Exploring Japanese Avant-garde Art Through Butoh Dance (FutureLearn)

Exploring Japanese Avant-garde Art Through Butoh Dance (FutureLearn)
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Exploring Japanese Avant-garde Art Through Butoh Dance (FutureLearn)
See how Japanese art absorbed, refigured and influenced Western art in the 20th century through Hijikata Tatsumi's butoh dance. 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.

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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.



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.


What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

- Collect and analyse archival materials relating, performance, dance and related artworks;

- Explore ways of connecting dance to its historical and cultural contexts;

- Synthesise information relating to dance’s methods of creation (notation) with its creative outcomes (performance);

- Collaborate with other users in researching the contexts of dance creation;

- Reflect on how research transforms the experience of viewing dance.

- Describe how Tatsumi Hijikata created and revolved butoh dance.



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Course Auditing
49.00 EUR

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.