I have now been taking my first steps into the world of Butoh. This weekend I attended a workshop in Copenhagen where Anita Saij introduced her Butoh body work. It was inspiring and challenging, both physically and mentally, and very much what I hoped for. It feels so right for me to work with the connection between body, mind and spirit – a fusion between art and philosophy.
We worked outdoors and indoors at Christiania, and with the connection between the outside world and the inside world. We did exercises where we were blindfolded and the body had to read the surroundings and find it’s way by itself. And we did exercises where we had to create a universe inside and let the body transform as a response to the mind.
We also did technical exercises to recreate the natural body – strong and open and ready to act. One basic thing with Butoh, as I understood it, is to work to release the body to be able to work by itself. Another key thing is that the body is a part of the nature and has a kind of collective memory. It is full of experiences.
I could connect the new information and experiences to my knowledge about and experience from puppet theatre, mime, yoga and zen-coaching and I really want to go further into Butoh…
ANITA SAIJ: International renowned performer and teacher through 25 years within experimental dance, theatre, somatic practice and movement philosophy. Direct students of the co founder and great elder master Kazuo Ohno. Anita Saij was the first European teacher; dancer and choreographer practicing thoughts and technique of the original Japanese Butoh. Her teaching, lectures and performances have been around many cultures, institutes and theatre from the traditional to the avant-garde. She founded the international priced performance group Theatre Dance Lab.1986, Academy Nordic School of Butoh 2003 and since 2008 director of the international dance, performance and life art education Art Human Nature at the European supported Art Culture Center at the Island Bornholm, Dk.