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Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen and Japan (Hardback)
  • Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen and Japan (Hardback)
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Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen and Japan (Hardback)

(author)
£32.50
Hardback Published: 31/07/1999
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Butoh, also known as "dance of darkness", is a postmodern dance form that began in Japan as an effort to recover the primal body, or "the body that has not been robbed", as butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata put it. Butoh has become increasingly popular in the United States and throughout the world, diversifying its aesthetic, while at the same time asserting the power of its spiritual foundations. This is Sondra Horton Fraleigh's chronological diary of her deepening understanding of and appreciation for this art form. As a student of Zen and butoh, Fraleigh witnesses her own artistic and personal transformation through essays, poems, interviews and reflections spanning 12 years of study, much of it in Japan. Numerous performance photographs and original caligraphy by Fraleigh's Zen teacher Shodo Akane illuminate her words. Fraleigh moves from a position of aesthetic response as an audience member to that of assimilation as a student. Her most recent essay "The Community Body", on Akira Kasai and Yumiko Yoshioka, includes impressions of dancing in the classes of these artists. Kasai was one of the founding butoh artists, with Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno, and he provides Fraleigh with a link to the entire history of the form. The pieces of "Dancing Into Darkness" cross boundaries, just as butoh anticipates a growing global amalgamation. Fraleigh explores botuh's ties to German expressionism, as she remembers her own connections to Mary Wigman and Susanne Linke in the 1960s. "Butoh is not an aesthetic movement grafted onto Western dance," Fraleigh concludes, "and Western dance may be more Eastern than we have been able to see".

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
ISBN: 9780822940982
Weight: 463 g
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 21 mm

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