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BUTOH: notes by a beginner

Tags: butoh body social


Ezequiel D'León Masís

Butoh intrigues me as an exploratory via because it is not an entertainment dance and nor a theatrical art based on representation. I am not trying to say that entertainment and representation, per se, are "wrong". No. I start from what the Butoh is not, simply, to highlight its uniqueness.

From there, Butoh is a journey to the original seed of the aliveness and dead, the animate and the inanimate inside of oneself. Butoh -as a daily exploratory practice- necessarily is free about scripts. This last point is fundamental for me, because we gradually loose all need of rational control over the body. Consciousness observes the sentient being, beyond all egotistical biography.

Butoh, as practice, has been an opportunity to recover the right side of madness, the openness to go mad in the understanding of certain essential guidelines, because the boundaries of Butoh are just the mere limits of our body-mind- spirit. There is a madness that integrates us in the body (dreambody). We lose ourselves if we do not listen to these boundaries in the appropriate time, but even if we lose ourselves on it, there is a new challenge to reinvent ourselves.

The Judeo-Christian culture gave us the certainty that freedom without social justice is not possible, that is very essential truth, but it limited us to imaginations of guilty corporeality. We're not going to erase them in a minute. Butoh, actually, is not a therapy either. Also certain Buddhism does its so much against the body from guilt.

Butoh was born just after when the human being demonstrated his potential of excessive atrocity: the nuclear atomic bombs on Japan. The bombs are the ones that divided the history, not Jesus.     

Anyway, the body expresses itself, it goes out, it gives a silent leap to the black light of its own darkness or to the diaphanous light of its saved memories. We only inhabit archetypal bodies, we come to their forms temporarily as intruders sometimes and, others times, as vital incarnations in becoming steps and flows. Then in their precise organic moment we uninhabited them. We are no longer who we thought we were, our consciousness is amplified. The ways to look the world is open to multiplicity of sensations. Instead of taking a party or posture: we can find the beauty of the contradiction itself, embrace it as a human condition.

After practicing sitting meditation (zazen) for some years, I began to understand that everything repressed emerges in the body and an urgency was raised: to stop judging or classify what is inside of me... and I went seriously asking to myself what the hell I could do with the psychic contents that move in my interior, even more those that do not even have a name?

The resonances move in my belly, in my face, in my organs. Butoh allows me to take them off, detach myself from the personality of the ego by instances and manage them in a kind of multidimensional network, certain interstices with aesthetic features that often lead me to a trance experience, safe for me and also for other people who practice.

The lower part of the body has its own list of emergencies: we defecate, we urinate, we have a genital creative load, we walk, we kick, we run. The upper part holds emotional centers and the head itself is mounted on it.

Language makes us experience the tragedy of separateness: duality. "Who says bad, is creating well, who says good, is creating bad," says Joka Daishi. Butoh seems to invite us to immerse the occult by the dual egoistic personality and launch ourselves to travel inward, observing the corporal path of our animality, creating real peace with the kindness of our compassionate humanity, along with animal aggressiveness, the passivity of vegetable or the infinite fungal geometry.

Butoh has taken me to three key ports, so far:

1. I am able to see, assume and manage my animality.
2. I am conscious on the transcendent aesthetics of pain and terror towards sacred areas (ancestors).
3. To find a lot of harmony of having the entrance to the multidimensional mood, the habitable sub-bodies, the open niches of any imaginary world, to let go of the visited habitats and to be able to return, once again, to the everyday life of conventional social life, yes, that which is there, as another illusion, the illusion of the incipient social consensus, perhaps another sub-body.

Fotos: by Martha Adilia Pérez and Zen Roiz. 2017.

This post first appeared on SALMAGUNDI, please read the originial post: here

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BUTOH: notes by a beginner


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