Kamakura

 

On Monday July 20, I went to Kamakura, which was the capital city of Japan between 1192 and 1333. It is a religious hub with 65 Buddhist temples and 19 Shinto shrines. We hiked from temple to shrine and saw many but not all of them. Ginger and I were guided by our new friend Hiromi who is charming and lots of fun. Continue reading “Kamakura”

Workshops and Classes

So far I have taken most of my classes with Yoshito Ohno and Natsu Nakajima. By meeting people in these workshops, I have found out about other classes and performances around Tokyo.  Even though I get most of my information via translations from bilingual students, I feel I am gaining some valuable information that I can work on for years. But I am sure much is lost because of the language barrier. Continue reading “Workshops and Classes”

Meeting Kazuo Ohno & Dinner With Yoshito

On Saturday night after class I was fortunate to visit Kazuo Ohno in his bed. He woke up when we came into his room, then dozed, then woke again while we were there. I held his beautiful hands and in my excitement blurted out many silly things . . . “honor to meet you. . . . waited for this moment for 12 years . . . thrilling to touch your lovely, expressive hands . . . so much admiration . . .  at this moment fulfilling the ultimate butoh dance . . . thankful to be a witness . . . fulfilling moment in my life . . . and so on.” I am sure he hears this all the time from so many admirers.  Meeting Kazuo Ohno, on his death bed was truly one of the top ten! Continue reading “Meeting Kazuo Ohno & Dinner With Yoshito”

Yoshito Ohno

After teaching class, Yoshito, son of butoh founder Kazuo Ohno, often dances with a puppet of Kazuo, to the music of Elvis. It is really a treat!

On Saturday night we danced a requiem for Pina Bausch, avant garde German choreographer and dear friend of the Ohnos, who died on Friday June 26. We danced about strength and delicacy to “Amazing Grace” and “Ave Maria.” There were students from Brazil, Thailand, Israel, Japan and the US. It was quite powerful!

Yoshito with Kazuo puppetKazuo has a generous and warm personality. Because he was in the first ankoku butoh performance when he was 14 he has been present for the entire history of the genre.  His classes are filled with quotes and stories about Hijikata and Kazuo.