Butoh, Dance and Inner Inquiry – Body as Laboratory
with Dominique Savitri Bonarjee
IN PERSON: 29/30 October 2022 – Colet House, London
10.30 – 18.30 each day
Top Studio @ Colet House
This weekend workshop is an introduction to Butoh dance as a physical and spiritual inquiry. Dominique’s approach is syncretic, and she weaves together numerous strands from wisdom traditions of the Dao, Buddhism and Sufism, while nurturing her deep engagement and research into Butoh dance, in dialogue with a hybrid artistic practice.
These two days will be an intensive introduction to methods, questions, experiments with many opportunities to dance. It’s an ideal way to dive into the practice for those who wish to follow the weekly classes at Colet House, and it also provides a revision for those who have already attended the previous series. The workshop is also a great way to experience a first taste of butoh and explore what embodied thinking and research is all about. Dominique’s dance techniques invoke a ‘listening body’ as a body attuned to being danced by the unknown entities that move through/with/in each of us. To help participants to develop these qualities of listening, she will compose live improvised music as accompaniment for some of the dancing sessions.
We will work with mantra, breath, the biomechanics of gravity and lightness, employing drawing, imagery and Butoh-fu poetic choreography and word-spells to explore visceral response. Each day will start with a warm up based in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and/or Yoga Asana, followed by exercises in pairs or/and groups, and choreographic work in the afternoon.
Dominique Savitri Bonarjee is an artist and a perpetual seeker. Her art practice is the field for her endless curiosity through passionate inquiry. Coming from a diverse spiritual and cultural background, she has always favored hybridity and mutation over categories and identification, convinced that aliveness is to swim in the thick time of wonder.
She lived in Japan between 2012 – 2015 where she researched the postwar origins of butoh dance. She received direct transmissions of this knowledge through her close work with seminal artists such as Ko Murobushi, Masaki Iwana, Natsu Nakajima and Yoshito Ohno. Her book in which she recounts this journey, Butoh: Dust and Time’s Body is currently under contract and will be published in the near future. She is a doctoral researcher in art at Goldsmiths University and is a graduating Tai Chi instructor in the Wudang lineage.
Dominique Savitri Bonarjee
Dominique Savitri Bonarjee is an artist and dance researcher. Through her practice and artworks, she engages with methods of listening to more-than-human forms of knowledge.
Between 2012-2015 Dominique lived in Japan where she pursued an oral-research project into Japanese Butoh dance, interviewing, learning from, and dancing with, a great number of teachers, including Ko Murobushi, Masaki Iwana, Natsu Nakajima and Yoshito Ohno.
Her book, recounting this journey of embodied research, will be published by Routledge in 2022. She is a doctoral researcher in the Art Department at Goldsmiths University of London and is currently training to become a Tai-ch’i and Qi-Gong instructor in the Wudang style.
10.30 – 18.00 both days
This is a workshop, open to all levels. It’s not necessary to have previous butoh experience.
Please wear loose and comfortable clothing, bring thick socks and a packed lunch.
Price for both days:
£ 120 (students / concessions) / £ 150
Price for one day:
£ 70 (students) / £ 80 normal