The first-ever theater exclusively dedicated to Butoh just opened last July 7, 2016 in Kyoto! It is known as the Kyoto Butoh-kan which allows a unique form of Japanese dance theater to be gradually known around the world. It has been planned by Art Complex in order to give people the chance to encounter the rich world of Butoh with all the illustrated sentiments, intonations, premonitions, and affections of the performance.
Butoh is a form of Japanese dance theater which showcases varying degrees of dance movements deemed strange by some people. It is considered more popular abroad than it is in its home country due to its distinct modern dance movements. Because of this, the Art Complex has started its Butoh-kan Project with the aim of increasing the chance for people to watch Butoh in the country. The theater opened in Kyoto as it has long been considered historical and is also doing a lot of effort to boost tourism. This will provide tourists more information and access to the traditional theatrical dance within the country where only a few venues cater to such experience.
The Butoh performance is done in an earthenware storehouse which is quite an intimate venue as it only allows eight places (standing only) for a 50-minute show. This is surely the best way to experience Butoh where walls are made of handmade plaster allowing sounds to blend in with the dance. No wonder Kyoto has been considered the center of contemporary dance theaters. The performance is called “Hisoku” (a Japanese color) choreographed by Ima Tenko, a core member of one of the most acclaimed Butoh groups. Music is by Okaeri Shimai and lighting by Iwamura Genta.
After the grand performance last July 7, it has been performing every Thursdays thereafter at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Entry cost is 3,000 yen with student discount of 500 yen. Reservations are necessary as there are only limited seats. Also, take note that the performance contains nudity so you have to be sensible.
Come on down to Kyoto and appreciate the art of Butoh at this newly opened theater!