Butoh body/Butoh tai: dancing through and beyond dichotomies

Toshiharu Kasai worte a very interesting article stemming from 1999 EX…IT! – www.exit.broellin.de/eX11/e-atsushi.html 

“If creativity means inventing new things
that have never been done, the primary turning point
in dance lies in negation of movements. When the
movement “syllable,” the fundamental component of
dance, ceases to be a physical movement, there
appears brand-new bodily activities that hardly can
be categorized as a dance. The author believes that
Hijikata initiated one of these “un-dances.” When he
was asked the reason why he stopped dancing and
devoted himself to choreographing his disciples after
the success of his Butoh dance, he answered that he
had been dancing, but nobody noticed it.
If the value of dance lies in being seen by
others, the negation of being seen also starts
another “un-dance.” There are two types of
“un-seen dance”: 1 When there is no audience who )
sees the performer, and 2 when the movements are )
not explicit to the outside, but are internal or mental”


Access to the article can be found here: www.ne.jp/asahi/butoh/itto/method/butoh-body.pdf



Celebrating October with something Beautiful: “full empty dance of the heart”, Daoist interpretation and more

October to me  is a special month. The colours found in nature, and nature itself, are in full transformation: the yellows, reds, oranges bloomed with sun release their ripeness to reach emptiness. This is what I can perceive in October, the fullness of the summer dancing its emptiness. October to me is a time of emptying the fulness of the spring summer months and the birth of new visions, nested in the deepest chambers of the heart.


This rhythm makes me reflect on the heart; how, in order to function, the heart needs to absorb and release. By absorbing it gathers, fills up, absorbs, seizes, to its full potential to then when reached the maximum capacity, release. It lets go, empties, voids its self and by doing so it expands.

These are the themes that keep coming up in my daily practice. When I move my body reaches for those places where I can touch the fulness and as I do, or begin doing so, my body takes me to explore voiding through vortex-led movements…and I just sit and observe. My desires are worthless, my resistances material for arabesque laughters. So I stay. Witness and learn.

My main interest these days is to learn more and in a more structured manner Daoist tradition understandings and explore the heart in different ways, reading different apporaches and symbolisms, meanings.

Here below is the link to a pdf (so if you click on it you can read the book) entitled

“The Chinese Heart in a cognitive perspective” Culture, Body, and Language” by Ning Yu


Here, an interesting insight into Daoist  approach:

From the Daoist classic, Contemplations by the Huainan Masters (Huainanzi) , ca. 110 B.C.:

The heart is the ruler of the five organ networks. It commands the movements of the four extremities, it circulates the qi and the blood, it roams the realms of the material and the immaterial, and it is in tune with the gateways of every action. Therefore, coveting to govern the flow of energy on earth without possessing a heart would be like aspiring to tune gongs and drums without ears, or like trying to read a piece of fancy literature without eyes. (source: www.itmonline.org/5organs/heart.htm )

Clenching my thirst, I shall attempt to learn from my empty heart.

Thank you. I hope you found something of your interest.


ambra g. bergamasco © chokohma2014

Online One-to-one and group work starting the 3rd of November 2014

I have just finished setting up the one-to-one and group work online sessions.

If you feel on the monolithic side of things and longed for a space where you can be supported to return to a kaleidoscopic practical and pragmatic presence, then this is for you!

You don’t need to be an artist. You just have to be curious and like an embodied approach.

I will support you via skype and email providing exercises that stem from Butoh dance and my artistic experience.

You can read more about how it works clicking here and you can read both one-to-one sessions and group work.

When does it start: the 3rd of November

If you wish to partake send me an email: ambrabutoh@gmail.com

Hope to meet you!

Thank you


Carlotta Ikeda: dancing to another life

On the 24th of September Carlotta Ikeda left our world to continue dancing in wider planes of existence.

I have never met her personally though I had the chance to study with her dancers and recently I had the opportunity to invite Yumiko Yohsioka to Moving Bodies Butoh Festival, who besides being a fundamental artist in the Butoh realms, danced in Ikeda’s company in the 70s and 80s.

Ikdea was the first woman that brought Butoh dance outside Japan and created an all women dance company. Her artistic vision brought her work to be recognised in France, where she based her dance company Ariadone –http://ariadone.fr/

I chose these videos as a celebration  and commemoration of her work and my way to pay homage to her artistic vision.

Here you can read an interview http://www.themagdalenaproject.org/sites/default/files/OP6_CarlottaIkeda.pdf

Here I am. My home and what it is all about


I am finally home. This is my personal website. It is dedicated to what I do and to all things Butoh in Dublin, Ireland and the spin-offs that may emerge from my researches and artistic processes.

I am the director of Moving Bodies Butoh Festival – http://www.movingbodiesfestival.com – and I run classes at Dance Ireland/Dance House in Foley St. D1 every Thursday from 7 to 9 pm. You can follow me on twitter and facebook where I share ideas class content notifications and events on the wider Butoh Community.

I hope you will drop a line from time to time or come visit.

Thank you for you time and curiosity,

Autumns Blossomings to all


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