Sensei, the Master

(Yoshito Ohno’s Butoh workshop)

Today we danced during one hour and a half. 

Yoshito Ohno sensei gives some words as introduction, concepts and anecdotes around the history of Butoh, all as inspiration, as impulse, some accompanied by illustrations too (photos, paintings, Japanese characters,…). Then, with one or two pieces of music, we dance freely. 

Probably Yoshito Ohno’s Butoh workshop is the most singular you can find in Japan. Many could be lost there, many like me could just feel enormous joy. 

The work is physical but it is not based in physical exercises. It is philosophical, based in personal experiences and complete freedom. 

You stand still during a whole piece of music, look like an insect while walking with an eye in your back; you are also the full moon with all the group, reach the farest lands with your movement, and walk on the same path that Kazuo Ohno did; you suffer like the Virgin Mary and transform your body in the body of a naturally strong bamboo. 

There is no judgment, no pressure, like if art wasn’t there, but it is, for sure, all the time. 

¿Quality? He talks about quality in reference only to Tatsumi Hijikata or to Kazuo Ohno, not about our work.

Freedom and its philosophy open doors and windows inside each one of us during those improvised dances and almost everyone cry once. 

After four years without being there, I found an older man, an older teacher, with some problems to walk and speak, but doing what he has to do, guiding us through the wisdom he got with Butoh.

Kazuo Ohno, the divine, is still there at the studio, but that place today, I felt, it has already become Yoshito’s own place. It is the studio of Yoshito Ohno sensei, the master.

(Sunday, February 27th, 2019)

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