All About Japan

Kyoto Butoh-Kan

| Theater , Kyoto

Now in its second year as the only theater in the world completely dedicated to the historic art of Butoh in Japan, Art Complex welcomes you to experience three different performances of Butoh every week in the heart of Kyoto.

Butoh as an Art Form

Compared to other forms of Japanese theater, Butoh is a fairly modern art form that was born in the 1950s. The avant-garde dance genre explores the dark physicality and spirituality of Japan through a dance form that seemingly has no rules by which it is bound. Words that come to mind when experiencing a performance are certainly prominent: grotesque, intrusive, intense, but they challenge you to completely let go and be taken away into the world the dancer creates.

Performances are held in a transformed 154-year-old (kura) storehouse that provides an immersive and intimate experience, with the venue only seating up to eight people per show. Seating is on a traditional Japanese cushion (zabuton) placed on tatami mats on the ground. As you enter the space, you unwittingly cross over the performance space to your seat. Right from the start, by crossing over the space, you have inadvertently become a part of the performance itself. The performer enters and instantly heightens your senses as you are drawn into the energy produced. An experience that lasts just under an hour takes you on a whirlwind of emotions and abstract forms while you as a viewer attempt to comprehend your own interpretation of the performance.

With three different shows every week, there are a lot of stories to be told through the dance form of Butoh. Read on below to find out a little more about each performance and how to purchase tickets.

Hisoku

The storehouse in which the performance is held in has suffered many great fires throughout its existence. Ima Tenko presents the pure energy of water through the dance form of Butoh, which she describes as the source of all life and healer of all beings. Various images of water: waterfalls, tears and springs are brought in through her dance as she invites you to experience what is at the root of all life: water.

Choreography and Butoh by Ima Tenko
Music by the Okaeri Shimai
Lighting by Iwamura Genta

Performances:
Every Thursday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Each performance approx. 45 minutes in length.
House opens 20 minutes before curtain.

Ticketing:
Entry costs ¥3,800.
Student rate ¥3,000 with valid ID.

Entrance via reservations only.

- www.butohkan.jp (English)

Underworld Flower

Flowers are used in various ceremonial manners, whether they are for ceremonies, festivals or funerals. The flower expresses how the time in which live our lives are fleeting, and by combining the theme of the underworld (after death), the performer highlights the idea that the underworld is closer than you think. The word yomi is key for this performance, as it means both return and resurrection. Through your daily activities, whether it is sleeping or the language you use, you are constantly brought back to vitality.

Choreography and Butoh by Yurabe Masami  
Additional Dance by Inagaki Miwako

Performances:
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Each performance approx. 50 minutes in length.
House opens 20 minutes before curtain.

Ticketing:
Entry costs ¥3,800.
Student rate ¥3,000 with valid ID.

Entrance via reservations only.

- www.butohkan.jp (English)

Antigraviton, Lovely Face

Imagine the body as antimatter interacting with matter. A beam of light—a reaction—is created. The interaction is expressed through the dance form of Butoh during this immersive experience.

Performance by Fukurozaka Yasuo
Set design by Fukunishi Jiro
Mask created by Fukurozaka Yasuo

Performances:
Every Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Each performance approx. 45 minutes in length.
House opens 20 minutes before curtain.

Ticketing:
Entry costs ¥3,800.
Student rate ¥3,000 with valid ID.

Entrance via reservations only.