. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mari Osanai trained in Classical Ballet, Noguchi Gymnastics, Yoga, Tai Chi and Hip Hop. Her unique movements are realized through interweaving these diverse techniques. The philosophy and practice of Noguchi Gymnastics has had a strong influence on her creations. She will teach an introductory workshop on November 12, 13 & 14 and an intensive course from November 16 to 25.

Daisuke Yoshimoto has collaborated 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.” His pair of three-day introductory workshops will be on November 11, 12 & 13 and November 16, 17 & 18.

Daisuke Yoshimoto. Photo by Tommy Bay.

The Festival will also include a series of noteworthy performances. “Furnace,” a collaborative Butoh dance work commissioned by the Festival, will debut at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street (between Rivington and Delancey), November 5 to 8. A program of three performances, collectively titled “NY Butoh-Kan Masters,” will be presented at Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway (at Chambers St.), November 12-15. The festival’s NY Emerging Artist Series, with two programs of short performance works, will be presented at CAVE, 58 Grand Street (Brooklyn), November 20-22. This series headlines artists who have been participants in CAVE’s Butoh-Kan training program. It gives festival audiences the opportunity to see their work along with that of artists in the larger international Butoh movement. For complete schedule and ticket info, visit the festival website at www.nybf09.caveartspace.org.

CAVE is led by Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya.

Butoh dance has expanded from its small beginnings in 1959 Japan into an international movement of performers around the world including here in New York City. A form of dance which rejects the pedagogy of other dance forms, it origins lie in the quest for transformation of the body into materials, animals, even the embodiment of a single emotion or expression. Butoh is performed across the world in Asia, Europe, South America and here in the United States.

There will be a festival benefit exhibition, “Body As A Medium: NY Butoh Festival & NY Butoh-Kan Retrospective,” which will travel with the festival through all three of its venues: Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam and CAVE. A silent auction with photos and videos taking during the first three NY Butoh Festivals (2003, 2005 and 2007) will raise funds to pay travel fees for the international artists and for the general operating cost of the festival.

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