Butoh – Inferno of the Human Mind
Butoh is an avant-garde performance art which developed Japan in the 1950’s, partly as a reaction to the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It is an art form that focuses on the most difficult sides of life and humanity, and is often referred to as “The Dance of Darkness”. Butoh portrays feelings of aggression, suffering, forbidden sexual passions, and human frailty, and can be described as a performance which in some ways intends to traumatise the viewer as much as the performer.
In September of 2015, I travelled to Japan to explore the presence and heritage of Butoh. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to collaborate with many of the most important figures in Butoh, most of whom are still practicing it today.