Cartographic Score: A One to One online Butoh based training

These are one to one dedicated sessions to delve deep into bone movement.

Bones are very important and are access of internal movement structure. In these sessions we will learn and deepen our micro movement knowledge and explore diffusion and expansion. These micro-movements to me are keys that open access to further dance investigations and processes. As we move through the sessions, a unique and personalised score will appear, just like a cartography!

All are welcome.

Cost: 60 euro per month or 20 euro per session

Time: you pick the time between 8 am and 9 pm CET time and give your self a 1.45mins session.

Looking forwards to our sessions!

Butoh News

TIME TO DANCE!!! To a wonderful new year of luminescent dances.
See you at Dance House 7 to 9 pm Every Thursday Dublin
2015 is starting with significant signs of Butoh abundance! We have the pleasure to have Masaki Iwana as a guest for a workshop and his film will premiere at the Butoh Film Festival in February.
February Weekend 21-22 of February 2015:
21st Masaki Iwana will give a five hours workshop in Dance House Foley St. Dublin. This event is supported by Dance Ireland
22nd of February BUTOH FILM FESTIVAL at The New Theatre, Temple Bar, D2. From 1 to 9pm.
Programme curated by Ambra Bergamasco and Fergus Byrne. Featuring –
Irish premiere of Masaki Iwana’s ‘Vermillion Souls’ (2004)
Ju-Ni-Hitoe directed by Jutta Ohlenberg and Rolf Coulanges starring Yumiko Yoshioka and Minako Seki (1997)
‘Sacrifice’ by Donald Richie (1959)
Panel Discussion with Katherine Waugh, Dr. Tina Kinsella and guests.
Full Schedule available on the Facebook event: click here to join
This event is funded by the passion Fergus and I share towards it. To support us, come along to Fergus’s PUB QUIZ – fabulous prizes – on the 28th of January Arthur’s Pub, D8 at 8pm
Proceeding of this event will go to support Mental Health ireland
Hope this is of your interest!
Happy New Year, may it be filled of wonders.

5th of December “MIDNIGHT STAIRS”: a Butoh evening with performance @Tai Chi Ireland, Dublin

December is here. Whether we indulge in celebrations or not, the year surely feels coming to a rest. Just before leaping into the festive holidays, we will host a Butoh evening.

On the 5th of December, Choko Butoh Dublin Research Group and I, will be guests of  DAO Tai Chi Ireland. The evening is part of furthering the awareness of Butoh as a dance art form and a space for creativity and exploration in Dublin, Ireland.

As an art form, Butoh, is highly accessible. It can be practiced and used for various scopes not only by performers. If you are, the training and body method inherent in Butoh, can enhance your body awareness, aid and support your creative process, challenge you to venture into unknown territories with improvisation and transformations via visual solicitations.

For those that come to Butoh moved by curiosity, it has been proven to offer ways to relax the everyday accumulation of tension and offer a platform that supports the expression of one’s own imagery though movement and stillness. Butoh body method facilitates every type of bodies and explores the infinite possibility of movement and sensation.

If you are in Dublin, I hope you can join us and share with us the intimacy of the space and moving bodies in their narrative and poetic imagery.

Click here to watch a glimpse MIDNIGHT STAIRS

The piece is created by Ambra G. Bergamasco and Choko Butoh Dublin Research Group. After the piece, there will be time for a Q&A session.

Evening Details:

5th of December

7.30pm/ 10 euro

41 a Pleasant Street D8

Thank you!


Michel Leiris and Francis Bacon: a portrait

Francis Bacon Painting are alive and well! As much as I keep reading and looking at book documents listen to interviews, Francis Bacon’s work has reminiscences of a cornucopia. Every so often a new painting becomes visible to me and with it, weaving lives, people and arts  marvellously connecting to the research I am carrying on between Butoh dance, Francis Bacon and Gilles Deleuze.

Francis Bacon’s Leiris portrait will be on show in Paris at the centre Pompidou in 2015, more information can be read here:

Below are snippets of what Leiris wrote about Bacon, some information on Leiris work, and under references you can find links and a pdf with Leiris interview.

Michel Leiris wrote on Bacon in 1983. This is a comment of Bacon’s work:

‘As an authentic expression of Western man in our time Francis Bacon’s work conveys, in the admirably Nietzschean formula he himself has coined to explain the sort of man and artist he is, an “exhilarated despair”, and so – however resolutely it may avoid anything in the nature of sermonising – it cannot but reflect the painful yet lyrical disturbance felt by all those who, living in these times of horror spangled with enchantment, can contemplate them with lucidity … Although the artist himself declares he has no message to deliver, I have found from personal experience that his pictures help us, most powerfully, to feel the sheer fact of existence as it is sensed by a man without illusions.’ There is something here of the pride of a man relishing a particularly smelly cheese which others at the table have not the stomach for. Peter Fuller thinks Bacon is lacking more than illusions: ‘Bacon emerges from his many interviews as a man with no religious beliefs, no secular ethical values, no faith in human relationships and no meaningful social or political values either … he is not so much honest as appallingly frank.’ A cad, in fact, and no matter how good he is at painting he will need to answer some stiff questions about value and meaning if he is to avoid being sent up for gratuitous violence.*

In my anthropology days of academia, I came across Michel Leiris and remembered his interesting life, of how as a writer/poet part of the Surrealist movement.

Here a snippet on his work:

In ”The Autobiographer as Torero,” which was originally written as a prefatory essay to ”Manhood” but became popular in its own right, Mr. Leiris compared the process of writing to a bullfight and likened the writer to a matador. He admitted that he had an obsessive desire to make literature ”into an act, a drama by which I insist on incurring, positively, a risk – as if this risk were the necessary condition for my self-realization as a man.”

Among his other works were the studies ”Race and Culture” in 1951 and ”Contacts With the Civilizations in Martinique and in Guadeloupe” in 1955, both for Unesco, and ”Nights as Day, Days as Night” in 1988.

Other writings included ”Picasso and the Human Comedy” (1955), ”Fibrilles” (1966); ”African Art” (1968) and ”Francis Bacon” (1983).

Well known and highly respected in France, Mr. Leiris avoided public attention in his later years and refused to accept the National Grand Prize of Letters in 1980. He said he did not want to be a topic for the media* *




full details and image of the portrait:

Read here the full interview entrevista current anthropology Michel Leiris

including perspectives: the fold and butoh dance

My interest here is to overlap Deleuze’s (and Leibniz incorporated through the lens of Deleuze) approaches to the fold, Baroque and perception to Butoh Dance.

The video lecture starts with Deleuze informing his students that the department of Philosophy wants to do experiment with video recordings. This instance bring forward the theme of the lecture: including perspectives and the fold.

Here are discussed the Baroque, Leibniz and the fold progressing into Pascal’s triangle to then tackle the problem of perspectives: (here below is a piece of text translated by me from the video lecture)

Is there a universal point of view, a universal perspective? Possible, but it does not suppress the single point of perceptions. In front of something either you say “it doesn’t matter” this being total chaos or you start building your point of view.

How to build perspectives that allow me to incorporate and order also the opposites? The genetic element is a view point – a single the view point is the genetic element.

How do we get there? Deleuze reflects on the Baroque practice of rounding corners- “arrondissement des coins“: to make folds to infinite rounded corners. All corners are rounded by the infinite folding. Leibniz does same. It takes the folds and brings it to the infinite.

In Butoh dance, is there a similar process? Can I perceive the folds in my body? to find a fold – unfolding refolding – can this imply the doing folding and unfolding through edges, warps and creation?. Hijikata asked “what is a warped body?” There is a sort of parallel between the fold and the warped body. The rounding of corners to create an inflection of variable curve in the body can be understood as becoming warped and creating the warped. This movement of breaking lines in Butoh dance and becoming warped is fundamental for creation.

Hijikata’s Butoh body-method notation details the work moved by questions that saw him engaged twenty four hours to attain the warped-body*, to dig into to, unravel and bring into dance:

“Hijikata investigated in the warped qualia through the life. he finally dig out the deepest warped qualia as his last butoh dance: A girl. The dead sister was one of the deepest warped qualia for him. Why his favourite sister had to leave from home when he was child and had to sell her body in a foreign city.
It was a unsolved mystery for him in his childhood. He investigated it through his life. And finally he could success to reverse the warped qualia as the creation of the butoh”**

While unwarping/warping we meet edges, corners, we meet folds and we unfold, and as we move, we encounter infinite bifurcations. In this regards, Deleuze looks at folds and sees a bifurcation into which the fold distributes; a low and high plane. The low plane problem is concerned with the folding of the material submitted to the infinite. Material folding constitutes the physical and elastic body that possess the capacity of folding/unfolding, implicate/explicate, envelop/develop. To fold is to involve and to unfold is to evolve our body. These are all notions that manifest in the fold.

The other level, no longer concerned with the material is the plane of the soul/anima (translated from Deleuze french use of the word âme). The folds of the soul/ âme constitute the other plane as forms of infinity or as a general genetic plane. Here we encounter two labyrinths:

Labyrinth of continuum: double-folds and develops in the material

Labyrinth of freedom develops/unfolds in the soul/ âme

The folds of the soul as infinite, and this is what interests Deleuze particularly, the labyrinth of freedom and the plane of the soul.

The low plane and the high place are located in my upper body and lower body and then turned upside-down; I have also an external and internal body, also this can be turned inside out creating a fold and a unfold of planes of soul and material. On my feet, as I try to find them in the material, I can expand, involve, evolve my physical body; while I do this, my soul aches out and avails of general and particular, materialising what the tunnel/labyrinth had in store.

Hijikata and Rhizome Lee, as written in his notation, refer to tunnels we explore in our own body while doing Butoh. We tunnel through the layers of our many bodies and the qualia that arise from there; other times, we seek the qualia externally, and we try to create a transparency in order to allow for resonance to happen within outer and internal planes and bring our bodies to involve and evolve on that fold. The tunnels are like labyrinths, they unfold in the soul.

Can there be a labyrinth that can bring us to an inflection of variable curves? Can there be a perspective that incorporates opposites?

How can we dance the variant curve of all opposites? We do it. We attempt to every time we bring outwards our warp, our fold, and fall into it yet again.

In addressing the possibility of such, Deleuze remarks on the great importance theatre held in the Baroque. Fundamental were the changing scene, scenography and its transformation from one to another. This was a basic element for the Baroque’s sense of theatre aesthetic and movement. There, a chance to witness. To witness a fix point shift, the unfolding of a fold, the transmuting from generic to one perception and to the generic holding one. This bringing to the consideration that objects are “indefinissable” (Deleuze in lecture video).

When we dance Butoh, we go from the generic to the “one point of view” to many points of view. At times all singled out at times all talking together. At times creating new planes that yet have no perspective other that being born. And at times, we are indefinissable.

Thank you for reading. If you wish, leave a comment and share.


Here you can listen to the whole Gilles Deleuze’s Video lecture

* here you can read more on Hijikata’s body-method thanks to Rhizome Lee and

** extract from

p.s I have translated Deleuze’s words as I listened to the lecture. There is a book called “The Fold” by Deleuze.

copyright:Ambra Gatto Bergamasco©

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