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Butoh Workshops with Xue

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About Butoh

Butoh is an avant-garde Japanese art form that emerged in 1950/1960s post-war Japan. Butoh dance was founded by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kahzuo Ohno, who sought to pioneer a radical new aesthetic. Through the lineages of the two founders, butoh has branched into a dichotomy of both improvised movement and embodied choreographies. Although the dance itself rejects formalization, over the years, it has come to consist of a range of methodologies and techniques enriched by the varied and divergent lineages of butoh practitioners, companies and butoh communities from Japan and across the globe.

In butoh dance we start from an ‘empty body’. By first engaging in a process of emptying out through a variety of relaxation techniques, we train our sensitivities to engage in a process of sensing and shapeshifting, which then allows the body to tell its own stories. The body becomes a vessel, a receptacle for metamorphosis and the receiver of images. When the body is relaxed and porous, it is then able to transmit images (from elemental to surrealistic), derived from all aspects of life and culture.

At its core, butoh is a powerful practice that allows one to access deep parts of the subconscious which can be expressed through the viscerality of the body.

Who can/should take butoh?

Anyone who is interested in:

  • Deeping their relationship to their body and movement practice

  • Delving into the subconscious and inner world

  • Learning more about the history of butoh and its rich lineage

  • Finding new movement pathways and ideas to enrich a performance practice

  • Good for theatre practitioners, artists, dancers and non-dancers.

  • No movement experience is required! Anyone of all ages and body types are welcome.

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About Xue

Previously based in New York City, Xue is a Singaporean artist and Butoh practitioner. As a Butoh dancer, Xue has been featured in The Online New York Butoh Institute Festival (2020) and The Online Queer Butoh Festival (2021). In 2022, they performed their work ‘Shadowbloom’ live in New York City at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn with musical collaborator Mervin Wong, presented by Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute. In 2021, Xue was also 

given the opportunity to share their research on their durational performance work ‘SLEEPWALKERS’ at Dance Nucleus’s Scope #11. Their latest butoh performance titled ‘Tsujikaze’ was performed at SAINOUSPACE, under The Sainou Space Stage program with SAINOUSPACE co-founder Derrick T. Xue is currently learning  butoh under the guidance of Vangeline (NYC, Vangeline Theater/New York Butoh Institute) and Emiko Agatsuma (JP, AGAXART).

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* Might include partner work and physical contact, Xue or SAINOUSPACE might also document the workshops for archival purposes and social media.

*Disclaimer: Mental Health and Physical Conditions

Before participating in this dance workshop, please carefully read the following disclaimer regarding mental health and physical conditions. The purpose of this disclaimer is to ensure your safety and well-being during the workshop. If you have any concerns or questions, please consult with a medical professional before proceeding.

Mental Health Considerations:

a. It is important to prioritize your mental health and well-being. If you have a history of mental health conditions or are currently experiencing any mental health challenges, please consult with a mental health professional before participating in this workshop.

b. Engaging in physical activities, such as dancing, can sometimes trigger emotional responses. If you feel overwhelmed or experience any distressing emotions during the workshop, it is essential to communicate your needs to the instructor and take the necessary breaks or modifications.

  1. c. The workshop facilitators and instructors are not mental health professionals. They can provide support within the scope of the workshop but are not equipped to provide therapeutic interventions or counseling services.

Physical Conditions and Injuries:

a. If you have any pre-existing physical conditions, such as cardiovascular issues, respiratory problems, joint or muscle injuries, or any other medical concerns, please consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether participation in this workshop is suitable for you.

b. Please notify the workshop organizers and instructors about any physical conditions or injuries that may affect your ability to participate fully. This information will help them tailor the activities to ensure your safety and provide appropriate modifications if necessary.

  1. c. By participating in this dance workshop, you acknowledge that you are responsible for monitoring your own physical well-being during the activities. It is your responsibility to inform the instructors if you experience any pain, discomfort, or worsening of a pre-existing condition during the workshop.

Consent and Liability:

a. By participating in this dance workshop, you voluntarily assume all risks and liabilities associated with physical activity. You acknowledge that the organizers, instructors, and venue cannot be held responsible for any injuries, physical or emotional distress, or other negative outcomes that may arise during or as a result of your participation.

  1. b. It is important to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and respect your personal limits during the workshop. Pushing beyond your capabilities may lead to injury or other adverse effects.

By attending and participating in this dance workshop, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agree to the above disclaimer regarding mental health and physical conditions. You acknowledge that you are responsible for your own well-being and will take appropriate actions to ensure your safety throughout the workshop

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