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At the turn of August and September 2017, the Pompka Foundation/ButohSfera will present a series of events featuring the Japanese artist Takao Kawaguchi. On 28 August (7 pm), the artist will take to the stage at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, where he will perform his piece About Kazuo Ohno. This exciting experiment takes the audience back in time and space. Takao Kawaguchi impersonates a ghost to deliver a 1:1 copy of an iconic butoh figure, Kazuo Ohno. Is this possible? As a result of the experiment, the two artists enter in an exciting dialogue between the past and the present, modern-day confusion and traditional wisdom.


Kawaguchi will also hold workshops (31 August ? 1 September), whose participants will watch several of Ohno?s pieces and will try to imitate his dance. Candidates may apply by 14 August 2017.


About the piece:

How can something as transient as performance be transmitted and archived? How can it be saved from oblivion? How does it change in the process of transmission? This exciting experiment by Takao Kawaguchi takes us back in time and space.

This project has haunted me since I learned of its existence. For years, I have been trying to showcase second generation butoh artists, hoping to at least get a glimpse of its foundations,  says Anita Zdrojewska, the organiser of the event. I saw the screening of the Kyoto performance, and I am sure the Warsaw show will be a tremendous experience, she adds.


The beginning was surprising: I was suddenly struck with the thought: I want to become Kazuo Ohno, recounts Takao Kawaguchi, an uncompromising performer, known from his experiments with Dumb Type (1996-2008) and a number of individual artistic projects.


The performance uses excerpts from the following pieces:

The Portrait of Mr. O., (1969, film by Chiaki Nagano)

La Argentina (1977, Ra Aruchenchiina Sho): scenes: Divinariana and  Daily pabulum

My Mother (1981, Watashi no okasan): scenes: Embryo;s dream,  ?Dream of love?, tango scene and Chopin?s music

Dead scene, Viennese waltz and ghosts (1985, Shikai, uinna warutsu to yurei, Geneve): scenes Ghost i Mass.


The piece has been presented in Belgium, Spain, Portugal, France, the United States, Australia and Indonesia (Jakarta). On his way to German and Brazil, the artist will present the piece in Poland, in Warsaw and Cracow (6 September, Manggha Museum).


Organiser: Pompka Foundation, ButohSfera

choreography: Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata

dance: Takao Kawaguchi

dramaturgy, stage design and sound: Naoto Iina

costumes: Kitamura Noriko

lighting: Toshio Mizohata

person in the video materials: Yoshito Ohno

archival materials courtesy of Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio and Dance Archive Network

Produced by: Toshio Mizohata


About the artist:




PLN 70 ? full price

PLN 50 ? reduced


About the workshops:


The Pompka Foundation/ButohSfera is pleased to invite to butoh ? body sculpting workshops, during which participants will take part in creating Takao Kawaguchi?s performance About Kazuo Ohno. Is transformation possible? One of legendary butoh dancers, Kazuo Ohno, enchanted the world with his dance. What was his secret?

In the course of the workshops, participants will watch excerpts from several pieces by Kazuo Ohno and will try to emulate his dance. They will observe from up close the minute spaces that ? thanks to minimal (conscious or unconscious) moves and through delicate transfer of balance ? appear and disappear in his body and around him.

Apart from the screen, participants will be able to use eight portable video players (if possible, participants should bring their own players, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.). Based on close observation, participants will take notes and make drawings.


More information




Butoh is a counter-cultural dance form founded in the 1950s in the post-war Japan by Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010!) and Tatsumi Hijikata (1928-1986), two radically different personalities, whose disparate, inspiring and provocative methods were designed to aid students in achieving complete unity of the body, spirit, and mind. According to the originators of butoh, it is only through such state that one is capable of divest oneself of their social and cultural constraints, with their liberated body becoming a medium of a truly universal, pure message.

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