SPACE DANCE SCHOOL consists of “Space Dance Workshop & Performance“, “Design after Dance“, “Spiritual Journey“, and “Space Dance on the Net“. Through these works we will bring up “International Space Dancers” for the space dance project in the world.
At first, we have a question, “What is Butoh?” Then, we have a second question, “What is Space Dance?“.
Now, Butoh is one of major art forms as the cultural scenes not only in Europe and America but also in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We can find many Butoh Dancers and Coreographers by foreigners in the world.
Butoh has two styles, one is “Butoh with Darkness“, other is “Improvisation Butoh“. Tetsuro Fukuhara, delegate of Tokyo Space Dance, he belongs to “Improvisation Butoh” as the second generation. He carries on Butoh as “Butoh-Space Dance“, then he have created “Space Dance” to socialize “Tacit Knowledge” as a value for the general public by the collaboration of “Dance + Architecture + Information + Design“.
■What is Butoh?
In the second half of 1960, in Japan, Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno created “Butoh with Darkness” to unify the difference as a big problem between the traditional dance & its culture before Edo-era and the modern dance & its culture after Meiji-era. Then, Akira Kasai created “Improvisation Butoh” through “Butoh with Darkness”.
The definition of Butoh by Tetsuro Fukuhara is like the below;
Butoh is “step from within“.
Butoh is “self-realization” though the body of the individual, direct, original dance technique.
Butoh is “recovery of the wild in mankind and a rebirth of the body” intoxicated somehow lost in the contemporary world.
Butoh is an art which promotes us growth, and keeps “the age-worthy flower” blossoming continuously.
Everybody can make their own Butoh as much as they receive their own body.
What is a pleasure of a dance? Sure, it is a pleasure to change our feelings about our world at the moment. In this dance feelings we can not find any differences between ourselves, we feel we are connected to everyone and everywhere. So a dancer dance eternally to get its feelings exactly.
Also, as 21st dance history, we have a big theme to develop “a mature dance together with our age” using by new dance technique. If we should retire after a definite age, we should say its dance belongs to the old system. In Butoh the maturity is important, for us “the tacit knowledge” which we keep in our body is most important treasure. We make our dances on the basis of this tacit Knowledge.
So, we teach several ways for the participants and our students to receive their own body, to away a model for the imitation, to decide the things by themselves, to find their own feelings and techniques, and to make their own dance story.
“Our Day with a Crisis”
Shigeo Ohyama, Research of Asahi-Newspapers investigation center, Tokyo
My attraction to Butoh is based on the world of technology. As a journalist I have been dealing with information technology and computers for more than ten years. Doing such work I became aware, through my all senses, of all what is happening in our day life, and this made me aware of a strong sense of crisis in the future of the human mind’s image.
As far as I understand Butoh is not a dance merely trying to express some ideas or feelings through the body, but is trying to express the body itself, the root of the body. Of course, as a form of art Butoh has diversity, but I think that as excellent Butoh dancer should feel the crisis of our time. So, I had entered the Butoh’s world and I met Tetsuro Fukuhara there.
When I saw his dance for the first time he was dancing in the center of the stage. As a tree growing he held both arms straight up in the air. The highly raised right hand was moving slowly, and even more slowly did his fingers do so, but nevertheless his body was advancing. At that instant, as if in a spark, I remembered something deep down. It was nonverbal, a sense appearing like a wave – motion way ? down my own body. This movement happened simultaneously with the movement of Fukuhara’s dance, which was cutting the space in a minimal but intense way. The intensity locking me down. I was surprised that his dance could express the original sense of the body for a movement.
Yvonne Tenenbaum, Art Critic, Paris
In Tetsuro Fukuhara’s dance, we see a Butoh even more extreme than it was till now; no figurative image, no representation in any way, no history, no myth, no recognizable forms from any where, even from previous Butoh. And his dance in not confined either in slow motion nor in attitudes of retirement within oneself. We just see bodies listening and leaving way to the every strange force that makes them and human people dance. Like a tree’s leaves and branches, they show us every movement and stage of this force, sometimes wild, sometimes subtle and almost imperceptible.
Nadine Meisner, the Sunday Times, London
Britain’s first festival of new Butoh was in full celebration in London’s East End. Butoh performers often seem like living sculptures, merged with the surrounding space, hardly disturbing the air. Sometimes they move so slowly you scarcely notice, as happened with Tetsuro Fukuhara’s piece. I confess to an occasional restlessness as great chunks of time passed with little perceptible difference to the stage picture. Even so, the performance was compelling, Fukuhara creating a spare and mysterious beauty.
■What is Space Dance?
Space Dance based on Butoh is a name of “Dance & Design” which will make to appear an amicable body and its environment in the space.
Tetsuro Fukuhara created Space Dance on 2001 when he performed at the United Nations in New York and at the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan through his epochal experiences by the meeting with Shusaku Arakawa and the “Theory of Affordance” from 1994.
The essence of Space Dance is “How to recover the memory beyond human?” and “How to express the tacit knowledge to design a new body for post-human?“. In Space Dance we are aware of the body as “Bone Space” and we think that “Bone Space” keeps all memories about the body movements of all living thing in our brain.
The definition of Space Dance by Tetsuro Fukuhara is like the below;
In Space Dance, the body is not a tool for expressing a story, the body is a story.
In any time the excellent dancer in the world keeps the ability to dance with a special dance technique to organize the body as the object, not as the subject. In Space Dance we study this dance technique. Then we try to recover the memory beyond human through our dance and we accumulate its result as the tacit knowledge about the body.
Our feet always are connected to the ground with one gravity. Our human in our daily life forget this fact. But when we dance with a dance technique to organize our body as the object, the relationship between our feet and the grand will be clear and we can get back a familiar feeling between the body and the earth.
In this time when we dance with the earth we can recognize some strange new feeling happen around the temporal lobe of our brain. Why? Because it is a first experience for our brain to move our body with such a strange new way.
Our brain keeps all memories about all life on our earth. Because our brain into the Mother’s womb during 10 months grow up through the process of evolution of the brain from the beginning to today’s human brain. So, in our dance movements too, sometime we can find other strange movements of all life through these memories.
So in Space Dance when we try to dance to organize our body as the object we can touch several “Forgotten Memories” sometimes with a wave motion of the internal organs, sometimes with a sound of the bone, and sometimes with an excitement of the nerve. In that time we can feel a new feeling in our brain and “Bone Space“, then under this influence we can find the unexperienced movements by chance. In short we can stimulate several “Forgotten Memories“.
“Forgotten Memories” wake up a strong nostalgia in our mind. And this nostalgia gives new energy to us. Then we understand “New unknown movement’s world” exists behind our usual human movements.
This energy continue without end. When we dig up “Forgotten Memories” we can organize the unexpected movements based on each memories. We shake with its freshness and we are amazed by ourselves. Then we start to talk a new story for our dance beyond the human drama.
Usually, very soon, our human feel tired in our movements without this energy. But when we house this energy we get the lasting energy from the circulation between the body and the ground, then it arise like the growth of a snowball. We never feel tired.
Like that in Space Dance we dig up “Forgotten Memories” and we expand “New unknown movement’s world”, then we try to express “New unknown movement’s world” as “History of Postures Evolution with Fish, Amphibia, Bird, Monkey, and Human“. We can describe that “History of Postures Evolution” had started from a ameba without hands and feet. Then now “History of Postures Evolution” meets one peak by human with a bipedal walker.
Why “History of Postures Evolution” is important for Space Dance? Because the purpose of Space Dance is the looking back on the past of all life, and the creation for “Future of Human Body” as a return from its retrospection.
Then in Space Dance we make a visualization of “History of Postures Evolution” as the image. And we make an information of “New unknown movement’s world” as the tacid knowledge using by information technology. Finally we try to make a design through the tacid knowledge for the new body, the new object, and the new space.
Like that, in Space Dance we can create the new designs after our dance. For these works we adopt the collaboration by “Dance + Architecture + Information + Design” and we use “Space Tube” as our needed installation.
“Space Tube” is a closed soft space using by special cloth, not an opened hard space like our modern architecture. So, in “Space Tube” the dancer’s body movements can cope to the shape of the space as the very familiar relationship. Then, in “Space Tube” we can express dancer’s “the tacit knowledge” as the information very easy.
Then, Space Dance will be very different from usual dances, Space Dance will be just a work of “Design after Dance“.
■6 Chapters of Butoh-Space Dance Workshop
We hold “Butoh-Space Dance Workshop” with 6 chapters of “body foundation + affordance + beginning + development + change + ending“.
Chapter 1 “body foundation”
We make the waist soft and all joints of our body soft to keep the center of the body, and we increase efficiency of energy circulation between the body and the space.
Chapter 2 “affordance”
We organize our body as the object, not as the subject, then we recognize our body as a “Bone Space“. Also we try to get back a familiar relationship between “Bone Space” and some one object near our body, for example a pillar, a handrail, and so on. Through these efforts we can get back a feeling of animism and we can start our dance by reliance upon others, not by our own exertions. And we can construct a dance with a technic called affordance, in this dance we can feel that we don’t dance, the object dance together with us.
Chapter 3 “beginning / 起(ki)〜birth of foot“
At first, we sit upright and calm down our body and mind. Next step, we stand up very slowly to activate the sense of a “Bone Space” and to revive some memories with a strange feeling. Through this standup we can feel as if our foot just now growth entirely. Still more, we dance slowly and find the suitable movements as if we wander in the darkness to become acute the sense of a “Bone Space” and to increase the memories.
Chapter 4 “development / 承(shoo)〜creation of posture”
In succession of “beginning / 起(ki)“, at first we recognize that when we start something, sure, it should come to an end. And we try to develop dance movements as “Creation of Postures” which “Bone Space” wants naturally. Also same time we try to choice our favorite memory through other many sundry memories and we try to take a focus with it. Then, finally we can aim to reach the “Climax” of dance movements. In this “Climax” we can renew our feelings to the world completely, and we can behave freely in all directions, and we can feel that just now we get most active life.
Chapter 5 “change / 転(ten)〜to catharsis”
In succession of “development / 承(shoo)“, at first we change a dance stage, then we try to make a same dance of Chapter 4. However, on chapter 5 we aim to reach “Catharsis” beyond “Climax“. We can find “Catharsis” as our final station when we go through “Climax”. As a human we try to make our dance until when we can think this my dance will be a best “Creation of Postures”, then as a result of its dance we get the finest happiness.
Chapter 6 “ending / 結(ketsu)〜end of foot”
In succession of “change / 転(ten)“, we squat down very slowly, and we sit down again, next lie down, finally we rest with our closed eyes, then we accomplish “Catharsis”. In this scene we can organize the best several feelings as if we can finish our foots through these movements, and as if we can start our preparation to step up the condition of “Post Human” after the works as the human. Then, finally we can enjoy a last feeling to wait a new sunrise of a new world on the another planet.
■7 Chapters of Butoh-Space Dance Performance
We hold “Butoh-Space Dance Performance” with 7 chapters of “MEMORY + WAKING DANCE + PARADISE in the LITTLE MOVING + OPEN a BODY in the SKY + STRANGE FRUIT + SPIRITUAL JOURNEY+ FLOWER“.
Chapter 1 “MEMORY”
Dancers go through the memories accumulated in some their special favorite site and they organize their body as the object. In that time their “Bone Space” and brain will be active and they can get back various “Forgotten Memories“. Then, they feel “Unknown Movement’s World” exists behind their usual dance movements. So, they shake with its freshness.
Chapter 2 “WAKING DANCE”
Dancers make an amicable relationship between their feet and the ground. Then, they come into “Unknown Movement’s World” and express several unexpected dance movements. They are amazed to themselves with a big joy.
Chapter 3 “PARADISE in the LITTLE MOVING”
“Unknown Movement’s World” wake up a strong nostalgia in dancer’s mind and this nostalgia give new energy to them. They know this energy arise like the growth of a snowball when they keep their dance with the little moving. So, they never feel tired and they realize a dance called “PARADISE“. In this dance climax they renew their all feelings to the world completely and they behave freely in all directions
Chapter 4 “Open a body in the Sky”
Dancers open a body in the sky. And they will choice their favorite memory through other many sundry memories and try to take a focus with it. Base on their favorite memory they start to express their “Tacit Knowledge” as several images with a big pleasure.
Chapter 5 “STRANGE FRUIT”
Dancers come into Space Tube. Space Tube is a closed soft space using by special cloth, so in Space Tube their body movements can cope to the shape of the space as a very familiar relationship with one unity. In that time Space Tube change as their second body. Then, they try to make several characteristic postures, like fish, amphibia, animal with 4 feet, bird, and monkey. Then depend on these postures they try to make 4 scenes “Kinect”, “Dimension”, “Strange Fruit”, and “Affinity”.
Chapter 6 “SPIRITUAL JOURNEY”
Dancers express 4 charms into one’s hidden character through “Laugh + Sexuality + Crying + Song”. Then they get the individual strength and extension of the soul with the wildness. Finally they come to “Catharsis” as a final station through “Climax” in their dance.
Chapter 7 “FLOWER”
Dancers squat down slowly and lie down, and they rest with closed eyes. Then they accomplish “Catharsis” with flowers. In this scene they can organize the best feelings as if they can finish their foots, and as if they start the preparation to step up to “Post Human” at some less-gravity condition. Finally they enjoy a last feeling to wait a new sunrise of a new world on the another planet.
Chisenhale Dance Space, London
Reknowned as an inspiring teacher, Fukuhara’s workshops explore his concept of Space Dance and the aim of making an amicable body in the space. These experimental body training sessions are suitable for people involved in movement and body work, and physical performance.
“New Standard of Performance”
Dartington College of Arts, Totones
Space Dance is informed by Butoh and was developed by the leading Butoh dancer Tetsuro Fukuhara, in the face of developing technology and changes in the modern world. Its four key components are Dance, Architecture, Information and Design. The dance is concerned with achieving the perfect balance between human and world and creating a medium where body and environment converse. Since 1990 he has actively been establishing Space Dance as a new standard of performance in many of the world’s major cities.
“New Paradigms of Thinking”
Thelma Lazo-Flores, Head of School of Design and Faculty of Visual Arts, Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
I extend my sincerest gratitude for your tireless effort with our Interior Design Students July 2001. The fascinating and unconventional way of integrating various disciplines namely, Japanese butoh dance, architectural design theories and media technology provided new paradigms of thinking in our design instruction. Likewise, the experience that the students have derived from this workshop will redefine their modes of teamwork, conceptualization skills and project execution.
“Pick up Enthusiastic and Talented Young People”
Aydin Teker, Head of Mimar Sinan University, Modern Dance Department, Istanbul
Tetsuro Fukuhara has the ability to pick up enthusiastic and talented young people to collaborate at the workshop. Students were fully involved with the approach he has developed using space, object and movement. They enjoyed very much working with him. The students and the teachers watched it with great interest. I heard a lot of positive comments. He uses movement, object and the technology in a very fine way.
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