Seattle Butoh Festival 2023




Seattle-based collective group for butoh

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Photograph by Briana Jones.


November 17 – 19, 2023

YAW Theater, 
6520 5th Ave S, Seattle 98108

Workshops & performances by 

  • Shinichi Iova-Koga (SF/USA)
  • Julie Becton Gillum (NC/USA)
  • DAIPANbutoh Collective members

Performances: November 17, 18, 19: 8 pm

Workshops: November 18 & 19: 11-4 pm

Shinichi Iova-Koga

Shinichi Iova-Koga serves as the Artistic Director of the physical theater and dance company inkBoat, founded by Shinichi in 1998.  He has toured in North America, Europe, South Korea, and Japan, often collaborating with local artists in museums, theaters, studios, and site-specific locations. He is  the editor of the book “95 Rituals,” a tribute to Anna Halprin, and a contributing writer to “The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance.” He is featured in the book “Butoh America.” Shinichi teaches annually at ImpulsTanz in Vienna. He has served as a full-time core faculty member of the MFA Dance program at Mills College in Oakland, California, from 2009 to 2017. He has taught Composition in the Arts for MFA students at UC Davis in 2014 and 2022. He has taught workshops at Bath University (U.K.), UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, SF State University, Stanford University, Experimental Theater Wing at NYU/Tisch, Texas Women’s University and others. He co-teaches the workshop “Dance on Land” and multi-month workshops with his wife Dana Iova-Koga. 

Deconstruct the Darkness Workshop Saturday, 11/18: 11-4 pm

Becoming air, ocean, cloud, mountain… manifests uniquely for each individual, arising from the ground that nourishes the dance. The culture and training of each individual infuses Butoh dance with vital new perspectives and flavors. Digging into self-formation ripens the dancer’s transformation process. Physical precision combines with imagistic prompts. Dance through unreasonable terrains. Suspend time. Complex and nuanced forces shape the momentary gesture, the pathway of the eyes. Exercises develop energy-efficient motion and connectivity to build clarity and stability. With this foundation, enter the chaotic stream of life. Become wild. Let go. Enter an unknown world. Build the strength to allow weakness. Dance belongs to mystery.

photo by Vanya Polunin

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Julie Becton Gillum

Julie Becton Gillum, artistic director of the Asheville Butoh Festival (14 years running), has been creating, performing, and teaching dance in the US, Europe, Asia and Mexico for over 40 years. Since 2019 she has been active in Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, Greece, India and other areas in Europe. Julie has received numerous grants and awards for her choreography. She was awarded the 2008-09 NC Choreography Fellowship and used the funds to travel to Japan to study butoh, her primary form of artistic expression. Julie’s work has been influenced by extensive study with mentors: Mari Osanai, Diego Pinon, Natsu Nakajima, Anzu Furakawa, Yoshito Ohno and Seisaku.

Butoh Workshop  

Sunday, 11/19: 11-4 pm

Gillum’s intention is to introduce Noguchi Taiso as a warm-up and perfect companion to butoh. Both butoh and Noguchi Taiso developed in post-World War ll Japan during the 1950’s and ’60’s. Noguchi Taiso is slow and gentle, great for all bodies. Noguchi Taiso supports all movement possibilities by building a strong rooted core connected to gravity and responsive to both internal and external forces. The Noguchi water body is prepared to move from its most neutral place, in the most natural way, toward the most abstract, precarious, or specific directions possible. Noguchi Taiso has been adopted by many butoh, dance and theatre practitioners in Japan especially for its ability to empty the body of various learned, superficial, and culturally derived patterns of behavior, making it more transparent, aligning it with the more universal forces that are at play.