Discover Butoh at the Convent this spring with the inaugural ‘ButohOUT!’ Festival!
Presented by renowned Japanese Australian performance artist Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi, in partnership with the Abbotsford Convent Foundation (ACF) ‘ButohOUT!’ brings butoh, a Japanese theatre and dance form, into the context of Australia’s landscape, culture and history, through a series of workshops, performances and a public forum.
A series of workshops exploring themes of nature and landscape will be led by Yumi, acclaimed Asian Shamanistic Trance Dance practitioner Tony Yap and Javanese Court Dance performer and teacher Agung Gunawan (Indonesia). Workshop participants will be mentored by the artists to create original solo and group works to be presented during the public performance season. Children and families are also invited to explore Butoh through playful games like peek-a-boo and hide and seek, in a special free workshop with Yumi.
‘ButohOUT!’ culminates in an exciting performance season where a series of works by Yumi Umiumare, Tony Yap, Agung Gunawan and local guest artists Weave Movement Theatre will presented alongside brand new works devised during ‘ButohOUT!’ workshops.
‘ButohOUT!’ Festival Programs
- Six Week Workshop and Laboratory with Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yap: 27 February – 4 April 2018
- Children and Families Drop-in Workshop with Yumi Umiumare: 17 – 18 March 2018
- Weekend Intensive Workshop with Yumi Umiumare: 23 – 25 March 2018
- One Day Workshop with Agung Gunawan: 20 April 2018
- ‘ButohOUT!’ Performance Season and Public Forum: 12 – 22 April 2018
Open to experienced dancers, newcomers and children and families, ‘ButohOUT!’ programs present an exciting opportunity for audiences to learn from expert practitioners and experience this unique performing arts medium.
‘ButohOUT!’ marks anew partnership for the Abbotsford Convent Foundation. The Convent partners with other arts and cultural organisations, festivals and events to develop artistic practice, diversify our public programs, and create new conversations and thought-provoking experiences for everyone to enjoy at the Convent.
Butoh, originally called ‘Dance of Darkness’ was conceived in late 1950’s Japan, during the social turmoil after the Second World War. Butoh goes beyond the conﬁnes of speciﬁc cultures and aims for universal expression that touches the soul of humanity. It crosses the boundaries between dance and theatre, creating unique expressions between body and landscape.
"In Butoh, dance is connected to the forces that come from the centre of the earth and simply pass through the body. The dancer is not doing movement; the movement is coming through them.” – Akaji Maro (DaiRakudakan)
‘ButohOUT!’ will seek Australian Butoh aesthetics, to evoke art, beauty, and darkness, through the exploration of the Australian landscape using this distinctive art form.
Yumi Umiumare Born in Hyogo, Japan, Yumi is the only Japanese Butoh Dancer in Australia and the creator of original Butoh Cabaret works. Originally a member of the seminal Butoh Company DaiRakudakan in Tokyo, she came to Australia to perform at the Melbourne International Festival in 1991.Yumi has been creating and teaching her distinctive style of works over the last 20 years and her works have received critical acclaim and garnered her and her collaborators several Australian Green Room awards. Yumi’s works are renowned for provoking visceral emotions, cultural identities with humour and they have been seen in numerous festivals in dance, theatre and film productions throughout Australia, Japan, East and West Europe, New Zealand and South East Asia. Through her diverse skills and unique aesthetics as a choreographer, she has also extensively worked in socially engaged theatre productions with aboriginal communities, culturally diverse communities and ESL groups, women from the sex industry and also people who has recovered from gambling addictions. Yumi is a recipient of the fellowship from Australian Council (2015-16) for her PopUp Tearoom Series, and the recent winner of the Green Room Awards of Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for her contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Performance.
Takashi Takiguchi Originally from Japan, Takashi is a Melbourne-based dancer and producer who started his career at the age of thirty seven after encountering renowned Butoh performance artist, Yumi Umiumare.Since then, he has performed as a dancer at numerous festivals in Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia and Melbourne. He has been working as a qualified social worker for decades and re-discovered the power of arts as a medium to re-connect to inevitable and fundamental consciousness through artistic practices and activities. This has led him to work with Sampang Agung Centre for Performing Arts (SACPA) in East Java, Indonesia as an operational manager since 2016. He has been working as a crucial role as producer, bringing Japanese Butoh masters to Melbourne, including Seisaku and Yuri Nagaoka (2015) and Kan Katsura (2016). Recently Takashi co-produced performing arts festivals, ‘Pelem Festival’ (2016) in Indonesia, ‘Evocation of Butoh’ (2017) and ‘ButohOUT!’ (2018) in Melbourne. He has been also an artistic and operational collaborator of Melaka Art & Performance (MAP) Festival since 2015.
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To discuss arts and cultural programming and partnership opportunities, contact the ACF’s Producer, Chloe Weavers.
‘ButohOUT!’ Festival is proudly supported by the Abbotsford Convent. ‘ButohOUT!’ Festival would like to acknowledge the following festival partners and supporters:
Abbotsford Convent Foundation
City of Yarra
Multicultural Arts Victoria
Oasis: Creativity on the Fringe of the Desert
Tony Yap Company
Arts Access Victoria
The Oasis: Creativity on the Fringe of the Desert is a Small Town Transformations project. Small Town Transformations is a Victorian Government initiative, managed by Regional Arts Victoria.