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Article from LfEst Républicain (issued on 19. November 2007)

IF I WAS TAUGHT BUTOH

Seven hours of Japanese contemporary dance were in the schedule of the workshop given by the master Atsushi Takenouchi.  

« You feel like a very old elephant ». With an english – and an accent – sounding rough but efficient, the master Atsushi Takenouchi is giving the indications. Immediately, the trainees are bending their back and slowly lifting their legs and arms.

The scene, coming as a surprise, is taking place in a room in the MJC Trois-Maisons, where a butoh dance session was organized yesterday.

The initiative was taken by Bruno Salvador of the association Collaps Art, who is unbeatable in this Japanese discipline, born fifty years ago, « in response to the extreme codification of arts ».

A 35-year twinning

Butoh –literal meaning is dance of the step– « is not a formal dance », emphasizes the specialist. « It is based on breathing work, feelings, sensations, emotions. You go through an inner trip ».

The workshop is a success. There are about 20 participants of all age, mainly women. The master, slim and limber, with a long ponytail beating his back, is unwinding the instructions, all of them images that the dance learners make their own to move their bodies.

In fact, butoh is structured improvisation. « It enables to find onefs body again », emphasizes Bruno Salvador.

Atsushi Takenouchi is meeting the representatives of the international relations service of the city this morning. In 2008, we will  blow out 35 candles to celebrate the wedding uniting Nancy and Kanasawa. This day is the occasion to invite the choreographer to show his art.

Atsushi Takenouchi, 45 years old, worked in particular with the son of butoh originator Kazuo Ono, who was invited for the International Theatre Festival in Nancy, it was... already a few years ago.

Caption under the photograh : Atsushi Takenouchi (on the right) will certainly come back next year.

V.R. vrichard@estrepublicain.fr

Translated by Nelly Pairon