Ensemble of Shadows: Bangalore Butoh Festival
“Our bodily wounds eventually close and heal. But there are always hidden wounds those of the heart and if you know how to accept and endure them you will discover the pain and joy which is impossible to express with words. You will reach the realm of poetry which only the body can express.”
Butoh is a Japanese form of dance theatre adopted during the resistance against the West following post World War 2 in 1959. Traditionally the art form is performed in white body make-up and slow-intense controlled set of actions. Butoh uses a varying degree of image work such as emotions, techniques and dance. The First edition of Butoh Festival Bangalore was organised from 29th January – 5th February which included workshops and performance series at different centres around Bangalore.
The 5th day’s Butoh workshop was held at Enerjuvate Health Studio and Cafe at Jayanagar. Enerjuvate comprises of an indoor and outdoor cafe with a wholesome and healthy platter, a health studio to conduct different kinds of movement workshops and classes such as yoga, zumba, tai chi, kalaripayattu and a boutique with mainly organic and hand-made clothes and accessories.“We started with the intention of integrating food and health about 2 months ago. We also love spreading in all abundant ways possible the awareness of being healthy and taking care of your body,” says Sunaina, the Co-Founder of Enerjuvate. “It is also exciting to witness a cross-culture experience with Butoh here this evening,” she added.
The workshop was facilitated by Rhizome Lee, student of Akiko Motofuji- wife of Tatsumi Hijikata, who is considered as the key founder of Butoh. He is the proponent of the Subbody Resonance Butoh Method, a method used to bridge your outer body with your inner subconscious. Lee has also performed and held workshops over 20 countries teaching over a 1000 students to foster and fuel creativity of life. This session of the practise period was a segment class. It mainly focussed on the flow of rhythmic breathing, stretching and relaxing every muscle and bone to help build fluidity with your body. “This evening’s class was different. Moving each intricate part of our framework increased our scope into Butoh,” says Honza, who has been learning under Lee for the past 2 years.
Bharath is a Zumba instructor and has been a part of organising the Butoh Festival in Bangalore. “From a technical perspective, it was useful breaking each path down and understanding the spirit of Butoh,” says Bharath. “Besides Butoh which I got into recently, I am also a part of a dance crew and conduct classes on house dance, bollywood, salsa, hip hop and bachata kizomba around the city,” added Bharath.
If you are interested in Butoh, don’t forget to register for the next workshop commencing in March!