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Butoh Workshop with Gio Kusanagi

April 4, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am EDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00 am on Monday, repeating until May 23, 2016

Goo Kusanagi

CRS presents an 8-week drop-in Butoh workshop with visiting artist Gio Kusanagi. Gio Kusanagi studied Butoh (Japanese avant-garde dance) with Moe Yamamoto, Toru Iwashita, Kunisuke Kamiryo, Yoshito Ohno (son of Kazuo Ohno), Yukio Waguri, Seisaku & Yuri, Ko Muroboshi, and Kayo Mikami and a Butoh-inspired interpretive dance with Akira Kasai.

CRS has a long history of presenting Butoh performance and training. Butoh artists to teach at CRS in the past include Shinichi Momo Koga, Tanya Calamoneri, and Mariko Endo, among others.

The workshop will take place on Mondays from 1 – 2 pm from April 4 – May 23, 2016 and will cost $15/session. In conjunction with the workshop, Gio will present an evening of original dance performance with live music at CRS on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 8 pm.

In this workshop, Gio will introduce

  1. Kunisuke Kamiryo’s system of instilling the movement impetus within the body by using the sound of vowels, along with Akira Kasai’s spoken words visualization system;
  2. Yuri’s warming-up system of movements, along with basic Butoh walking taught by both Moe Yamamoto, Kayo Mikami, and Yoshito Ohno;
  3. concepts of “Shin (core),” “softness and hardiness,” “lightness and heaviness,” “eyes at the back,” and “movements from the heart,” taught by Yoshito Ohno;
  4. Selection of Butoh-fu with the active use of images that Gio learned from Yukio Waguri, Moe Yamamoto, and Seisaku, as he reorganizes the various Buto-fu through the Rudolf Laban’s four dimensions of efforts: (a) weight (light and heavy); (b) time (sudden and sustained); (c) space (direct focus and multifocus); (d) flow (bound flow and free flow).  Furthermore, Gio will introduce a technique to create a new Buto-fu on your own by translating a 2D image into 4D time-space-continuum.

The workshop will culminate with the last session in which participants will be encouraged to create their own Buto-fu and informally share each other’s original Butoh dance.

The purpose of this workshop is not to expose the participants to the entire scope of Butoh. Rather, the workshop is designed to provide the participants with the opportunity to experience some of the essential elements of Butoh and thus allowing them to have an insight on how some of these Butoh principles and vocabularies can be applied to new choreographic ideas and inspirations.  This will be an excellent workshop for choreographers who are looking for new choreographic inspiration, dancers or physical actors who wish to widen the range of their movement vocabularies, or healthy adults who are seeking the self-exploration by deepening one’s understanding of the internal psyche, as “the true goal of Butoh is not to impose choreographed movements from outside but to allow the movements to emerge from inside, and structures are merely the gateways to the ‘inside,’” according to Tatsumi Hijikata.


Gio Kusanagi is an interpretive dancer/performance artist who is a native of Japan. He studied Butoh (Japanese avant-garde dance) with Moe Yamamoto, Toru Iwashita, Kunisuke Kamiryo, Yoshito Ohno (son of Kazuo Ohno), Yukio Waguri, Seisaku & Yuri, Ko Muroboshi, and Kayo Mikami; a Butoh-inspired interpretive dance with Akira Kasai; Japanese sword dance with Kensei Namiki; traditional style swordsmanship with Ken Morita; Ballet at various dance schools including Morgantown Dance Studio, Modern Dance with Bill Evans, Kista Tucker, Don Halquis, Angela Dennis, Kristina Isabella, and Pilobolous Dance Company; Jazz Dance with Liz Rossi; Contact Improvisation with Jordan Fuchs and Contact Improvisation groups in Philladelphia; Break Dance at Harajuku Dance Academy; Central Asian Dance, Persian Dance, and Middle Eastern Dance with Narah Bint Durr; West African Dance with Jonathan Burbank; and Eurythmy (a form of modern dance founded by Rudolf Steiner) with both Akira Kasai and with Jolanda Frischknecht. He was also trained in Mime, Laban Movements Analysis (Bill Evans and Kista Tucker), Bartenieff Fundamental (Bill Evans and Don Halquis), Alexander Technique (Suzanne Oliiver), Qigong, Tai Chi, and various other forms of martial arts. He has integrated the essences of all the movement-arts he has learned and performs originally choreographed interpretive dance repertories in collaboration with artists of various disciplines. Gio also teaches classes and workshops on  Butoh dance, Tai Chi, Qigong, and dance therapy for self-exploration through various locations in West Virginia, Maryland, and New York.  Further, he has produced multiple dance theaters in various cities, including, but were not limited to NYC, Dayton OH, Cincinnati OH, and Morgantown WV.

Gio Kusanagi was the Artist in Residence at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in June 2012, was a commissioned choreographer for the Asian American Dance Festival in Lower Manhattan (“Variations in a Foreign Land #13” produced by Yangtze Repertory Theatre) in September 2012, a featured choreographer at a June festival at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance in 2011, a featured choreographer at Judson Memorial Church Performance Series curated by Movement Research in 2010,  a commissioned choreographer/dancer at Pittsburgh First Night on 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, a featured choreographer/dancer at Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl in 2010, a featured artist at Pittsburgh Asian American Silk Screen Gala in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, a solicited and a featured choreographer/dancer at Dragon Boat Festival in Pittsburgh in 2010 and 2011, a featured and commissioned chorographer/performer at Dayton Performance Art Festival in February 2008, was a featured artist through the Dayton Circus Art Collectives at Dayton Urban Night in May 2007, a featured choreographer/dancer at SOS Art in Cincinnati in the years of June 2007, 2008,2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012,  a guest choreographer/dancer at Yellow Spring Street Fair in June 2008, a solicited and featured choreographer/dancer at Center for Remembering and Sharing in NYC in August 2008,  a featured choreographer/dancer at Fridge-Fest in Philadelphia in September 2005, and a featured and commissioned choreographer/performer at Binghamton July Fest in 2004, 2005.


Butoh was originally founded by Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata. Among the Butoh artists Gio studied wth, Yoshito Ohno is a son of Kazuo Ohno and studied with both Kuzuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata.

Akira Kasai participated in the launch of first epoch of “Ankoku-Buth-Sha” (the first Butoh company) with Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata, and Akira was in fact the person who came up with the name of “Butoh.”  Akira’s definition of Butoh is “Dyonesean dance” (where the impetus of movements come from within) rather than “Apollonian dance” (dance movements are structure externally) and Kunisuke Kamiryo, who was one of highly recognized disciple of Akira, was one of the individuals who had fully embodied this principle.  Gio’s first encounter with Butoh was Kunisuke Kamiryo’s dance, which he was deeply inspired.

Moe Yamamoto, Yukio Waguri, and Seisaku are direct disciples of Tatsumi Hijikata, and they all inherited Tatsumi Hijikata’s Butoh-Fu (literally meaning,’ Butoh Score’) that gave precise movement vocabularies to Butoh. Gio studied the system of Butoh-Fu with all three of them. Many of Hijikata’s Buto-fu were based on visual inspirations, though some of them were also based on literary arts, such as poetry. Toru Iwashita, Ko Mutoboshi, and Kayo Mikami are also direct students of Tatsumi Hijikata, though Toru Iwashita is also known as one of the choreographers of Sankai-Juku and Kayo Mikami is the founder and choreographer of Torifune-Butoh-Sha. Both Toru Iwashita and Kayo Mikami incorporated Noguchi Gymnastic as the foundational exercise to prepare the dancers’ bodies for Butoh and Gio also studied this system. Ko Muroboshi developed his unique system of movements that included frozen motion and extreme release, laced with sudden involuntary movements.


April 4, 2016
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Event Category:


CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
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CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
41 E 11th St FL11
New York, NY 10003 United States
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