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Yoshito Ohno, outstanding artist and heir of the philosophy and methodology of butoh dance founders, will visit Poland in November as part of the project Japońscy mistrzowie butoh ? prezentacje [Japanese butoh masters ? presentations]. Yoshito Ohno will perform in Warsaw, Cracow and Poznań, presenting his solo piece Flower and Bird. Butoh ? the Way of Life. Accompanying events include an exhibition of photographs, and workshops with Yoshito Ohno. The project is organised under the honorary patronage of the Japanese Embassy in Poland.


 The cycle Japońscy mistrzowie butoh ? prezentacje [Japanese butoh masters ? presentations] is a unique opportunity for those looking for intriguing phenomena in culture and art. In this case, the one in question is butoh, a counter-cultural dance form founded in the 1950s in the post-war Japan, at a time when traditional values crumbled and social problems exacerbated. This new type of stage movement, unclassified until today, was born as a result of a resistance to the traditional theatre and dance forms and the newly imported Western trends. Established by Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1985) and Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010!), two divergent personalities who used inspiring or provocative methods to inspire their students to reach complete unity of their bodies, minds, and souls, butoh?s specific aesthetic, combined with the lack of linear narration and its minimalist yet strongly expressive form makes it a unique experience. When the then 74-year-old Kazuo Ohno went on a worldwide tour in 1980, performing at the festivals in Nancy, London, Paris, and Strasbourg, he introduced the Western world to the new genre which won over the audiences and inspired such artists as Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor or Pina Bausch.


Butoh has been at the heart of our foundation?s activity for years. Last year, thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and in cooperation with the Institute of Music and Dance, we published a book ?Świat butoh Kazuo Ohno? [Kazuo Ohno?s world of butoh], and our present project ?Japońscy mistrzowie butoh? [The Japanese masters of butoh] includes visits from source artists, i.e. those worked with the founders of the genre. In July, we held workshops with Yukio Waguri, Tatsumi Hijikata?s lead actor; at present, we are hosting 77-year-old Yoshito Ohno, the heir of their philosophy. Yoshito Ohno returns to Poland after 21 years, 5 years since the death of his father, with whom he appeared in ?Nenufary? [Water Lilies] at the 1st edition of the International Meeting of Live Arts ?Crossroads?, says Anita Zdrojewska, president of the Pompka Foundation and organizer of the events. 


November ? calendar of events




– 4 November, 8:30 p, Galeria Studio ? vernissage of the exhibition Butoh u źródeł [Butoh at its source], presenting photographs of artists, including archive materials by such outstanding Japanese photographers as Eikoh Hosoe, Nobuyoshi Araki or Naoya Ikegami, as well as fragments of comments from butoh masters and video excerpts from performances. The exhibition will be on display for a month.


5 November, 6:30 pm, Studio Theatre ? Yoshito Ohno will prezent his four-sequence performance Flower and Bird. Butoh ? the Way of Life, choreographed by master Hijikata. The piece is comprised of several scenes-images accompanied by atmospheric music; it also features the presentation of a 1960 video by Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe. The audience will not only witness the effect of many years? organic work and seek influence of butoh artists, but also undergo a profound emotional experience thanks to Yoshito Ohno?s specific aesthetic and uniquely expressive motion.


 – 7 & 8 November, 10- am ? butoh workshops with Yoshito Ohno (Galeria Studio)


The workshop is intended for everyone interested, both actors, performers, dancers and those with no previous experience in working with their bodies. Participants will seek inspiration within themselves and their external surroundings. Everyone will work individually, at their own pace and supervised by the master, to learn more about the body-mind-space relationship and the way to dance butoh ? their micro- and macrocosm. 

Detailed information on the workshops and application process is available at the organizer?s website and (soon) at our website, too.


–  8 November, 6 pm – meeting with Yoshito Ohno at the Museum of Asia and the Pacific ? continuation of last year?s discussion Butoh ? taniec japoński; czy na pewno? [Butoh ? (Is it indeed) a Japanese dance?]


Cracow ? Museum of Japanese Art and Technology Manggha

– 10 November, 5 pm ? butoh workshops with Yoshito Ohno

– 12 November, 7 pm ? presentation of Bird and Flower. Butoh ? The Way of Life


Poznań ? Studio Słodownia + 3 Old Brewery/Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk


– 14 November, 7 pm ? presentation of Bird and Flower. Butoh ? The Way of Life


Organiser: Pompka Foundation

Partners: Japan Foundation, Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk, Fundacja im. Takashimy, Galeria Studio, Muzeum Sztuki i Techniki Japońskiej Manggha, Muzeum Azji i Pacyfiku, Teatr Studio,

Media patrons: Japonia-online, Torii,





More information at and on the websites of event partners.

Additional information: Agnieszka Sałkowska, 22 849 17 71, 849 35 18


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