Asheville Butoh serves as the home of Legacy Butoh, a dance company founded by Julie Becton Gillum in 2005. The site aims to document the history of butoh in Asheville, NC and act as a resource for butoh enthusiasts worldwide.
Butoh History: Originating in post WWII Japan, Butoh dance is a postmodern movement in which formal dance technique is eschewed in favor of primal and idiosyncratic styles that transform the human body and allow raw mental energies to come into being. Butoh is one of the major developments in contemporary dance in the later half of the 20th century. It has revolutionized what dance is and can be. Butoh’s influence on today’s dance world equals that of Martha Graham or Merce Cunningham. Butoh is an attempt to create new forms of movement and expression. Butoh uses the body brazenly, in its most corporal state, as a battleground to attain personal, social, or political transformation. It searches for the dance that pushes buttons, steps on toes and slips between the cracks of definition in order to reveal the fervent beauty of the unique human spirit.
Bio Julie Becton Gillum: As founder of three modern dance companies and finally Legacy Butoh, Julie Gillum has been creating, performing and teaching dance in the US, France, Cuba and Mexico for over 40 years. She currently teaches modern dance, musical theatre, performance art and butoh at Warren Wilson College. 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 2008-09 NC Choreography Fellowship and intends to use the funds to go to Japan this summer to study butoh. She will posting weekly reports of her adventures in Japan here on the website. Check it out!