Julie in Japan

I just received the 2008-09 NC Choreography Fellowship and will be going to Japan June 16 – September 15 to study butoh. At the present I am arranging housing.  I am planning to stay in Yokohama near Kazuo Ohno’s studio where I will be studying 3 days a week.  I have also been in touch with  Akaji Maru (director of Dairakudakan) and Semimaru (director of Sankai Juku) and plan to take their workshops in August.  Natsu Nakajima worked with Hijikata during the early years of butoh and is still an active force in the world of international butoh. I  have connected with her and arranged to study in Tokyo.

I am so excited and a little nervous about my impending visit to Japan. I know it will be a time of personal growth for me as an artist. Though I have been studying Japanese, the language is quite difficult; I am an old dog and it is hard to learn a new trick.

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About Julie

The Asheville Butoh Festival is directed by the Asheville area butoh dancer, choreographer, and teacher Julie Becton Gillum. As founder of three modern dance companies, and ultimately Legacy Butoh, Gillum has been creating, performing and teaching dance in the US, France, Cuba and Mexico for over 40 years. Gillum’s primary form of artistic expression has become butoh, which she has been practicing, performing, and teaching since 1998. She has created and presented major pieces in the genre at a variety of venues in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Mexico. Gillum was awarded the prestigious 2009 Choreography Fellowship by the North Carolina Arts Council, which enabled her to travel to Japan to study with renowned butoh masters Yoshito Ohno, Natsu Nakajima, Akaji Maru, and Seisaku.