Butoh College: 3 weeks of Workshops with Yumiko Yoshioka, Mizu Desierto & Minako Seki
In our 5th iteration of Portland’s esoteric, embodied & certifiably strange dance college, WITD is celebrating our decade anniversary through a series of immersive workshops that embrace our lineage (with Yumiko Yoshioka), delve into our ground (with Mizu Desierto) and elicit new and future currents (with Minako Seki).

Where: Water in the Desert // The Headwaters Theatre, Portland, Oregon, USA

When: April 2-26, 2020

Early Bird Registration Deadline is March 2nd

Please join us for 60 hours of imaginatively transformative dance training informed by a fiercely aqueous femme lens. We welcome this new decade in deep reverence for where we have come from and a renewed and creatively adaptogenic commitment to the next era of our collective journeys.

YUMIKO YOSHIOKA || April 2-5, 12pm-5pm
“There is a saying in China: “a hundred (different) flowers are in full bloom.” This understanding of every individual shining in their own unique beauty inspires my work. Butoh is an opportunity to cultivate the seed of care and consciousness that dwells within each of us.”

Belonging to a third generation of Butoh artists, Yumiko has developed a personal style of bodywork called Body Resonance, which integrates Butoh practice with features of Noguchi Taiso gymnastics and various other Asian training methods to help prepare the body to receive and transmit dance and inspirations. Body Resonance starts from the idea that the world, including our body and soul, consists of vibrational waves that create constant resonances like echoes. When we tune our body to that frequency, we receive images, feelings and sensations accordingly. For this to happen, we need first to shake off unnecessary tension. In effect, we make a white canvas of our body to paint new colour on it. I teach this as neutralization, encouraging a close-to-zero state, scouring off rust and polishing antenna to catch waves from profound layers of the body. The transformations and concentrations of dancing break up the eggshell of form. They melt down the armour of our ego, allowing resonant memories to emerge from our cells that are floating in the primal liquid of time.

Yumiko Yoshioka is a Japanese Butoh dancer and choreographer from Tokyo. Since 1988 she has been based in Germany. Yumiko is a former member of Ariadone, the first female Butoh company, which was founded by Ko Murobushi and Carlotta Ikeda in 1974. In 1978, she performed with Ko and Carolotta in Paris, LE DERNIER EDEN – PORTE DE L’AU-DELA, the very first Butoh performance to be presented in a public theatre outside Japan. In 1988 she met Minako Seki and delta RA’i in Berlin, with whom she founded tatoeba THÉÂTRE DANCE GROTESQUE. This experience, along with work with the Butoh dancer Kim-Itoh, encouraged Yumiko to start to unfold her own personal style of dancing and choreography. She has been teaching her own form of body work called “Body Resonance” since 1989.In 1994, she met JoaXhim Manger and Zam Jhonson. Together they founded TEN PEN CHii ART LABOR, an interdisciplinary and experimental art formation. Since 1995 she has set up various collaborative projects across Europe. These include: “eX…it!, a Butoh-Related eXchange Festival”, held at Schloss Broellin; Gest-Azione, with Annalisa Maggiani from Italy; and indigo fera art productions with Rena Konstantaki from Greece. Yumiko continues to pioneer Butoh installations and teach her methods internationally.

MIZU DESIERTO || April 16-19, 12pm-5pmMizu’s workshop space combines an imaginative somatic dance practice with elements of Butoh, Noguchi Taiso, Gaga, Contemplative dance and physical theatre practices. The work instigates deep states of embodiment, memory, and sensation–allowing movement to be sourced from a relaxed and generative state of presence and non-doing as well as a provocative edge of risk…constantly in dialogue between internal and external realities. Slowing down time into a microscopic awareness of one’s cells, tissues and organs, we are moved by bodies of water— contained by our own unique relationship to weight, gravity, fluidity, adaptivity and the planet we stand upon. Through the receptive body emerges a pathway of imagery and natural response between the unconscious, intuitive and elemental. This is the source from which we can create our own intelligent and healing movements in the world and on the stage. Open to movers of all bodies, all ages, and all abilities.

Mizu Desierto (They/Them) is an interdisciplinary artist and feminist farmer whose life = art research explores themes of gender fluidity, ancestry, social deviance, and radical creative living. They are the founder and director of Portland’s Water in the Desert, a hub of numerous projects, including: The Headwaters Theatre, Prior Day Farm & the annual festival that is Butoh College. They have been studying, performing and teaching inside of the Butoh methodology for 23 years with many mentors, including The Ohnos, The Tamanos, Natsu Nakajima, Yumiko Yoshioka and Yukio Waguri. They have also studied and worked with Anna Halprin, Diego Piñón, Delisa Myles, Suprapto Suryodarmo, Diane Butler and Barbara Dilley. More recently they have been studying with Mari Osanai in her particular approach to Noguchi Taiso for dancers which develops a fluid, soft, relaxed body & mind and increases internal/external sensitivity and receptivity for movement.

MINAKO SEKI || April 9-12, 12pm-5pm
“The intensity of a dance movement can be compared with the throwing of a stone. Once the movement has been initiated, its reverberations cannot be stopped.”

Minako calls her approach to dance ‘Dancing Between’, alluding that between two points there are many more. These points can be revealed to illuminate and ignite creativity, through new possibilities. These points emerge from the experience of the dancer, who can explore their different natures, from space to feelings, memories, objects, sounds, images or ideas. In her choreographic compositions, Minako establishes connections between these points, creating a unique cosmos. She facilitates intensive dance workshops worldwide, through a holistic program. She has lectured internationally in a number of universities such as Folkwang University in Essen, Justus Liebig Universität in Giessen, Germany, University of Andes in Chile, University of Vigo in Spain and Roehampton University in London. Minako Seki’s artistic approach can not be separated from her personal philosophy of living, which holistically combines meditation, vital cooking, ritual and Japanese detox treatments, with dance and choreography.

Minako Seki was born in Nagasaki, in Japan. She started her dance career in Tokyo with the Company Dance Love Machine, under the artistic direction of Tetsuro Tamura and Anzu Furukawa. In 1986 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, first Butoh Festival in Berlin, invited the company Dance Love Machine to perform in Europe and to participate in the festival ‘Die Rebellion des Körpers‘. The tour was intense and a great success. At its end, Minako decided to stay in Berlin. In 1987 she founded and co-directed the company “Tatoeba -Théâtre Danse Grotesque”, the first Butoh dance ensemble in Europe. The group explored the dormant potential of human beings. This has been a recurrent theme in Minako’s work and she has continued to investigate it in all her dance productions. Since 1987, Minako Seki has been working as a director and choreographer in increasingly interdisciplinary projects, such as her choreography for the opera “The Final Solution” by Peter Michael Hamel. She directed many performance groups, as for Showcase Beat le Mot and the group She She Pop. She founded her own company in 1996, developing her own fusion of contemporary dance and physical theater with the classic Butoh dance technique. In her pieces, Seki examines the communication amongst the conscious and subconscious and describes emotional states on the borders of reality and illusion. Her work has been showcased worldwide at major theater venues and festivals as well as garnered numerous prizes and awards.

Please register online on our website: https://www.witd.org/workshops/butoh-college-2020

Costs for participants: Starting at $350/week $1050/3 weeks

Please refer to our website for information and questions. Contact info@witd.org

For further information, please visit https://www.witd.org/

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