The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance provides a comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the global art form butoh.

Originating in Japan in the 1960s, butoh was a major innovation in twentieth century dance and performance, and it continues to shape-shift around the world. Taking inspiration from the Japanese avant-garde, Surrealism, Happenings, and authors such as Genet and Artaud, its influence can be seen throughout contemporary performing arts, music, and visual art practices.

This Companion places the form in historical context, documents its development in Japan and its spread around the world, and brings together the theory and the practice of this compelling dance. The interdisciplinarity evident in the volume reflects the depth and the breadth of butoh, and the editors bring specially commissioned essays by leading scholars and dancers together with translations of important early texts.

chapter |22 pages


Dance experience, dance of darkness, global butoh: the evolution of a new dance form
ByBruce Baird, Rosemary Candelario

section 1|155 pages

Butoh instigators and interlocutors

chapter 1|12 pages

On the Eve of the Birth of Ankoku Butoh

Postwar Japanese modern dance and Ohno Kazuo
ByKuniyoshi Kazuko, Bruce Baird

chapter 2|15 pages

From Vodou to Butoh

Hijikata Tatsumi, Katherine Dunham, and the trans-Pacific remaking of blackness
ByArimitsu Michio

chapter 3|2 pages

Contemporary Nightmare

An avant-garde dance group dances Forbidden Colors
ByMishima Yukio, Bruce Baird

chapter 4|2 pages

The Relationship between Avant-Garde Dance and Things

ByMishima Yukio, Bruce Baird

chapter 6|7 pages

À la Maison de Shibusawa

The draconian aspects of Hijikata’s butoh
ByRobert Ono

chapter 7|1 pages

Hijikata Tatsumi

Burnt offering dancer
ByShibusawa Tatsuhiko, Robert Ono

chapter 8|2 pages

A Certain Kind of Energy

Dancing modern anxiety
ByShibusawa Tatsuhiko, Robert Ono

chapter 9|4 pages

Butoh and Taboo

ByGunji Masakatsu, Jane Traynor

chapter 11|7 pages

The Problematics of Butoh and the Essentialist Trap

ByWilliam Marotti

chapter 12|14 pages

Returns and Repetitions

Hijikata Tatsumi’s choreographic practice as a critical gesture of temporalization
BySara Jansen

chapter 13|13 pages

Ohno Kazuo

Biography and methods of movement creation 1
ByLucia Schwellinger, Charlotte Marr, Rosemary Candelario

chapter 14|11 pages

What we Know and what we Want to Know

A roundtable on butoh and neuer Tanz
ByKate Elswit, Miyagawa Mariko, Eiko Otake, Tara Rodman

chapter 15|5 pages

Oikawa Hironobu

Bringing Decroux and Artaud into Japanese dance practices
ByYoshida Yukihiko, Bruce Baird

chapter 16|8 pages

Foundations and Filiations

The legacy of Artaud in Hijikata Tatsumi
BySamantha Marenzi

chapter 18|13 pages

Bodies at the Threshold of the Visible

Photographic butoh
ByJonathan W. Marshall

chapter 19|7 pages

The Book of Butoh; The Book of the Dead

ByUno Kuniichi, Bruce Baird

section 2|64 pages

The second generation

chapter 20|11 pages

“Open Butoh”: Dairakudakan and Maro Akaji

ByTomoe Aihara, Robert Ono

chapter 21|11 pages

Growing New Life

Kasai Akira’s butoh
ByMegan V. Nicely

chapter 22|11 pages

Light as Dust, Hard as Steel, Fluid as Snake Saliva

The Butoh Body of Ashikawa Yoko

chapter 23|12 pages

The Expanding Universe of Butoh

The challenge of Bishop Yamada in Hoppo Butoh-ha and Shiokubi (1975)
ByKosuge Hayato

chapter 24|11 pages

Murobushi Kō and his Challenge to Butoh

ByKatja Centonze

chapter 25|6 pages

Oscillation and Regeneration

The temporal aesthetics of Sankai Juku
ByIwaki Kyoko

section 3|115 pages

New sites for butoh

chapter 26|9 pages

“Now we have a Passport”

Global and local butoh
ByRosemary Candelario

chapter 27|8 pages

A History of French Fascination with Butoh

BySylviane Pagès, Sherwood Chen

chapter 28|14 pages

The Concept of Butoh in Italy

From Ohno Kazuo to Kasai Akira
ByMaria Pia D’Orazi

chapter 29|9 pages

German Butoh since the Late 1980s

Tadashi Endo, Yumiko Yoshioka, and Minako Seki
ByRosa van Hensbergen

chapter 31|9 pages

Butoh in Brazil

Historical context and political reenactment
ByChristine Greiner

chapter 32|10 pages

A Sun more Alive

Butoh in Mexico
ByGustavo Emilio Rosales, Jordan A. Y. Smith

chapter 33|12 pages

Global Butoh as Experienced in San Francisco

ByBrechin Flournoy

chapter 34|12 pages

LEIMAY, Cave, and the New York Butoh Festival

ByXimena Garnica

chapter 35|6 pages

Iraqi Bodies’ The Baldheaded

“Butoh”-inspired Iraqi contemporary performance
ByJ Dellecave

chapter 36|15 pages

“We Need to Keep One Eye Open …”

Approaching butoh at sites of personal and cultural resistance
ByJeremy Neideck

section 4|48 pages

Politics, gender, identity

chapter 37|10 pages

Butoh’s Genders

Men in dresses and girl-like women
ByKatherine Mezur

chapter 38|10 pages

Death Rituals and Survival Acts

Hata Kanoko’s “butoh action” and alternative inter-Asian transnationalism
ByChiayi Seetoo

chapter 39|7 pages

When the “Revolt of the Flesh” Becomes Political Protest

The nomadic tactics of butoh-inspired interventions
ByCarla Melo

chapter 40|11 pages

Butoh beyond the Body

An interview with Shakina Nayfack on transition, evolution, and the spirit at war
ByJacquelyn Marie Shannon

chapter 41|8 pages

Critical Butoh and the Colonial Matrix of Power

ByMiki Seifert

section 5|74 pages

Pedagogy and practice

chapter 43|8 pages

Butoh Pedagogy in Historical and Contemporary Practice

ByTanya Calamoneri

chapter 44|11 pages

Waguri Yukio’s Butoh Kaden

Taking stock of Hijikata’s butoh notation
ByRosa van Hensbergen

chapter 45|10 pages

A Flower of Butoh

My daily dance with Ohno Kazuo (1995–2012)
ByMaureen Momo Freehill

chapter 46|4 pages

On and through the Butoh Body

ByKatherine Adamenko

chapter 47|5 pages

My Dairakudakan Experience

ByJulia A. Vessey

chapter 48|8 pages

Butoh as an Approach to Performance in South Africa

Byjackï job

chapter 49|17 pages

Wrecking Butoh

Dancing poetic shores
ByBronwyn Preece

section 6|58 pages

Beyond butoh

chapter 50|8 pages

Tanaka Min

The dance of life
ByZack Fuller

chapter 51|12 pages

Body Weather Laboratory Los Angeles

An interview with Roxanne Steinberg and Oguri
ByJoyce Lu

chapter 52|7 pages

The Cinematic Forms of Butoh Films

ByAaron Kerner

chapter 53|9 pages

Locus Solus – Locus Fracta

Butoh dance as protocol for visual self-representation
ByLucile Druet

chapter 54|6 pages

Ohno Kazuo’s Lessons for a French Choreographer

Ô Senseï by Catherine Diverrès
ByMiyagawa Mariko

chapter 55|8 pages

Michael Sakamoto and the Breaks

Revolt of the head (MuNK remix)
ByMichael Sakamoto

chapter 56|6 pages

Burn Butoh, Start Again

ByShinichi Iova-Koga