Butoh Mutations


Dance, non-duality, and Butoh in London with Dominique Savitri Bonarjee

RETURNS in september 2023

Top Studio @ Colet House

To vanish our humanity, to become unconsciousness

Butoh dancer Natsu Nakajima once told me:

“The most difficult thing to teach …is how to ‘be’, how to vanish humanity, social humanity. In Western dance, the dancers are already human beings… in our traditional Japanese dance, it is important to be unconsciousness, or the material body, the neutral body… This is the most difficult part to teach: ‘how to vanish humanity’.”

In this 10-week course we will learn to ‘vanish humanity and become unconsciousness’ through an ecopoetic dance notation. The body becomes a laboratory for the alchemical exploration of body material – its pliancy, metastability, hardness, lightness, breath, etc. These properties form the subject matter of a sensorial poetics that will prompt and guide improvisational work towards each developing solo pieces. This poetic approach is inspired by Butoh-fu choreography developed by butoh founder, Tatsumi Hijikata in the 1970s. We will cover the history of Butoh-fu and you will learn to write your own choreographic texts, which will form the basis of the performance event. On the final day of the course, Colet House will host a performance, open to an invited audience.

Each class begins with a warm-up adapted to the material to be covered in the session. From there we work on dance explorations and improvisations in solos, duets and as a group, including experimental vocalization/chant. As this is a dance class, there is physical contact involved. If you are not comfortable with this, please inform us in advance. 

Kirtan London with Šárka Elias at The Study Society

Dominique Savitri Bonarjee

Dominique Savitri Bonarjee is an artist and a dancer. Her practice focuses on ‘psychosomatic attunement’ as a form of deep listening to space, place, and time, to which she responds physically, materially, and sonically, creating hybrid living artworks. Her Art PhD research at Goldsmiths University engages with nonhuman knowing as a pluralistic and spiritual approach to knowledge.

Between 2012-2015 Dominique lived in Japan pursuing an oral-research project into Japanese Butoh dance. There she interviewed seminal dancers for her upcoming book to be published in 2023. Her principal teachers and mentors are the dancers Masaki Iwana, Ko Murobushi, Natsu Nakajima and Yoshito Ohno.

Dominique is a lifelong seeker in the path of nondual wisdom practices and her classes will often leak into spiritual matters. She is a yogi since childhood, a Sufi dervish in the making, and a qualified practitioner of Tai-ch’i and Qi-Gong in the Wudang lineage.



“Participating in Dominique’s Butoh course was a most rewarding experience. Her skilled and gentle guidance into explorations based on images and movements opened up in me areas and insights that were new to me and utterly fascinating – truly a deep and enjoyable learning experience. I very much hope that she will soon offer another course or a series of classes and workshops at Colet House.”

Klaus – bookseller – 69 years old – London

“For me, the whole experience cannot be easily described with words that how fascinating it is! The space where I could connect to my humble – self. The dance/movement is a kind of the deep listening that is not for expressing myself, it is to dissolve the ego and compromise with a sense of “self”.

A, London