Butoh and the Art of Slow

Presented by sonADA slowCooker Series
  • Workshop

Butoh and the Art of Slow by Marie-Gabrille Rotie & Imogene Newland

This two day workshop takes place on Saturday 16th April from 10am until 5pm and Sunday 17th April from 10am until 4pm.

It is a rare opportunity to work intensively alongside experienced Butoh practitioner Marie-Gabrielle Rotie and multidisciplinary artist Imogene Newland.

On completion of the workshop, participants are invited to perform in a public showing at Citymoves Dance Agency, Aberdeen, on Sunday 17th April at 16.30, however, this is not mandatory.

The focus will be on the creation of ensemble and solo material informed by Butoh, looking at how we can translate ideas into action through the ‘butoh paradigm’. Both improvisation and choreographic processes will be explored with a particular emphasis on the use of images, on scoring and on the delicious possibilities of slow motion and stillness with a particular sensitivity to time and space. It will explore the perceptual framework of slow motion and stillness to draw material from within, rather than from without, working towards an intensified ‘hyper-presence’. This use of slow motion and stillness invites a new level of embodied awareness through which the participant will be able to explore timeframes beyond the everyday.

Artist Statement

The workshop introduces the core philosophy and aesthetics of Butoh as established by the historical founders Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno and aims to clarify the original foundation of Butoh in both Japanese and European influences. The teaching methods reflect inherited Butoh techniques and communicate the original vision of Butoh. The writings of both Hijikata and Ohno are elucidated, and links through images and choreographic techniques are made to their respective choreographic works. Participants will learn how to cultivate a receptive and responsive performing body, a body that does not simply create dance but a body that itself becomes danced through a process of inner transformation. My teaching is founded in the principle that Butoh is a re-evaluation of the body, of movement and of what we understand of the mind/body connection. I am not interested in encouraging people to copy the Japanese historical butoh. My aim is for participants to discover their own dance. The techniques taught are to release and expand the body so that it is free to transform, evolve and become. If butoh is to evolve it cannot be a copy but a living flower that comes from the heart.ʼ (Marie-Gabrielle Rotie 2010)

What participants need for the workshop

The participants will be required to:

  • wear loose clothing
  • Personal objects with which to work (brought / found by individual participants)

Number of participants:

Up to 20 participants. The workshop is suitable for participants who have not worked with a Butoh practitioner before and will be of particular interest to dancers who have an interest in developing their choreographic and improvisatory skills, as well as those who would like to hone their expressive vocabulary in performance within the dramatic and contemporary arts. The workshop is suitable for those over 18 years of age, professional dancers, actors, dance students (and Visual Artists who have good general fitness and some movement experience such as yoga or martial arts).


Marie-Gabrielle ROTIE (choreographer, UK) creates interdisciplinary works, embracing the mediums of choreography, live-art performance, film, photo- graphy, installation and the site-specific.

Imogene NEWLAND (choreographer, Aberdeen, UK) is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer and creator of original contemporary performance.

More details and tickets are available from: http://slowcooker.sonada.org/workshop_unfinished.h...

*sonADA has a limited number of special free of charge tickets for each workshop. Please contact the workshop leaders for more information - participants can submit a short one-page application, which is available on http://slowcooker.sonada.org/index.html#rates


Butoh and the Art of Slow