Butoh is a Japanese modern improvisational dance form. It was created by Hijikata who launched a myriad of butoh lineages. Late in his career he created Hakutobo, an all-woman group centered around his mistress, Yoko Ashikawa, an artist, not a trained dancer.
Seattle is one of America's butoh centers because of the work of Joan Laage who studied with Ashikawa and performed in their second unit.
She, in turn, seeded new lineages into Seattle, Olympia, Portland and Krakow.
The result is the Seattle Butoh Festival and the DaiPan Butoh Collective.
The career of a ballet dancer usually ends in their 20's. For modern often 30's. Butoh is a little different, with the cofounder Kazuo Ohno performing outside Japan at age 93, and passing at 103, doing butoh in his wheelchair. Dancers can engage butoh at any age and exit at any age. An example is Doranne Crable, Evergreen College professor of dance and artistic director of Olympia's Kagami Butoh, who performed up to her passing.
The theme this year is the collaboration between Seattle and Olympia in butoh.
The Seattle Butoh Festival performances unfold with Mary Cutrera, Ivan Espinosa & Co, Helen Thorsen, Katrina Wolfe & Shoko Zama Friday, July 15 and Sheri Brown Dance , Mary Cutrera, Kaoru Okumura, Stephen Passero & Co Saturday, July 16. There is a free outdoor performance at Kubota Garden July 17, and an evening performance that evening by Beksiński Butoh with visitors from Poland.
The Seattle Butoh Festival www.daipanbutoh.com/seattle-butoh-festival/ and www.facebook.com/events/243603332663235/ has performances indoors at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center 4408 Delridge Way SW, and outdoors at Kubota Garden 9817 55th Avenue S.
At Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Friday and Saturday, 8PM $18
At Kubota Garden Sunday, Noon-3 Free
At Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, Sunday, 7PM Free