butoh (舞踏) (butoh is a style of Japanese modern dance featuring dancers covered in white body paint.)

fu (舞踏譜) (fu means“notation” in Japanese)

After Second World War Japan experienced change at a rate unlike that ever seen before in world history. It embraced massive industrialisation and Westernisation.
Japanese Loss of Identity

At its heart, Butoh aims to reveal the unconscious inner world of the performer, stripped of his or her social mask, striving to reach its audience at gut level.
Connection to the audience’s feelings

The traditional image of a Butoh performer is of a white painted figure wearing a g-string, with a contorted and grotesque face and body, head shaved and eyes rolled up. Uncontrollable convulsions are juxtaposed with incredible isolation in all parts of the body and sublime stillness.
The performer’s description

Obfuscation describes the movement.


  • provocative
  • shocking
  • spectacle
  • erotic
  • grotesque: comically or repulsively ugly or distorted.
  • violent
  • primal: relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; primaeval.
  • visceral: relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.
  • physical
  • spiritual
  • meditative
  • cosmic: relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth.
  • nihilistic: rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless.
  • cathartic: providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.
  • mysterious
  • animalistic


Context influences the art form.


Mark Hill’s


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