Embodying the Spirit: Butoh Training
“The Body as Earth”

Taught by Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh)

Friday      16      19.30-22.30

Saturday 17       10.00-17.00

Sunday   18        10.00-17.00

Experience training methods towards a supple body and mind, and investigate aesthetics common to butoh through creative explorations. This workshop is a process of erasing and re-creating the body through guided improvisation largely inspired by nature imagery. We will focus on the body as earth exploring various landscapes internally and externally. We will plant seeds, spread roots, and grow trees and experience how these trees and the earth are shaped by weather elements. ETS explores endless questions: What is life? What is the human condition? What is the body? How can we experience infinity within the body/mind?  The workshop structure includes exercises and explorations of physical body, nature body, and transforming body.  Group and partner work will facilitate participants’ individual and collective journeys.  The workshop draws from Joan’s training with Butoh Masters Kazuo Ohno, Yoko Ashikawa (the major disciple of Butoh’s founder Tatsumi Hijikata) and her background as a Tai Chi practitioner and professional gardener.

Joan Laage (Kogut) studied under butoh masters Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa and performed with Ashikawa’s group Gnome in Japan in the late 80s, and more recently, has enjoyed training with Atsushi Takenouchi. After settling in Seattle in 1990, she formed Dappin’ Butoh, a company known for its appearances in Seattle’s fringe theater and dance festivals. Joan has performed and taught at national and international butoh and dance festivals, and was a featured artist at the UCLA Butoh Symposium in May 2011, and has been an adjunct faculty at Cornish College of The Arts (Seattle). She is featured in Dancing Into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, And Japan and Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy by Sondra Horton Fraleigh. She performs frequently at the Seattle Japanese Garden where she is a docent. Joan is a founding member of DAIPANbutoh Collective which produces an annual butoh festival in Seattle. During her 2018 March/April Europe tour, Joan will share her art and philosophy in England, Poland, Italy, and Norway. This spring will be her fourth time to teach and perform at Spazio NU.

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