RAmused: Butoh dance from Japan

Richard Armitage, in interviews here and  here, talks about using Butoh dance as the style of movement to transform his body from Francis Dolarhyde into that of the Great Red Dragon. Butoh is a style of dance that I am unfamiliar with, but after watching several videos of it online, I can see it in Armitage’s Dolarhyde performance.

A brief description of the art form can be found here.

Two performances, which in my mind, evoke images that fall somewhere between alien stick insects and an over tired two year old using grotesque contortions and dead weight to get out of going to bed can be found on the links below.

Butoh Dance Performance

Giant of Salt

2 thoughts on “RAmused: Butoh dance from Japan

  1. I did wonder what ‘butoh’ was so thanks for researching. Pieces are both disturbing and I admire body control and artistic interpretation, although I am not sure what it is an interpretation of! First, the rolling down steps made me think of something that couldn’t walk, prior to this movements mixed curiosity with hesitance, something recently emerging into life? After steps, it seemed to expand, I want to say caterpillar to butterfly but I feel that is incorrect.
    Second, use of candle added another dimension to performance. Imprisonment? Definitely a lots of pain and anguish here. Hand on back seemed to be another being, as if seeking/ or fearing another. Very thought provoking and slightly disturbing. Human emotion in the raw.

    By the way, I was unable to hear music so at some stage will revisit.


  2. The first dancer reminded me of Sun Spiders dying when we spray them. They are a large spider that look like a scorpion without a tail. They are fast, and aggressive, and not even the mockingbirds will touch them. I truly hate them (don’t like scorpions much, either).

    The dancer got that convulsive death spasms down, I thought. I agree – it’s disturbing, but at the same time fascinating. I don’t want to watch, but I also don’t want to look away.


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