With sadness, and with a terrific need to respond in some way. Not knowing words, or combinations of words for these feelings, clearly in transition, as we are.
The much planned for Butoh Between Festival for May 2020 has been cancelled. All programming at OuterSpace is also cancelled until further notice. Our international artists have stopped travel plans. We are going dark so that we may transform, to find our present in the purpose of community and survival. We will communicate as we can, and urge you to share in ways that nurture generosity and open heartedness toward every one of us.
Wishing you health & sanity during a most surreal time.
We encourage each other to support feeding and housing our local communities. To remain engaged, and responsive to each situation. To trust that our body/mind will know how to respond. To cultivate self practice, mindfulness, and respect for all beings.
“Like what we know of the virus so far, we are uncommitted to anything particular. We mutate with the times.”
Emergency Response Team, 2014 Photo by Jamie Gannon
Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky coined the former term in 2006 to describe the syndrome in which a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere. It’s caused, he wrote, by two psychological processes.
The first, selective attention, kicks in when you’re struck by a new word, thing, or idea; after that, you unconsciously keep an eye out for it, and as a result find it surprisingly often.
The second process, confirmation bias, reassures you that each sighting is further proof of your impression that the thing has gained overnight omnipresence.
Armed with this knowledge, we can attempt to proliferate new ideas by performing art in the world. Strategically, we potentially increase the opportunity to witness the making of art, thereby increasing the possibility for frequency illusion of these acts to occur. This could increase the capacity for creative problem solving skills in any audience.
I wish to infect people with a fierce resistance to the status quo by participation in creative acts. My belief is in finding our most powerful selves, capable of creating greater good, each of us worthy of empathy and encouragement.
Particularly now, as the proliferation of fear, phobia, and violence in America is capable of creating catastrophe in the collective psyche. Creative engagement in public could be an act of healing, to recover and reconstruct an alternate future.
“Arguments about the body-mind or the controller versus the controlled are mostly carried out by using two words “choreography” and “improvisation”. But these
words are totally inadequate because the decision making or objectifying subject is
totally blurred in the peculiar state of consciousness of Butoh as an embodied primary
process.” Toshiharu Kasai
Doing some research in preparation for SSII: Post Butoh Festival coming up, I came across this very concise list of essential concepts in Butoh. I tend to use these concepts in my own teaching, and so I am contacting Florencia Guerberof, who compiled the list. She is carrying out an ongoing investigation on Butoh movement, and I am curious as to how it is going. She shares these Essential Concepts simply:
The empty body does not move intentionally. It is rather moved by something. The body is a blank canvas subject to infinite transformations. The body is a black charcoal absorbing the light. “What is expressed should not be something that a dancer tries to display. A dancer should concentrate on absorbing.” Nario Gohda from Yukio Waguri’s site: http://www.otsukimi.net/koz/e_yw_antho.html
The desublimated body. Decay is the dance of the living organisms. We stand in between life and death. The beauty of fading out in dance. Different ways of vanishing. Snow melts, a rain of cherry tree petals falls and the moon hides by quarters.
Beauty in the horror of the grimace. The distorted, the uncanny and the grotesque. The coexistence of the painful and the pleasant.
The Inside. Movement emerges from a remote zone which hides in the darkness of our own body.
The unleashed body. Movement without thinking in the search for the body’s own unconscious impulses.
The Avant-Garde body. Fragmentation and dissociation. Influence of modernist art in dance. The hands, the face and the feet going their own separated ways. The mask.
The power of the gaze in dance.From a particular gaze a determined way of walking flourishes. Eyes migrate through different body parts. The empty eyes. The whole body as a big eye. Seeing through the other senses. I see with the soles of my feet. To see becomes to feel.
The ground. The worshiped surface from which everything originates.
Presence. Practice one’s own existence into space. Carrying one´s own body weight.
Connecting with the outside. The ego melts into space. Becoming the universe.
The other. Internalizing different beings and their existence. Transforming from one state into the other. Female and male energy, animal spirits, animated and inanimate objects.
Sensing. To sense the essence of things generating movement from our relation with different materials, textures, atmospheres, temperatures,light and darkness.
The space in between. Importance of the invisible space between things. Air circulates around hidden joints and cavities. The space can become small. Hands can turn diminutive. The smallest detail makes a big difference. Subtlety and delicacy.