The ‘ButohOUT!’ festival celebrates creative communities in Victoria and beyond through the profound performance art medium of Butoh. Originally called Dance of Darkness, Butoh was conceived in Japan in the late 1950s and early 1960s, 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.
ButohOUT! Festival 2019 ran from March – May, centreing on the theme Forbidden Laughter. Co-produced by Japanese-Australian artists Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi, ButohOUT! 2019 challenged the commonly held conception of Butoh as dark and grotesque, and asked: “Can the audience laugh at Butoh? Can we do comedy in Butoh?” ButohOUT! 2019 focused on surreal comedy from multi-disciplinary performance mediums including Butoh, Cabaret, Bouffon, Burlesque, Physical Theatre and visual installations.
Artistic director: Yumi Umiumare
Producer: Takashi Takiguchi
Dramaturg: Maude Davey
Visual artist: Pimpisa Tinpalit
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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Butoh Out 2019 was supported by Creative Victoria, WEAVE Movement Theatre, ImPermanence Productions and Auspicious Arts Projects Inc. The festival is presented in partnership with Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
Peek-A-Butoh was proudly supported by City of Yarra as part of the Abbotsford Convent’s Convent Kids program.