Exploring Japanese Avant-garde Art Through Butoh Dance

  • Course provided by Future Learn
  • Study type: Online
  • Starts: Anytime
  • Price: Free
Future Learn

Course Description

Get an introduction to the key concepts of Japanese avant-garde art

Butoh dance is practiced and researched globally, but the work of its founder, Hijikata Tatsumi, is relatively unknown. This is in part because archival materials necessary to learning about Hijikata’s butoh are not widely disseminated.

This online course will make use of a wide range of archival materials in order to introduce Hijikata’s butoh within the context of Japanese and international post-war art and culture.

In doing so, it will both deepen the global understanding of butoh and explore innovative methods for dance education.

Explore Keio University’s Japanese language FutureLearn courses here.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - Towards Butoh: Experimentation - Hijikata’s work from the late 1950s to late 1960s, introducing key works like “Forbidden Colours” (1959) and “Revolt of the Flesh” (1968). - The Tokyo Experimental art scene of the 1960s and the influence of Western thinking and art on Hijikata’s work.

Week 2 - Dancing Butoh: Embodiment - Hijikata’s work from the early to mid 1970s, through the series of performances “27 Nights for Four Seasons” (1972), and a handful of works that followed. - Hijikata’s relationship to his hometown Akita in terms of Japanese traditional arts and Eastern body theories.

Week 3 - Behind Butoh: Creation - Works from the late 1970s like “Costume in Front” and “Human Form” (both 1976) to explore the choreographic method and notation behind Hijikata’s butoh.

Week 4 - Expanding Butoh: Globalisation - The spread of butoh abroad from the late 1970s onwards through a number of key festivals, such as “MA: Espace-Temps du Japon” (Paris, 1977) and the first international “Butoh Festival” (Berlin, 1985) and invited foreign researchers’ dialogues, such as Sylviane Pages and Katje Centonze.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at any individual with an interest in Japanese culture and art, the experimental arts, and the performing arts, but it is principally directed towards undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and practicing artists.

The course also aims to be useful for educators wishing to deliver lectures and courses on butoh.

The Educators/Hosts will facilitate this course for about three times a year. Our next facilitation period will be announced soon. While the Educators themselves aren’t available to facilitate this run, we encourage you to engage with other learners and there are opportunities to do this throughout the course.

Who developed the course?

Keio University

Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

  • Established

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021